Blogs exist for so many different reasons, and they usually evolve into something much more over time than what was first envisioned. We all have different motivations behind our blogs, and knowing our purpose and finding our voice is key to really utilising our space to create something that has both impact and reach.
But how do I know my purpose, I hear you ask. It's not really as intense as it sounds, and after being involved in the online community for a while now I think I can break it down into five different categories - though most of us exist somewhere in-between one or two (or even three) of them.
As a resource
There are bloggers who exist as a resource within most niches, whether it's your go-to beauty blog with the low down on all the latest releases, your favourite style blogger who is constantly sharing the latest from the front row, or content creators who share blogging, freelancing, and creative advice - there is so much awesome information available out there just waiting for us. The main purpose for me when it comes to this blog is to hopefully be a resource of encouraging, useful, and interesting creative, lifestyle, and blogging advice, and whatever your niche these type of blogs exist to inform and help their readers along the way.
Blogs that offer up inspirational content are some of my favourites, and my content sometimes fits into this area when I share life lessons and creative advice. Lifestyle blogs are an awesome example of inspirational content - creators sharing snippets from every day life and lessons learned along the way that helps us dig a little deeper and reflect on our own lives. Blogs that exist to inspire usually embrace both long-form content and visual storytelling, and this type of content usually comforts, inspires, and is thought provoking for it's readers.
We all know these kind of blogs, the ones with dreamy photographs and aspirational lives, and they are the perfect bridge between magazines and the blogging industry. At a glance you may wonder what exactly it is they blog about, but there's a reason that there are so many successful aspirational blogs out there and it's because as readers we love to lose ourselves within the Pinterest perfect lives of others.
To build community
Probably the main motivation behind most of us when we first start our blogs; to build and develop an online community of awesome likeminded people. We want to share our passions and interests, and connect with people who can relate to the words we're putting out there, and that's why niches like Beauty and Fashion/Personal Style are so popular as so many people are passionate about those industries and want to share that with each other.
Online content in general is a form of entertainment, but blogs that exist to entertain usually offer lighthearted, topical, and engaging content that can be a great escape from the boredom of every day life. You can find these type of blogs in any and every niche, and the purpose and type of content offered usually works alongside other categories, but they're usually a very positive and interesting space that readers look forward to visiting every day.
So maybe you create content to both build a community and help and inform others, or maybe your blog is focused on entertaining and inspiring your readers - whatever it is, that's your purpose, and knowing why you're creating content and the reason behind it is a great way to build a super focused and consistent online space.
So you may be wondering where a manifesto comes into all of this. Sometimes it can be hard to stay focused along the way when we blog - so much is happening around us that it's super easy to become distracted. To stay on track, and build a clear and consistent blog with content that connects with and attracts your ideal audience, a manifesto can be the perfect thing to guide you and keep you focused along the way.
A manifesto is basically a statement that summarises your values, your intensions, and your motives - you can usually find them on About pages and they help new readers really understand what that blog is about and who it is for. Awesome websites like The Every Girl and Clementine Daily both share their manifestos on their site, though I also think it's worth building one just for you so you can refer back to it every time you create content and want to remember why you're creating and who you're creating for.
If you're interested in building a manifesto - whether to share on your site and marketing materials, or just as a resource for you to help you focus and narrow in, I think asking yourself the following three questions is a great way to really figure out what you want your site to be:
What is your blogs purpose? Reading through the categories shared above, where do you want your content to fit? Do you want to inspire? Do you want to help? Do you want to entertain? Ask yourself why you're creating your online space - is it to build a community? to establish your voice within an industry? to share you work and knowledge etc?
Who is your ideal reader and target audience? Different blogs will appeal to different readerships, and knowing who your content is aimed at is super important when it comes to creating content that really connects with your readers. Regina's How To Create An Ideal Reader Profile For Your Blog is a must read if you really want to narrow in on who you're writing for.
How do you want your readers to feel when they read your content? What impact do you want your content to have? Do you want to start a conversation? Or inspire someone into action? Or maybe just be a positive part of someones day? Knowing why you're creating and the effect you want it to have is so important. If you see Shauna's manifesto over at Nubby Twiglet you see she outlines exactly who her content is for, why it exists, and what she hopes people to gain from it.
Can you relate to any of these categories? Do you have a manifesto for your blog?
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