A fair bit of blogging advice centers on attracting readers and keeping them. There is a lot of good advice out there as well.
However, along with that advice you also need a method to test whether you are on the right track with your blog or not.
A simple way to test whether your blog provides value to the community is to put yourself in the shoes of your readers and ask yourself the following questions:
- Is this blog unique? Does this blog provide any information that I cannot find anywhere else?
- Is this blog original? Does it offer personal opinion instead of regurgitating or echoing views that other people share?
- Is this blog essential? If I unsubscribed to this blog today, what would I lose out on?
If you’re not providing information that is hard to find elsewhere, or providing original analysis, or providing something essential and useful that your target audience cannot do without, you’re wasting your time.
Take 10 posts at random from your blog (the 1st, the 11th, the 21st (and so on)) and read them again. Imagine that it was from another blog – if that was all that this blog offered, would you still be subscribed to it?
The hard reality is that 90% of the time, the answer is no. It’s no because there’s nothing new there. It’s no because there’s nothing useful there.
Would you read your own blog, or would you unsubscribe from it?
This article was originally written 9 Apr 2007 for SearchEngineJournal.com.