I remember - many years ago - looking at a photo in a magazine of Shania Twain, after she had released her third album and won a few awards and thinking, "She doesn't look as pretty as I remember." I mean, don't get me wrong, she was still gorgeous. But there was something different. Being in high school at the time, this felt like a very important issue, so I dug out the jacket of her debut CD so that I could compare.
The more I looked at the two, the more I realized what I was really noticing. She looked less real. On that first CD jacket, she looked like a beautiful girl. She could've been one of the homecoming queens in my own high school.
But in the later photograph, she looks manufactured - a perfectly coifed and manicured version of someone who is pretty. She looked a little like every other gorgeous celebrity, and something of her unique beauty was lost in the creation.
I thought about this the other day. I've been struggling over my blog. In the last few months, I've begun to see it as something with potential. That seems like a good thing, and it is, but it's also complicating. Even though I said I wouldn't, I started to wonder if this blog might become something more. I started studying lots of blogs.
What makes a "successful" blog? Why does that blog have thousands of readers? Why were they able to quit their jobs and do this full time? What is it about their blog that makes people love it?
And how can I make mine like that?
I've made lists of action items and emailed myself links:
All the blogs whose blog designs I really like. The blogs who've done a good job branding themselves. The posts about how to get sponsors. The posts about affiliate links. The types of posts I should write. The types of posts that bring in readers. The posts that get the most comments. The stories of bloggers who "made it" and how. The posts where bloggers tell how they spend their time. Pie graphs of how bloggers make income.
I committed to posting five days a week. I made an editorial calendar for myself. I submitted my posts to other aggregating sites.
All of those things are things you should probably be doing if you want to turn your blog into a business. But lately I'm wondering if this blog looks like me anymore. Or am I just trying to create a blog that is like everyone else's?
Hop over to ktmade for the rest of this post.
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