Those of you who are in the marketing field will be very familiar with the 7Ps. For those who have no idea what I’m babbling about, the 7Ps are the marketing mix, kind of like a roadmap marketers adhere to or code of conduct which they sworn by.
The 7 Ps – price, product, place, promotion, physical presence, provision of service, and processes comprise the modern marketing mix that is particularly relevant in service industry, but is also relevant to any form of business where meeting the needs of customers is given priority.
Going through the principles of 7Ps made me think of how I can modify and apply its good values to blogging. I began combining different management techniques and business theories and came up with the 5Ps and 5Ws of blogging.
As with all things we do, planning is a critical phase to ensure our task gets off to a right start, accomplished what it sets out to achieve, and reach its end goals within the set time frame. Blogging is no different, and there are only too many examples of failed blogs that started out without proper planning, eventually fizzling out when the novelty dies down.
In the planning phase, you got to ask yourself some hard questions and prepare to give brutal honest answers. That’s where the 5Ws come into the picture, I’ll come to the 5Ws later.
Does your blog have a specific point to make? A message you want to get across to your audience? If it doesn’t, then what’s the point of blogging? Got my point?
I’m sure you would agree with me that blogging is much like journalism, except in a less controlled environment. Journalists are passionate writers, writing is after all, their livelihood. In order to write quality content on your blog, you need passion in writing too. If you don’t have the passion for writing, why should anyone bother to read your posts? Your passion, or the lack thereof, will eventually shine through in your writings.
To set the record straight, blogging is hard work. It gets particularly difficult if you have to hold down a full-time job and has a family to take care of at the same time. I am speaking from real-life experience. Blogging is not only about writing, it is more dynamic than that. Unless your blog has a team of writers, you are basically the writer, the designer, the marketer and the PR manager of your blog. All these roles take time, passion and most of all, perseverance to execute, and we are not only talking about the first three months. Are you prepared to get your hands dirty for the long haul?
Once you have established your 5Ws, the real work just got started. There are thousands and one things to prepare before you launch your blog. From naming your blog, registering the domain name, to the technicalities of web hosting sorted out, to the design of the blog, there are many critical factors to consider and important decisions need to be made. Once these tasks are taken care of, you can then focus your attention in researching and writing your content.
Earlier on, I touched on the 5Ws, questions you need honest answers before you even think of starting your blog. Here are the 5Ws:
Who will write the blog? Will you be the solo author or will there be a team of contributors? Who is your target audience? Determining your target audience will drive the content of your posts and the way you write them.
What is your blog about? Is it going to be a personal blog, a niche blog about parenting, technologies or sports etc.? You have to focus on your topic in order to target the right audience.
Blogging experts generally recommends a minimum of 2 – 3 times posting frequency per week. Depending on your level of commitment, decide on your posting frequency and fix it. It could be one post per day or posting once per week. Establishing a routine early on not only help you with better time management in researching your topics, but also create stickiness for your readers know when to expect new post will be published.
Where do you intend your blog to go? In other words, what is the goal of your blog? Set goals for your blog and plan how to get there. If your blog have no “there” to get to, it will likely go nowhere!
Why do you want to blog? If you cannot answer this question satisfactorily and convince yourself, you probably shouldn’t even get started.