May 062007
 

Well. Does it? You can instantly tell that I was once trained as an academic because my answer is: It depends. (I often identify very much with Agnes Nitt the witch who is always in two minds about everything. She’s also a singer but that’s totally besides the point here. So I add it anyway.)

If your blog is needing a mission statement depends mainly on two things, on you and on your blog. If you have a business blog or plan to become rich by blogging you better have one. If you just blog for yourself and maybe your family of course you don’t. If you are a person who likes to putter along, be spontaneous, and do whatever she likes – no mission statement. If you are like me and require a plan, a system, and a list for absolutely everything in your life – then you need a mission statement.

The thing about lists, plans, and systems is though, that they can be as abstract as you like them to be. So while I tend to acquire goals like other people women acquire shoes I don’t necessarily stick to them. In the last week alone I have started to work towards a brilliant new career as a tarot reader, towards the total de-cluttering of the attic and the garage, and started learning a totally new way to play guitar though I haven’t mastered the old one in any way yet. The vision is always beautiful and then the pesky little details all get in the way. But back to the meta-blogging. (I’ll have to write about my new status as a professional dilettante some other time.)

As you can see I’m really not good at this blogging-advice thing but since I have thought so much about it and since the question of “how do I make my blog attractive”, and how do I get a better technorati ranking interests most of us bloggers I’ll try it nonetheless.

In my post about my current blogger’s block I wrote that I need a new mission statement. I have thought a lot about that statement lately. So I found that my main mission statement still remains the same:

I want to write a blog that I would like to read.

There. That was easy. Um. So what am I enjoying in a good blog? When I started this whole blog thing I found that I didn’t want to have one of those: “And then I went out for coffee and met Claudia.”-blogs. Who is Claudia? Why should I care what you had as a snack? On the other hand this clearly is a personal blog. Not a business blog. And since I’m me and this is mine I tend to write I, me, and myself a lot. When I read that I shouldn’t it only made me self-conscious. There are other parts of my initial mission statement – which by the way never was written down – that still apply:

I like posts that are longer than one or two paragraphs.

I like personal posts, but I like them more when the writer is still thinking of an audience. For example blog posts should be legible even for people who happen to stumble on the blog for the first time. (Hi, all you bag lovers who found me through flickr. This isn’t a crafts blog. I hope you enjoy it anyway.) On the other hand you don’t want to explain everything right from the beginning every time. Again, a balance thing.

I like to read blogs that have both deep and thoughtful posts and shallower and funnier posts. Again, balance.

I like to show how I live as a mother, teacher, musician, creative person so that other people, especially mothers, are encouraged to follow their dreams and do something creative. This I’m teaching mostly by being a bad example but at least you can point somewhere and say, “Well, it might have worked if only…”

So in this I try to reach out and say, “Look, you are not alone. There are other people like you.”
And then of course I say, “Look at me.” Because I like to be looked at as we all do. (And this time “we” means “us bloggers” or “us human beings”. I just say, because my husband pointed out to me that when I write “we” it always means “my husband and I”. Sorry. Or not. Mommybloggers are narcistic and egocentrical. Everybody knows that.)

But when you look I’d like to make what you see as interesting as I possibly can.

Since I have a life outside the computer I tend to post about 8 to 10 times a month. All the bloggers in the know tell you to post at least daily. But I say, “And who can read all that? And who can write that much?” Obviously there are people out there who can and I’m reading my fair share of them but I have to admit that there are several blogs I have stopped reading because there were up to ten new posts daily. Really. Sorry, but that’s too much for me.

So you can see that my mission statement is very unprofessional. But it can be since this isn’t a professional blog. It took me a while to realize this. At first I tried to improve this blog like a business blogger. I started writing magnetic headlines with lots of “How to…” and “Why… headlines. I took the free ecourse on blogging that Wendy Piersall is offering, and it did help me a lot. Until I realized that after all this is only my small personal blog and that I don’t have to follow every advice.

If you are interested in writing a better blog, making money from blogging and stuff, I point you towards problogger, Liz Strauss, eMoms at home, and copyblogger. I, on the other hand, have stopped reading this kind of advice-blog for the moment. (And maybe one can tell.) I have the feeling that the most interesting readers to my blog come through comments I have been leaving elsewhere. So that our blogs really are forming a web.

What about you? (Of course this is what you do when you want your readers to feel good, you address them personally.) Do you have mission statement for your blog? What do you mean, you don’t have a blog. Why? What does your blog want to become when it’s grown-up?

(And don’t forget the Just Posts. There is still time to enter the roundtable until tomorrow.)

  21 Responses to “Does a blog need a mission statement anyway?”

  1. I haven’t figured what my blog wants to be when it grows up. This does, at times, make me anxious, but overall I try to adopt a more relaxed attitude. I read one of those well composed “20 items that make a good blog” articles. It turns out my blog does not comply with any of the twenty items. I became quite concerned about that, until I allotted myself enough slack to go slow at making positive changes over a longer period of time.

  2. I haven’t figured what my blog wants to be when it grows up. This does, at times, make me anxious, but overall I try to adopt a more relaxed attitude. I read one of those well composed “20 items that make a good blog” articles. It turns out my blog does not comply with any of the twenty items. I became quite concerned about that, until I allotted myself enough slack to go slow at making positive changes over a longer period of time.

