One thing that was clearly needed, as I dove back into the site, was to determine who my ideal reader was. The most basic of marketing plans have their ideal consumer in mind from beginning to end of the life of the product/experience they are promoting, so this step is most likely even more important for anyone looking to push into the digital space on their own without a marketing team behind them.
It is true that most bloggers start out simply writing for themselves. I know this is the case for me, as I often use my posts as a means to wax poetic about topics that I love but don’t really get to go into full detail about in every day conversations about. And, for a moment, it was satisfying… until it wasn’t.
While it was cathartic, and I loved seeing who was viewing, liking or commenting on the content, the realization that I was not motivating or inspiring anyone to participate hit home as soon as I started to do more research, reading and educating myself on branding, blogging and promotion. Did I just want my circle of social media contacts to be impacted? Did I want my hyper local and regional neighborhood to hear my voice? Was I trying to educate people on MY JOURNEY? I was I trying to teach? Inspire? Guide? Entertain? Sell? Did I want to help people on THEIR JOURNEY? Did our journeys have to be the same? Or could many different journeys find value within varied topics on my site?
I started my task of creating the profile of my ideal reader two weeks ago. I visited my favorite blogs, reviewed my book collection, thought of my hobbies and habits… watched my property, my daughter, my marriage… the ins and outs of who I am… and now am asking – WHAT am I trying to say, and WHO do I want to answer? I think the process is almost easier when you have a finite product versus a nebulous, evolving, non-physical idea that you are trying to breathe life into. Selling a frying pan? Who’s your consumer? Knowing that determines your promotion and imaging, your pricing, your to-marketplace plan, your retailer expansion philosophy, your media platforming…
Selling homemade soap? Ok, who is your ideal consumer?
Selling the philosophy of self-reliance and educating someone on how to make homemade soap? Who is your ideal reader?
Writing about the life of a woman who has left a corporate position, to work on bringing her home and small farm property to productive health, with a focus on making more than buying, growing more than purchasing, removing obstacles versus having needless habits, becoming more resilient versus reliant…. who is the ideal reader?
I am still working through my thoughts… and it is a rabbit hole of questions that lead to more questions…
Honestly, I feel that being a Jill of all trades is not exactly helping LOL. So, yeah, there’s that.
What is MY ONE THING? Do I need a ‘ONE THING” or can being ME be enough? Is there any sort of space for a ‘real’ growth story of a gritty, small farm out there amongst the glossy, high profile, shiny, perfectly-lit personal brands?
My next step is to break down a list of my strengths and weaknesses and cobble together a content plan that would support a ‘brand’ or ‘me product’ that I can associate with the blog.
I am quite sure that I am over thinking this. (Ask any of my former coworkers or employees or bosses for that matter… I can be a bit EXTRA and intense when it comes to … well, everything?) But, considering I have never had to brand or market anything… and I am really good at executing strategies and inspiring growth, I definitely have to learn to walk before I run. I am used to grabbing the reigns after someone else has done the initial creation.
As daunting as it feels, it is exciting to know that I am working on creating something new.
Now that challenge is to understand what it is before I run off and shout about it.