From a Good Blog to a Great Blog – Some Tactics

There’s a huge number of “Good” blogs out there, but very few “Great” ones. Making the step up from good to great is far more difficult than getting to good in the first place. So how do you do it? What suddenly elevates a blog to the point such that it overtakes its peers?  As someone who aspires to write a great blog, I see the dawning of a new year as the perfect opportunity to refocus my efforts and make a concerted push to improve this blog.  In order to achieve this I’ve identified some key areas for improvement and some tactics to implement over the coming year.

Thumbs up for great

Branding and Design

As you may have noticed, this blog has been very recently redesigned.  I posted in a fair bit of detail about what changed and why at the time. To summarise, I had two main goals with the redesign.  Firstly, I wanted this blog to be more brandable and more recognisable.  Secondly, I wanted the blog to be easier to read, both for humans and search engines.  I’m a firm believer that design is an iterative process, so once there’s enough data and statistics available, I’ll tweak the design until it feels, and calculates, right.

Quality of Posts

Seeing as this blog has always been a hobby, almost a play thing, I’ve often neglected some basics of blogging.  From this point onwards (in fact, I’ve been attempting it for the past couple of weeks) I’m going to blog with a more professional attitude.  This doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll lose my casual style, more that I’ll start doing things I should have been doing all along.  Namely, proof reading posts in more detail and peppering posts with images.

Number of Posts

I’ve been incredibly inconsistent over the last year when it comes to post frequency.  Some weeks I’d push double figures.  Other times, I could easily go a fortnight without posting at all.  My aim is to hit a steady 3 – 5 posts a week on this blog.  There are other blogs I run and write for that will require more or less, but I think I have enough interesting content in me to sustain 3 – 5 posts a week here.

Community Involvement

This is something I’ve been thinking about from two angles.  Firstly, I need to get more involved with the communities I write about.  Most noteably Blogging, WordPress, Apple and Usability.  The other side of the coin is that I need to get more of you involved with this blog.  I’ve got some ideas on that front, so look for them in the upcoming months.

I’d also like to get some guest posters for this blog, so if you write on any of the subjects covered here and would like to be involved, drop me a line.  I’d be happy to give you promotion and/or return the favour.

Other Projects and Focus

I think one of the problems with this blog is it’s lack of focus.  I have fairly broad interests and I tend to just write about them when the feeling takes me.  My plan, and this won’t happen immediately, is to launch some of the projects I’ve had baking, providing a bit more focus to the blog and me in general.

Goals

I feel it’s important to set some SMART objectives.  For those of you who haven’t spoken to an IT manager in the last couple of years, SMART objectives should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-Bound.  So, my six-month objectives are:

  1. Have 1000 Subscribers
  2. Break into Clear Profit (Currently, costs are comfortably covered, but that’s about it)
  3. Have at least one guest blogger a fortnight
  4. Average a minimum of 3 posts a week

I’ll keep you informed on the progress against my goals.

It’s probably worth pointing out that these are goals for this blog.  I have seperate goals for myself in general, both for my online presence and my offline presence and for my other blogs.

Have you set yourself goals for 2008?  Are you a great blogger?  A good one?  What do you think the key is to becoming great?