If I have known this thing before, I had used my efforts, time, and skills developing a good blogsite instead of starting many all over again. I was a dumb-poor-newbie blogger! (Sigh…)

As results of my ignorance, I started 8 blogs at blogspot itself. Two are still running including this one. I have one running and alive at Wordpress and one dying at i.ph. Whew! What a waste of time, efforts and skills? I also left one at webs.

Now, I’ve learned my lessons, a costly and tiring learning process.

You may ask me, why? Or call me a dumb blogger?

This was the reason: As a plebe in blogging world, all I wanted was to have a site, set it quickly, put it live and I just poured on contents, some were useless, some were okay, but mostly were just two paragraphs posts. Then, I said: “That’s it. I have a blog.” And I announced it to the whole wide world. After awhile, I realized I fooled myself. I was not satisfied and I ended up frustrated.

I aired my frustration to my friend who is not a web citizen. He said: “What are you doing with your business if you want to achieve something?” I said: “Strategic Planning!”

Eureka! All I did was to have a SWOT Analysis for every blog that I set up. And these were the results:

  1. I started my blog without a Purpose.
  2. I do not know who would be my audience.
  3. I do not know what would be the features of my site.
  4. I do not know how much would I spend for my site, may it be time, efforts, money, etc.

So, I will share with you what I did.

I assume you are now prepared with your Purpose, have great mindsets, identified skills and talents and of course, The Attitude.

Let us now begin with the Second Phase, Brainstorming: The Flesh of Strategic Blogging. This is the Second Part of my Series on Strategic Blogging. Try to read first my post on Mindsetting if you haven't done yet.

Grab a pen and a sheet of paper. We need to answer some questions and we need to put some more as we go along.

Ask yourself:

  1. What will be the best kind of site for my goal?
  2. How much money am I willing to invest?
  3. How much time am I willing to devote for the project?
  4. What will be my specific objectives for a certain period of time?
  5. Am I capable of doing everything?
  6. If I need people, who are they?

With those in hand, we will proceed in a step-by-step process.

Second Step: Determine the Content Ideas for Your Site

Write down your ideas for content. Remember to go back to your purpose and your talents. If you are decided to have a “General Blog”, so be it. But, I suggest having a niche blog or a theme-based blog. We are not jacks of all trade. Contents should always gear towards your purpose. Focus on your best skills, to what you love the most. For example, if you loved traveling, then focus on travels, tourists’ sites, information regarding some good places, etc. Remember, Content is the king in blogosphere.

This step is very important in determining your site design, budget as well as your time to be spent for this site. I am doing this.

Third Step: Determine Your Competitors

If you are decided to put a blog focused on a certain niche or putting a theme-based blog, you must research your competitors. Determine if you could do something outstanding on that niche or theme. It is better to know your competitors so that you know where to position yourself. It will be good for you if you know what they have and what they don’t have. Try to study their contents and site designs. Create something different if you can.

This is an important step. Put some extra time for it. This step will determine your site design, investments and of course, caution your expectations from your project. One thing more, you have a benchmark.

Fourth Step: Determine Your Audience

With your purpose at hand, ideas for content, knowledge about your competitors, it is time to determine your audience. You should know your target audience. It is hard to reach the general public. Try to be specific. Go back to my example of travel blog. The blog’s target audiences are travelers and tourists. You could always trim down these into pensioners or yuppies.

Now, you know whom are you talking to, you know whom are you writing for, you know whom are you building relationship to.

Fifth Step: Determine Your Site Features

Think of your visitors. Visualize. Use your practice of mindsetting and visualization. Try to make them feel at home. They are very important. You need to determine what they need and service them in terms of your site features like interactive calendar, drop down menus, newsletter sign up, feeds, forum, etc.

You are not only giving information but also building relationships.

Sixth Step: Determine Your Site Management Systems (SMS)

Some people named this as Content Management System (CMS). We will call this as Site Management System because we should not only focus on Contents but also to Traffics, Promotions and Finances.

Having this SMS predetermined allows you to have adjustments in the future. Some system providers or site designers do not allow future adjustments, may it be on contents, generation of traffics, promotions as well as monetizing your site. Foreseeing your needs helps you decide on how your blog be hosted, or how are you going to design your site, or how would your site designer customized the site for your future needs. You will realize soon that this SMS is important.

All in all, I already wrote Two Phases of Strategic Blogging: MindSetting and Brainstorming. I also discussed Six Strategic Steps to Successful Blogging.

See you at the Life of Strategic Blogging.

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Thank you for your time.