Darren has been blogging since 2002 and you can find his genius in two places: Problogger and Digital Photography School. Darren also recently launched the Problogger podcast, which starts out with 31 days to building a better blog.
All of his content can be found in one convenient place: Problogger.com, and you can find him on Twitter @Problogger.
3 Areas every blogger should focus on when they’re first starting out
Area 1: Defining your blog
One question many bloggers can’t seem to answer with confidence when first starting out is arguably one of the most important things you should know:
“What is my blog about?”
Darren and I chat about what it means to define your blog and he dives into 3 main ways you can go about doing this:
1. Discovering your niche (traditional way)
2. Defining a demographic (more specifically, defining your avatar)
3. Through a fight (listen in the for the deets!)
Area 2: How do you know what to write about?
The actual content we’re going to put on our blog is certainly important, but how do you bridge that gap between what you have experience and knowledge in, and how you can turn that into content your audience wants and needs?
Darren shares 9 questions you can ask yourself to help bridge that gap:
1. What interests do you have?
2. What experiences have you had? (good & bad)
3. What expertise & skills do you have?
4. What are your passions?
5. What’s giving me energy?
6. What’s giving other people energy?
7. What do you talk to friends, customers and colleagues about?
8. What do people always ask you about?
9. Create a future avatar
Draw a line across a paper: on one side, put the letter A, on the other side, the letter B (A = who your reader is now, B = who you want them to be).
Listen in to Ep 11 of the Problogger podcast to hear a deep dive on this exact exercise.
Area 3: Finding your voice
Now we know what our blog is about, and we also have a framework for figuring out what we can write about that our audience wants and needs.
Now comes the tough part: gaining traction and momentum so we can actually grow our audience.
This is where most bloggers get frustrated, and ultimately give up if they’re not seeing the results they thought they’d see.
A big part of this is having the patience to test things out, and to explore how you can best connect with your readers through finding your voice.
What I love about Darren’s perspective on blogging as a whole is that he very openly talks about successful blogging being about taking small, consistent actions over time – not something that just happens after you publish a few posts.
In this area, Darren talks about finding your voice through different types of writing, and also gives us a realistic timeline of how long someone should be testing out different ideas or formats before moving on to the next.
5 Different Platforms (writer personalities or styles) you can speak from (from Jeff Goins)
Professor: Does research, draws hypothesis, and then presents findings (teaching)
Artist: Looks for beauty in a topic, is a storyteller, shares the aesthetics / meaning behind things
Profit: Serves up the cold, hard truth about things – busts myths & tells it like it is
Journalist: Tells stories based on findings, interviews, and research
Celebrity: Charismatic – their readers want to know more about them personally, what they think about certain topics, and generally speaking, their readers want to be like them
Other types of writer personalities or styles Darren mentions:
Darren Rowse’s advice for bloggers who are looking to gain traction and momentum
Darren shares ONE habit you can start developing TODAY to help you move forward with your blog – and it’s EPIC!