A couple years ago I wrote a post Does Your Blog Reflect Your Purpose? about how focusing on my purpose helps me to continue to write and also about living in the moment as a catalyst for post ideas. As I sit here, I decided to update my views on this topic with a follow-up: Blogging: Establishing Your Fine Print (Blogging With Purpose).
Each blog is different because each individual is different. We each have our own set of thought processes and routines that we feel makes our writing better and our blogs overall capable of expansion. As such, I have noticed one thing in common with each blog that I follow, the ones I have come to really enjoy: Purpose. Most of the blogs I follow touch on a variety of topics. Our posts have the potential to scan the horizon. From poetry, to short story, to news articles, to quotes, you name it we’re writing about it. I love this because variety makes it possible to reach more people than a singular subject ( or niche) and for this I love diving into varying topics.
The Fine Print
Fineprint – inconspicuous details or conditions printed in an agreement or contract
While my blog, like most, is filled with variety, there is also a primary purpose that remains in the fine print and I have found it in each of the blogs in which I read. That purpose is the inconspicuous detail. It doesn’t matter how many topics the blogger touches on, each person has his own primary purpose for blogging and that is the foundation I think we should each take into account as we build readership. I call this The Fine Print. Everyone has one because we all have a certain set of values that govern how we live. This doesn’t mean we have to shout to the rooftops about it, but it is the underlining foundation to how we live our lives. If we apply this to blogging, I think it will help us to build and maintain focus. By us I mean myself as well. These posts are not professional blog advice, in fact its not really advice at all but thoughts I tell myself to help me to become better that I’d like to share.
Finding Your Fine Print:
1). What are you passionate about?
Think about what matters most to you outside of blogging. Your passion usually will lead to your purpose. Your purpose is then incorporated into your everyday life: including blogging.
2). What is the one thing that motivates you to blog?
I didn’t ask you what your blog was about because it’s deeper than that. Your reason for creating your blog is also not necessarily that thing that keeps you blogging. Your blog can be about puppies but puppies do not get you up every day to publish posts. I also did not mention why you write because not all bloggers are writers. Some bloggers are photographers, chefs, etc. But I asked you what was the one thing that motivates you to blog because if you can name that thing that insists that you must blog, that thing that tugs at your being and demand that you release words into this public forum, then that is the first step toward finding your Fine Print.
3). Do not Preach Your Fine Print
Your Fine Print is for you. To help to keep you focused. Once you’ve defined your purpose, it’s not going to help you to preach to the choir. The reason this is called a Fine Print is because it’s a foundation to the entire document. You can read through an employee handbook, but the fine print is what sets the document apart as serious business.
A bloggers fine print is their driving force, their purpose, their one motivating factor, their reason for doing. Its not something they have to bring up in every conversation, but it is that thing in which they strategically incorporate into their blog in a way that drives curiosity and helps readers to get to know them better. If you bring your purpose up in every post it will drive people away. No one wants to be preached to or forced to accept anything. Your fine print is to help YOU to stay focused. When people sign a contract they are agreeing both to the contents of the document itself and also to the fine print. Fine Prints are that underlying message. When you follow a blog, you may not know it, but you’re not just supporting that blog, you are also agreeing with that blogs Fine Print, which is the whole point. In other words, that bloggers purpose for writing intrigues you in some way and has prompted you to endorse them.
Does your blog have a Fine Print?
Find out what drives you to blog and keep that as the underlying message to everything that you post. This is your Fine Print. It doesn’t mean bash everyone over the head with your ideas. It is instead using your purpose as a driving force to produce quality material. People follow blogs for so many different reasons that it is possible that your one weekly feature was their sole purpose for following you. In this way, you have reached them. Though your Fine Print is inspiring people, your weekly feature became the catalyst for which this was done, the method that has proven effective in a way that will continue to drive traffic.
4). Stay Focused
Purpose – the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists.
Don’t get so caught up in the purpose of someone else that you subtly make their purpose your purpose. Your fine print is not really for them, it’s to help YOU to stay focused. Blogging is a communal activity. This means that one thing we all have in common is that we want our blogs seen by the online public for whatever reason (< your fine print). Otherwise we would all just keep. private journals, diaries, notebooks, whatever but we would not be writing so openly on the Internet. For whatever reason (fine print, purpose) we are writing online. No, we are not just writing for ourselves. I do not believe that. To publish material as openly as the internet has to be for a reason deeper than personal gratification. For whatever reason, we are blogging. We serve this community by interacting with one another. In essence we serve one another. But what I think keeps a good blog going is the individual’s focus on their fine print once they’ve found it. It is not something they are willing to compromise and it is not something they will allow others to take away.
Have you ever read a book that was so good in the beginning but towards the end it fell short? That can happen with our blogs. We must remember that the fine print is not so much for readership as it is for our own individual marker to help keep us focused. This naturally makes it easier to produce material without compromising the integrity of the blog.
And that’s it for me. I hope these tips are helpful to each of you as you continue your blogging journey.