Your Blog Will Perish for Lack of Vision

March 26th, 2007 | Blogging | Syndicate Content

Let me tell you about my biggest mistake as a blogger. I started The Fight Spot 18 months ago. I was a super-sized noobie, and had a long and rocky start. Eventually I discoverd my what, where, when & why of blogging. Including one vital aspect I wish I had possessed from the beginning: Blogging with a focus.

When I first began this blog it was titled The Blanc Spot. It was on a self-hosted blogspot domain, and acted as my online journal with random commentary on life. My point: it was relevant to about 9 people.

When I decided I wanted to publish a well-known, reputable weblog I realized I needed to make some changes. I sat in the hall one night during a conference in Atlanta, and I wrote my site’s title – Fighting to Stay Awake – got a domain, and set up the feed.

This was the first step to finding my focus as a blogger. I later decided that I did not want FTSA to primarily be my personal blog. I made a decision that I wanted the topics covered here to emphasize -

  1. Christianity: Pastoring, Teaching, Exhorting
  2. Nerdery: Computers, Web, Design, Blogging
  3. Personality: A little bit of my life squeezed in

It wasn’t until last month that I finally wrote FTSA’s focus into a clear (and catchy) tag-line. The one underneath the couch. I then quickly designed some business cards to hand out as well.

Establishing a focus brought my blog to life

Having a focus has done more than simply help me write clearer posts. It has defined FTSA to my readers. In the last few months as I have intently streamlined the direction of this site I have seen both my once plateaued RSS subscriptions and daily views more than triple.

Having vision for your topics, style and posting schedule are all key elements that will help strengthen and build your site. Readers greatly appreciate – even thrive on – consistency and continuity.

Liked this post? Here are a few others I’ve written related to blogging:

33 comments

33 Comments »

  1. ben said:

    One of my blogging mistakes? I make to many in a day to count. Reading this post makes me realize that I need a focus.

    Posted on March 26, 2007 at 8:40 pm

  2. {Shawn} said:

    @ Ben: Knowing is half the battle, my friend.

    Posted on March 26, 2007 at 10:04 pm

  3. Keeping that flame alive said:

    [...] Monday March 26th 2007, 11:14 pm Filed under: Blogging After reading Shawn Blanc’s post about having a focus for your blog I realized it was time to rethink things for my blog. I [...]

    Posted on March 26, 2007 at 10:14 pm

  4. Zack Hensley said:

    Good post Shawn I think focused blogging is nessary for productive blogging…

    P.S. are we still on to go Golfing tommorrow at 2:30pm? It’s going to be a beautiful disaster of a time…

    Posted on March 27, 2007 at 3:14 am

  5. Ronni said:

    Lack of personal maturity. Seriously. I had (and still do) a number of issues in my own life that needed to be dealt with. The public just didn’t need to know that, and I didn’t need to use it as a form of therapy. That’s where journaling comes in.

    I have a small blog now, but it’s mostly for my pastors/mentor (who is gone 1/3 of the year) and close friends to keep track of me on. I don’t always express what is going on inside, but it lets them know I’m still alive and thinking…

    Also, I used it as a sounding board for my wild schemes… I’m extremely visionary, and I would throw out ideas that I had to only get them shot down (and there were some awesome ones!). I found out that Visionaries… well there aren’t as many around me as I thought. So I pick who I share my harebrained ideas with now. And a few have gotten off the ground now. HA!

    If it is a blog, its a blog, but if its a journal, buy a moleskin… if you need a sounding board… buy a friend coffee!

    Posted on March 27, 2007 at 3:38 am

  6. {Shawn} said:

    “If it is a blog, its a blog, but if its a journal, buy a moleskin… if you need a sounding board… buy a friend coffee!”

    @ Ronni: Well put. I think it is wise to check our issues at the door when writing blog post. But that doesn’t mean bloggers should put on a facade of perfection either.

    Posted on March 27, 2007 at 5:55 am

  7. Ben G. said:

    The verse that comes to mind is “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” How appropriate to blogging.

    My blog is still a very “personal” one. I think, however, that over the past year and a half, that my writing has found its own rhythm. Of course, I may be blogging for slightly different reasons than you. I’ve never set out the goal of having a well-known and reputable blog. My goal really is more a matter of the online extension of myself. And that’s why I’ve never really wanted to settle on one topic (or three). Though this may prove to be my undoing as I may never be very popular ;) .

    Posted on March 27, 2007 at 8:19 am

  8. {Shawn} said:

    @ Ben: Truth be told – at the end of the day I’m not concerned with being well known or reputable. I just figure if I’m going to spend time doing something, in this case my blog, then it’s worth doing well. And doing in such a way that I’m proud of it and feel that I’m accomplishing something that is pleasing to the Lord.

    Your site does have a rythm, and I think it has more focus than you give it credit (aside from the random anti-’ANC’ outbursts).

    Posted on March 27, 2007 at 8:39 am

  9. Ben G. said:

    anc?

    Posted on March 27, 2007 at 9:43 am

  10. {Shawn} said:

    anc

    Posted on March 27, 2007 at 10:54 am

  11. ben said:

    I have a focus for my blog now. This post really helped me out. Thanks shawn

    Posted on March 27, 2007 at 11:16 am

  12. Benjamin Wood said:

    I hope i have a good vision for my blog, here it is… to some day be as good as Shawn Blanc’s! how does that work for a vision. I have been told to strive for a goal that is unattainable in the hope of reaching it. Shawn “thefightspot” is my unattainable goal.

    Posted on March 27, 2007 at 11:44 am

  13. Armen said:

    Hmmm…I have pondered over this issue more than once about my blog. Sometimes I reckon I lose people because what I say or show (photos) may only be relevant to those who know me in the real world.

    I do have another idea for a blog that would be in more of a niche.

