If you’re finding my blog via my guest post on the Buffer blog, welcome and thank you for clicking through! You will notice pretty quickly (and I’m telling you anyway) that my blog has a few recurring themes, but lots of variety. Like many of us, I’m still finding my writing voice, and my focus online. 

If you are reading because you have been with me for the past few weeks or months, thank you for continuing to return and read. This post is for everyone, but I thought it would be nice to give a little context to my blog.

I have been writing steadily for just over 3 months, and in my desire to get off my butt and do the work, I curate a general blog. I write about topics that interest me, and I have a passion for. I’ll write about spirituality, writing, sports, outdoors, business, productivity, personal matters, education, creativity, and more.

When you want to write, the 1st step is to begin writing. 

In the past, I would get bogged down in over-thinking writing, making the process of starting more difficult than it had to be. Simply starting, and hitting publish over and over, is a key part of narrowing your focus. Write about lots of topics, and see what resonates with you, where your passion can meet the needs of others. Just start.

Now, very smart people have written very good pieces on what to do after that, and I encourage you to check them out. CopyBlogger, ProBlogger, Jeff Goins, Chris Guillebeau, and several more are available to you. Just do some digging and don’t be afraid to ask!

Now I’m a little further down the road, and there is an important distinction I need to make to go the next level.

I need to find my focus, my mission, and answer the question of “Why?”

There is certainly flexibility around your mission, but your mission needs to frame your blog and why it exists. People who are arrived from Buffer are probably thinking “This guy wrote  about productivity and organization, but most of what I see here is about spirituality, writing, and running.”

I first thought, “I know people who write general, personal blogs. There’s Leo from Zen Habits, the Minimalists, Tim Ferriss, or Joel Runyon. This is true, but when I thought about it more, I realized that each of these writers has a focus and mission to their sites.

  • Leo – Simplicity and Peace
  • Minimalists – Um, Minimalism
  • Tim Ferriss – Lifestyle Design
  • Joel Runyon – Doing impossible things, telling a story

The other direction to take is to have a very specific focus to your blog, like Fitness Reloaded, The Art of Manliness, No Meat Athlete, or Smart Football. These authors craft their sites around specific content and topics, leaving the generalities to others. They are about the details! Yes, there is flexibility within their topic, but everything points back to their focus.

How did I start to narrow down the topics? Thanks to Jeff Goins’ Intentional Blogging course (free, register here), I was able to visually get down what interested me. There was a lot, as you can see. To read my entire post about the visual & generation process, click here.

As you can see, the focus of my blog and yours is important. If we want to “turn pro” in our minds, as Steven Pressfield talks about, we need to decide what the focus and mission of our work is. It’s fine to have a general blog that shares about your life, and communicates with friends and family.

But that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about doing the work, creating value and connections for others, and being a professional. 

Once you’ve found your focus, get to it. You may need to buy a new domain name, and the process of generating content begins again. Make sure you pick a mission that resonates with you, because without that internal drive, the grinding days will feel that much worse, and your great days will not feel that great.

Do what you love, even if it makes you less money. Passion, flexibility, and simplicity are better. 

Have a great day.

Hi! I'm Matt Ragland

I’m a writer, podcaster, brand builder, and adventurer.
My mission is to help you see the power and importance of every story. Let's begin with two free resources and regular essays on living with purpose.

Comments

  1. Good blog Matt and great theme! (I have the same one, LOL) I am about to write a guest post for the Buffer blog too and I like Jeff Goins. Best wishes with your blog and much success to you! Awesome post. 

    • Thanks Chip! Appreciate the kind words. Eleven40 is a great theme, love how it’s mobile responsive.

      Best of luck with the Buffer post, those guys are great to work with. Let me know when it runs!

  2. Matt, found your site doing a search for the eleven40 theme… but I got hooked reading this article. I too struggle with finding my niche… and overcoming the sometimes insurmountable obstacle of writing the first word. I look forward to digging around here a bit. Thanks. Mike

    • Thanks Mike! I think the key is to be patient. I’m still struggling with the balance between really needing to write every day (as practice), but not constantly churning out content that readers won’t keep up with.

      Guest posting is a great strategy, many blogs offer this and is a good way to disperse your content. Good luck, let me know if I can help!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Actually, you should do this before your guest post is published. Ask the moderator when they will publish your post, and have your own post ready to go the same day. In the first line, welcome the readers who have clicked through to your blog! You may not have a ton of click-throughs, and that is ok, you want the ones who do click to feel you were expecting them. You can view my landing post here. [...]

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