Performancing.com has a tagline: Helping Bloggers Succeed…
I like that. It gets my mind running around what it means to ‘succeed’ as a blogger. Let’s start with these concepts and build from there:
succeed: attain success or reach a desired goal.
success: an event that accomplishes its intended purpose.
Having read those definitions, I begin winding my thoughts around what might be the goal, or intended purpose, of my blog.
A blog is a forum for communication. Some of the things I’ve learned about communication, if it is to be effective, are:
The blogger must anticipate, and then understand, his intended audience.
The blogger must write with a purpose in mind by asking himself a question: what is my goal, or desired outcome, for writing this post? To entertain? inform? persuade? inspire to action?
The value of feedback cannot be overemphasized: your readers comments will tell you whether you are accomplishing your desired goal or intended purpose; from there, you need only decide whether to adjust what/how you write in order to move closer to your blogging goals.
In other words, to ‘succeed’ with your blog is to anticipate and understand an audience whose feedback informs you whether your writing is accomplishing your intended purpose.
Perhaps a recent example will help drive this point home:
Before Performancing.com invited us, it’s members, to consider contributing articles for the Performancing homepage, I had been working on some tweaks to the Performancing Metrics script for my WordPress-based blog.
Although the original script worked just fine, I found a certain ambiguity in some of the stats and, being a software developer, I decided I’d try my hand at modifying the script to give an additional layer of detail, hoping to better understand my blog traffic.
Well, I tweaked that script to give me what I wanted. And I thought, hey, this might be a cool article idea to contribute to Performancing.com so… I wrote to Nick and asked him about it and he gave me the go ahead.
My script tweaks are done. Writing an article about them proved useful because I had to practice the success principles that I mentioned earlier in this post: audience, intention and sensitivity to feedback.
Who was the intended audience of my blog? It was bloggers, of course, but more specifically, bloggers who are using the Performancing Metrics script and who may appreicate an additional layer of specificity.
What did I want to accomplish by writing about the tweaks I made? I wanted to inform others that another layer of detail is available if they want it, and invite them to take action, that is, to show them how to modify their script if they wanted to experience this additional level of detail for themselves.
All that remains is to put the final polish on that article and publish it here (watch for it next week!), then to wait for the feedback from all of you and to evaluate whether I’ve succeeded.
Success breeding success… isn’t that a win-win idea we all can live with?