Today is my ninth blogging anniversary. On March 12, 2009 I published my first blog post using Blogger.com. You can find an archive of that post here.
In it I listed a collection of topics I planned to “blog” about. I threw out almost all of those ideas once I found out what really worked.
Like a lot of bloggers back then I just started writing things I thought were interesting and publishing them to the blog. I didn’t think much about who was reading and why they would read and share what I wrote.
Over time, however, I discovered the key to my success: be useful.
The rule I set for myself was “If it isn’t practical, pitch it.”
I only published things I felt would be useful. Since I was writing for teachers that meant publishing things that they could immediately use in their lesson plans.
I set boundaries for myself to only publish four kinds of content to the blog: activities, lesson plans, teaching strategies, or prayers.
Later, when I created a membership website, I set boundaries for content there too: worksheets, videos, and online courses.
There are a lot of other lessons that I’ve learned along the way, but they all stem from that one most important principle:
If I were to ask myself some questions before starting my first blog in 2009, I would ask:
- Who is your target audience?
- What are they trying to accomplish?
- What types of content would be most useful for your target audience?
- What are the people in your target audience searching for?