  3. Hi Suzanne,
    I so enjoyed reading your posted and so agreed with what you have to say. I’m sorry to hear you’ve stopped reading my blog for the time being . . . and I’d love to have a conversation to learn more about it since I don’t write about blogging for money.

    I know my blogging goal was important to my getting to know how I would write my blog and how I would approach what blogs I read. So I’d interested in hearing your story. More than that I just find every blogger I meet is a fascinating person.

    Would you email me? I really would like to meet you. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Liz

  4. Hi Suzanne,
    I so enjoyed reading your posted and so agreed with what you have to say. I’m sorry to hear you’ve stopped reading my blog for the time being . . . and I’d love to have a conversation to learn more about it since I don’t write about blogging for money.

    I know my blogging goal was important to my getting to know how I would write my blog and how I would approach what blogs I read. So I’d interested in hearing your story. More than that I just find every blogger I meet is a fascinating person.

    Would you email me? I really would like to meet you. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Liz

  5. I forgot on my blogger account email doesn’t come through . . . lizsun2 @ gmail.com

  6. I forgot on my blogger account email doesn’t come through . . . lizsun2 @ gmail.com

  7. a mission statement. i like that.

    a life outside of blogging? how dare you. sheesh.

    xo

  8. a mission statement. i like that.

    a life outside of blogging? how dare you. sheesh.

    xo

  9. You know, I don’t really want to improve my technorati rating. I like getting comments but I panic when I get more comments than I can reasonably read back to. I like having a small close-knit bloggin community even though it often means lamenting not being able to read all the interesting bloggers that are out there just waiting for me to stumble upon them.

  10. You know, I don’t really want to improve my technorati rating. I like getting comments but I panic when I get more comments than I can reasonably read back to. I like having a small close-knit bloggin community even though it often means lamenting not being able to read all the interesting bloggers that are out there just waiting for me to stumble upon them.

  11. Suzanne, I’m glad you made that distinction between a personal blog and a business blog – sometimes I forget to point that out myself!

    So you are 100% correct – you certainly don’t need to follow all of the rules, especially when you’re writing for the audience of YOU. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Hope to see you back on my blog again soon! We’ll miss you on your break!

  12. Suzanne, I’m glad you made that distinction between a personal blog and a business blog – sometimes I forget to point that out myself!

    So you are 100% correct – you certainly don’t need to follow all of the rules, especially when you’re writing for the audience of YOU. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Hope to see you back on my blog again soon! We’ll miss you on your break!

  13. I like your mission statement. I think it’s probably very reflective of what a lot of us feel. I’m afraid that my blogging is less considered than yours. I don’t really have a vision of what it would be beyond my rambling on at length about a number of different things…

    Hm…I’m interested about the two ways you are learning to play guitar.

  14. My blog doesn’t want to grow up. It plays grown-up sometimes, but finds it overwhelming, gets that funny dizzy feeling that you get when you sip at the grown-ups champagne and things start getting blurry.

    So, no mission statement.

  15. My blog doesn’t want to grow up. It plays grown-up sometimes, but finds it overwhelming, gets that funny dizzy feeling that you get when you sip at the grown-ups champagne and things start getting blurry.

    So, no mission statement.

  16. I think that most bloggers want more of something, but we don’t necessarily all want more of the same thing. More random Google hits? More comments? More regular readers? More links? And the desire for more as a sign of success also exists in a kind of tension with the desire for more friendships (we want them, but then we don’t have time to keep up with them).

    I love the way you fess up to needing a plan for everything. That’s very much the stereotype of German culture. Do you think that’s typical for most Germans, or more of an individual trait?

  17. I think that most bloggers want more of something, but we don’t necessarily all want more of the same thing. More random Google hits? More comments? More regular readers? More links? And the desire for more as a sign of success also exists in a kind of tension with the desire for more friendships (we want them, but then we don’t have time to keep up with them).

    I love the way you fess up to needing a plan for everything. That’s very much the stereotype of German culture. Do you think that’s typical for most Germans, or more of an individual trait?

  18. So, thanks for all your considerate comments.

    I, by the way, haven’t figured out what my blog wants to become when it’s grown-up myself.

    I’m honored that so many of the bloggers I linked to have commented here.

    Most of these comments warrant a response by e-mail…

    I will have to figure out how to deal with comments eventually.

  19. So, thanks for all your considerate comments.

    I, by the way, haven’t figured out what my blog wants to become when it’s grown-up myself.

    I’m honored that so many of the bloggers I linked to have commented here.

    Most of these comments warrant a response by e-mail…

    I will have to figure out how to deal with comments eventually.

  20. heh heh

    As a lawyer in my previous life, ‘it depends’ was also a favorite answer for, well, pretty much everything.

    I blog for fun, primarily. If it stops being fun, well, I probably won’t do it anymore.

  21. heh heh

    As a lawyer in my previous life, ‘it depends’ was also a favorite answer for, well, pretty much everything.

    I blog for fun, primarily. If it stops being fun, well, I probably won’t do it anymore.

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