A List of Blogging Goals for My Hobby Blog

What Blogging Goals?

I’ve been analyzing my blogging after spending hundreds of hours learning how to work with my self-hosted blog, Always Write.

blogging and traveling near and far
Could someone turn down that sun? I’m trying to blog here.

There are some huge advantages for self-hosting, but the learning curve for me has been and continues to be huge. So what about this blog?

First, of all, I want to segment and keep the other one about writing, blogging, and photography. Yet this one continues my photo challenges.  My next Australia post comes out on Monday. I’m excited because I had so much fun writing the post about fairies tree. My trip to Australia was fabulous and I’ll be reliving and talking about it for a very long time.

blogging and traveling near and far
I’m not a Quack. You are a Quack. You quack me up!

So from here on out this will be my primary travel and local events blog. I’ve been using it primarily for that reason for about a year, but I only told myself, not you guys. I do my book reviews on the other blog now. This is my more personal blog, where I feel I can talk about me stuff.

But I think my blog needs a more creative name than Marsha Ingrao. Not that there is anything wrong with my name. I love it. But I think the name of the blog should reflect the tagline. Blogging and traveling near and far.

I loved Streaming Thoughts, but after five years on the job, I’m focusing some of my thoughts and not being randomly streaming. I have about 800 posts on this blog, so there are going to be plenty of downstream ones left.

blogging and traveling near and far
Bravo Lake at full throttle in Woodlake, California.

I’ve been doing more reblogging and pressing other people’s posts on both blogs. The reason for that is to show some love to the people I love and to give my poor blogging fingers a break once in a while. It also introduces you to some of my favorite people. I only reblog on this site because you can only do that on WordPress.com. The other one doesn’t work that way.

I Need a New Name

Ok, I want a new name for my blog. I don’t need a new URL. That remains tchistorygal.net because I was the Tulare County History Gal for a long time, and I love that identity.

Vincie picked out the name for my other blog, Always Write. I thought it was cute considering how bossy he thinks I am. 🙂 I MAY be a little bossy.

Do you have any ideas you can share with me? Vincie and I need help. 🙂

If you have any blogging questions, head over to Always Write and or sign up for my blogging newsletter and grab your free PDF list of Influencer Bloggers. Or do both.

Or sign up for this brand new newsletter, yet to be named by you. It will be about traveling opportunities in Tulare County and beyond and fun posts about local events. Click here or click the picture to register.

blogging and traveling near and far
My old blog with a new name. Tagline: Blogging and Traveling Near and Far

 

 

 

7 Steps to a Successful Brand for Your Personal Blog

Isn’t An Image a Successful Brand?

According to pro bloggers an image might not be enough to make a successful brand for even a personal blog.

brand-voice“Seriously, Peter Problogger? I used Canva and designed a great image. That’s enough, right?”

“You talked to your husband about your blog, didn’t you, Amy Amateur. What did you two talk about?”

Oh yeah, hehe. You want to know about that?”

“Well, maybe not everything, Amy, but the key ideas.”

“He DID help me figure out WHY I blog.”

Why Just Write has a New Name, ALWAYS WRITE.

You go through the many of the same steps to come up with YOUR Brand as a high-powered company would. As I work at this, I’m learning that creating a brand means more than creating an image.

To unify writers’ and advertisers’ messages, a company like Apple might have their content writers brainstorm adjectives about their company. Then they would sort and discuss them. When they finished, employees would have a consistent understanding of the company image and values they should all portray as they write for the company.

First Impressions Matter

  1.  What expertise do you have that an audience needs? Brainstorm with your friends and family. My husband, Vince, and I chatted about my personal brand. “I am a teacher who loves to write,” I said. Even though I could write mostly about writing, my life takes me many directions. I could not reconcile the many facets in one blog. Janice Wald, who writes Mostly Blogging, handed me a get out of jail free card.  Since bloggers cover all topics, so could Mostly Blogging.
  2. As you brainstorm adjectives for your blog, write down snippets of the conversation. The next morning after our blog image chat, Vince stumbled out of bed, “You ARE always writing. It’s 4:39 am. What are you doing?” A light bulb went on. “I’m Always Write,” I told him. Vince broke out in his happy grin. “That’s the truth,” he said. I admit that I MAY BE a little argumentative, doggy at a bone, at times. I’m saying that is a POSSIBILITY. I prefer to think of myself as CONFIDENT, KNOWLEDGEABLE,  & WELL-RESEARCHED.

aw-do-what-you-love

Now the subtext – what values do you portray?

  1. Gather your best articles or posts. Analyze them. What makes your content unique? Do you love something enough that you exude enthusiasm? My best articles were not only about writing. One post about a business in our little town of 7,000 had 10,000 views on Facebook, and 800 on my personal blog! It was fun to interview the owner and write the post. It had nothing to do with “how to write.” A local magazine republished it. My range of topics expanded, yet I focused on my values!
  2. Find a commonality between your posts. Come up with adjectives to describe them. Marcia Riefer Johnston suggests making a chart using three adjectives based on the values you want your audience to see in your blog. Write sentence descriptions under them explaining what you mean.

How do you do that?

Use the quotes or snippets to write a tag line.

ALWAYS WRITE at home and abroad, Experiment with me – enthusiastic – persistent – encouraging

“Always Write” defines the purpose of my blog.

Writing at “home and abroad” extends my world.

“Experiment with me,” indicating my love of learning and acceptance of imperfection, defines my goal to reach an audience of like-minded new or hobby bloggers, writers, and photographers.

The Guide Chart below is how I started to define my values – confident, enthusiastic, “persistent.”

my-branding-grid2

Then what?

[ctt link=”66R2s” template=”3″]Focus on your values, not only on your topics!! http://ctt.ec/7X6m8+%5B/ctt%5D

  1. Align all your content to your guide. Weed out old content. Revamp your good content. Deactivate or privatize old posts rather than deleting them. You may have overlooked some gems.
  2. Stay consistent and true to the values in your guide as you write new content. Print out your guide and tagline as a reference. Like posts in Mostly Blogging, your topics may vary, but now you can be consistent in what matters to your audience – Values. With every post I want my readers to experience child-like enthusiasm about learning. Because of my brand, I now have a roadmap to remind me about what and why I ALWAYS WRITE. Focus on your values, not only your topics!
  3. As you develop your blog, strengthen your value statements to update and polish them. Vary these statements in your social media forwards when you publicize your content. If you use Buffer, you can’t copy and paste the hook phrases from one slot to the next.

Summary

Consistency makes your blog shine. Establishing your personal brand makes it easier to stay on track and to weave in loose threads. Your blog can look professional even if it is not.

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