Strategic tips


In the last year, I have been working with a coach to help me see my blog as a real business, not just a hobby. Successful companies are not usually created by accident.

They take instead planning, strategy, and intentionality.

It takes some time and mental energy to think through the “big picture” questions at your blog’s core. But (especially if feeling lost), it could make the difference between an average and a great blog.

Please be patient with me. I understand that this type of discussion can be frustrating for some. Words like mission, values, and strategy may seem like they need to be more relevant to you. But please try to keep your cool. If you can get these things right, you will find that the steps I’ll share in this article are much more powerful because you’ll have a better grasp of how to apply them.

This mega-post is a collection of a series I wrote to guide you through a strategy plan process. A friend gave it to me to help me think through another project (non-blogging) that I am working on. I find it highly relevant to ProBlogging and hope you will find it helpful. The steps we will follow in the strategic blogging process are:

  1. Mission
  2. Values
  3. VisionGoals
  4. Issues
  5. Present position
  6. Future Direction
  7. Strategy
  8. Action plan

You will be given homework at each step of the way – some questions that you can ask to help you think about the issue. You can answer the questions in private or comment on this post.


When I started my Marketing degree 13 years ago, many of the lectures in my first year were devoted to ‘Mission Statements.’ I can remember writing mission statement after mission, to the point that I began to dream about them. My lecturers were an obvious starting point for any successful business.

While’mission statements’ may not be as popular as they used to be in the early 90s, asking questions about the mission is still a worthwhile task. This is especially true when it comes to blogging.

“Why are you here?”

This is the question my friend’s strategy process asks about the mission. It’s not asking us to contemplate the meaning of life.

Why do you blog?

Consider this question for a moment (or, even better, a couple of hours or days). What do you blog about? What are your main motivations? Answer this question honestly. Getting this right is crucial, as it will affect everything else.

Some of the blogging missions may include:

  • I blog to earn a living
  • I blog to relax and have fun.
  • I blog as part of my plan to dominate the world
  • I blog to record my life and events.
  • I blog to help other people.
  • ‘I blog because I am lonely and want to be connected to others.’
  • I blog to meet cute girls/guys
  • I blog because it is fun
  • ‘I blog to increase my profile and to make myself known.’

Here are a few simple examples. Others will use simple sentences. For others, the reasons they blog may be more complex.

There is no correct or incorrect way to blog. Behind each blogger is a mission, whether profound, shallow, or silly. Now you have to decide what your blogging mission is.

It is essential to identify the mission of your blog. Knowing why you blog will help us determine what you should blog about to achieve our goal.

What is your mission statement? Why do you blog, exactly?

It is not about goals or strategies that can be measured. Your answer should focus on something other than a specific blog (e.g., don’t do it for every one of them if you run more than one). Instead, think about your motivations and the big picture for your blogging.


After defining our mission or why we blog, it’s time to focus on the values we hold to help us achieve our mission.

There are a variety of ways to achieve a goal. If you aim to earn a living through blogging, you can do it in many ways. You could create blogs that copy the content of other blogs, blogs with original content, blogs that cover topics of a “family nature,” blogs with explicit content, blogs of an ‘adult nature,’ etc.

As bloggers, we make these decisions based on our core values.

What are the values that determine our behavior?

Values can come from many places, including family, culture, experiences, or even our personality type. In the early stages of blogging, it is important to name them. There will be times when we feel tempted to go against what we believe. These values can be called in advance (privately or, more powerfully, publicly), which helps us resist temptations when we are feeling the heat. Our values are essential for assisting others to understand what or how we blog.

What are your values? What are your boundaries? What topics would you not blog about? What will be your attitude towards those around you? (Other bloggers, readers, information providers, etc.) Write down the values you want to guide your blogging. You might want to include:

  • When I build on the work of others, I give them credit.
  • I do not blog about sexually explicit content, gambling, drugs, or Harry Potter.
  • I want to create an atmosphere where people can express themselves without being censored
  • In my blog, I don’t share private conversations or contact information.
  • I will only publish facts and state if it’s a speculative statement.
  • If I am wrong, I will publicly admit it and fix it
  • If I gain from what I write, I will clarify that.
  • I will never blog in a demeaning way about people.

A list like this will always spark discussion simply because each person has different values. We’re talking about ethics.

It would be nice to have a list of values such as these in a public manifesto or value statement to help promote your blog and permit readers to hold you accountable for your writing.

After defining your values and mission, you can begin planning your blog.

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