    As far as mistakes – the biggest one is one of your favs….time management!

    Posted on March 28, 2007 at 3:39 am

  14. Blogging Mistakes: Final List said:

    [...] Your Blog Will Perish for Lack of Vision by Shawn [...]

    Posted on April 2, 2007 at 6:20 am

  15. Jimbo said:

    Very interesting point. Although, I am completely the opposite! I write about random things. Sometimes they’re so random that in two or three paragraphs, you are going to have to deal with 5~6 topics. I know it could get a bit confusing sometimes, but still, that’s how I am in real life. Not confusing, but a real multitasking freak! :)

    Posted on April 2, 2007 at 6:52 am

  16. Bret said:

    Focus. Absolutely my name number one problem from the beginning. Recently I refined my focus but am still in the midst of redesigning aspects of my site. I did, however, feel a little restricted with my new focus but ended starting a blog project with my brother (brothersinblog.com) so I had an outlet for all the stuff that didn’t fit my other blog.

    Posted on April 2, 2007 at 8:49 am

  17. Madhur Kapoor said:

    Nice post man , learnt a new thing here .

    Posted on April 2, 2007 at 10:54 am

  18. Quartz Mountain Communications said:

    Oops! Learning from the Mistakes of Others….

    It’s great to learn from your mistakes, but it’s even better when you can learn from the mistakes of others. Here (in no particular order) are 47 posts from bloggers who share their blogging mistakes, and what they’ve done to correct them:

    I A…

    Posted on April 2, 2007 at 11:51 am

  19. Dfinitive Blog » Blog Archive » 32 Common Mistakes That Can Kill Your Blog said:

    [...] write clearer posts. Readers will greatly appreciate – even thrive on – consistency and continuity. Read more… and more… and [...]

    Posted on April 2, 2007 at 3:17 pm

  20. Ben Yoskovitz said:

    Great post Shawn. A lot of people get into blogging “just because.” And really there’s no harm in that. Go for it. Get your feet wet. Make mistakes. Start thinking outloud (cause that’s very much what blogging is.) But eventually, when it’s time to take it up a notch, focus and vision become paramount.

    I still suffer from a lack of vision and focus sometimes on my blog – I think I cover too many topics – from entrepreneurship to blogging to marketing, etc. – but it’s just the way I am. And I’m not about to start 3 or 4 separate blogs on each subject!

    Posted on April 3, 2007 at 4:18 am

  21. Common Blogging Mistakes pt. 1 said:

    [...] Fighting to Stay Awake writes on something that I only just got into myself – finding focus. Personal blogs are great for writing about anything – the thing is that the wider your topic base the smaller your audience can become. People don’t read gaming blogs because of movie posts, nor do they read web design blogs for gaming posts. Having focus is essential for a new blog. [...]

    Posted on April 3, 2007 at 7:02 am

  22. From One Blogger to Another - 48 Things To Do or Not To Do » Inspiration Bit said:

    [...] Do establish a focus for your blog by Shawn [...]

    Posted on April 5, 2007 at 12:14 am

  23. Blogging Mistakes Project Roundup: A Checklist of Important Things to Avoid said:

    [...] Your Blog Will Perish for Lack of Vision by Shawn Having vision for your topics, style and posting schedule are all key elements that will help strengthen and build your site. Readers greatly appreciate – even thrive on – consistency and continuity. [...]

    Posted on April 8, 2007 at 3:46 pm

  24. hamelife » The Great Big Blogging Mistake Blues Album - 25 Heart-Breaking Tracks said:

    [...] Track 5. Loss Of Focus Blues My blog may look a picture, but I don’t know what it’s about. It may look mighty pretty, but I have no clue what it’s about. I’ve got those loss of focus blues, Man, they make me wanna scream and shout. (Shawn) [...]

    Posted on April 12, 2007 at 12:38 am

  25. CreditEgghead said:

    Most people blog just because they want to express themselves. Not every writer needs a reader. That’s why people sing in amature choirs or paint in their basements. Just self-expression

    Posted on July 12, 2007 at 4:54 am

  26. {Shawn} said:

    @ CreditEgghead: You’re right. And I love the painting the basement analogy.

    Posted on July 12, 2007 at 6:51 am

  27.   Avoid these Blogging mistakes by eTechBuzz.com said:

    [...] Your Blog Will Perish for Lack of Vision by Shawn [...]

    Posted on July 13, 2007 at 7:16 am

  28. Blogging Mistakes: Final List » All Tips and Tricks said:

    [...] Your Blog Will Perish for Lack of Vision by Shawn [...]

    Posted on November 5, 2007 at 5:43 am

  29. Eymard Siojo said:

    I will be more focus from now on. I will follow your lead. I will think of topics to focus to for my blog. Thanks for the share.

    Posted on November 5, 2011 at 9:38 am

  30. 48???????? said:

    [...] Your Blog Will Perish for Lack of Vision by Shawn [...]

    Posted on May 8, 2012 at 2:12 am

  31. Soon said:

    I loved as much as you will receive carried out right here.
    The sketch is attractive, your authored material stylish.
    nonetheless, you command get bought an edginess over that you wish
    be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come more formerly again since exactly the same nearly very often inside case
    you shield this increase.

    Posted on October 13, 2012 at 8:49 am

  32. Final List Of Blogging Mistake said:

    [...] Your Blog Will Perish for Lack of Vision by Shawn [...]

    Posted on September 21, 2013 at 5:11 pm

  33. portrait photography rates said:

    Her father had taken several photographs right after her birth.
    If somebody wants to book this company he or she should pay some
    deposit as an advance. If anyone searching the
    best wedding photography or any events photography then this company is the
    best company ever have had.

    Posted on September 28, 2014 at 5:07 am

Dem's fightin' words...