The 3 Questions EVERY Blogger Must Ask Themselves

I’ve somehow evolved into the very thing I promised myself I’d never become: a media strategist.

You see, once upon a time, I was a newspaper reporter, a.k.a. a Jedi Knight. Then, the evil economy forced me into the Dark Side (a.k.a. public relations). And somewhere along the way, I decided if I wanted to become my own writer, I’d better take advantage of all these media and marketing strategies I was learning.

Behold, I can now say with authority, I know how to market myself as a writer (and I’d do more if I had additional time). I can pinpoint the good blogs from the bad. I can tell which ones will thrive, and which will falter.

And I can tell you the three key questions EVERY blogger must ask themselves, if they want to see their readership grow:

1) What is this blog all about (a theme)?

The most successful blogs have a theme. Some may be literary agents offering tips to up-and-coming writers. Others are humor blogs. My blog, for example, is a writing blog. The theme or brand is “Rogue Writer.”

If you really want to see your blog grow, ask yourself: What is this blog ABOUT? Is it a travel blog? A photography blog? A news blog, or a parenting and health blog?

Decide, and stick to it (even if you stray occasionally–like me). That will build your niche, slowly but surely.

2) What is my main goal with this blog (get subscribers? sell a book?)?

If you have a goal in mind, everything  on your blog works toward that goal. If you’re everywhere at once, you won’t actually build or sell anything.

For example, the main goal with my blog right now, is to build readership. A following. Therefore, the very first “widget” on my blog’s righthand column, invites visitors to subscribe via RSS feed or email. A few inches down, I invite visitors to follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

I’ve expanded my network by partnering with other bloggers and writing guest posts. I write one new post a week, consistently, so my followers know to expect something. All of these tactics work toward building my online following.

And, it’s working (slowly but surely). Know what you want, and build toward it.

3. When, and how often, will I post?

Decide this up front. Will you post once a week, every Wednesday? Or twice a week—every Tuesday and Thursday? The key is to REMAIN CONSISTENT.

This consistency gives your readers a sense of professionalism. Just like magazine subscribers can expect their publication the first of every month, blog subscribers can expect a new post every Tuesday.

Just remember, whatever you decide, you need to keep up with it. So even if you can post three times a week right now, ask yourself: “Can I come up with three new ideas every week—and write them—five months from now?” My suggestion is to start slow, then add on if you have the time.

SO TELL ME: Do you have any key questions to add onto this list? What do YOU think are the most important aspects for bloggers to consider, for success?

Do you like the advice offered here? Then don’t miss the next post! Sign up to get my weekly posts delivered by email, straight to your inbox.

21 responses to “The 3 Questions EVERY Blogger Must Ask Themselves”

  1. Your post is not only great in content, but it is also a prime example of your it’s easy to read and very scroll friendly. I actually scrolled through the questions and was then hooked to read the details. Very well done.


    1. Thank you! 🙂 Sorry for the late reply. I have actually been taking a “blogging break” for the past several months and haven’t logged into my account for awhile.

  2. […] 5. The 3 Questions EVERY Blogger Must Ask Themselves […]

  3. KatherineBayless Avatar

    As a newcomer to social media, I have so much to learn! It is exciting and terrifying at the same time. Thank you for this sensible post. These questions drill down to the heart of the matter and have given me much to think about, especially question number one!

    1. Hi Katherine,

      Oh, I am SO happy these questions helped you! About a year-and-a-half ago, I was very new to social media too. However, for my job, I HAD to learn it. Through all those crazy learning curves, I discovered that these three questions drill to the heart of what makes a good blog (Twitter, Facebook, all that is another story … oy!). Might I invite you to subscribe to my blog via email? You’ll get an email every week when I post new entries, and perhaps it may help you along the learning curve? You can sign up here:


      1. KatherineBayless Avatar

        Yay! Yes, thank you for the personal invitation to subscribe. I should have done that earlier, but I’ve been popping all over the place lately, with trying to figure things out. (I have been following you on Twitter–that’s how I discovered your blog. A perfect example of your own marketing at work!) I only just created my Twitter account a few days ago–KatBayless. I have to admit that it scares me, so I expect I’ll be a mouse for a while! Okay, deep breath! Baby steps is my mantra these days. 😉

  4. Shari,

    I appreciate this post for its simplicity and straight-forwardness. You’ve given us writers who blog a focus that’s reasonable and manageable.

    Thank you,
    Renee Ronika Klug

    1. Thank you Renee!

  5. Having my theme …keeps me focused on what I want to say to people that read …hoping to stay stimulated …and will, because life itself is so stimulating….just look around …I love your writings…they help others to see their goal as real…or maybe in need of a tweak here and there…thanks!

    1. Wow, what a compliment! Thank you! It always feels so good to hear someone tell me they LOVE my writings, and what those writings do for them. I am so happy they help you see your goals as real. They help me remember MY goals can be real too! LOL! 🙂

  6. […] “The 3 Questions Every Blogger Must Ask Themselves,” Shari Lopatin, Rogue Writer: These are really great questions, and as a fan of Shari’s blog, I can say it’s clear she’s asked them of herself. […]

  7. Great post! I also liked the Jedi Knight/Dark Side comment. I’ve been bumbling around with my blog for a while, but I just don’t have a theme. Most of the time I just write about what’s on my mind, with an occasional post for the Weekly Photo Challenge.

    I agree, every blogger should be able to answer those three questions. Maybe someday I’ll be able to answer them too. 😉

    1. Thank you for stopping by and leaving your great comment! Like I told my blogging buddy (V.V. Denman) below, the original theme of this blog was actually, “Peanuts and Watermelon.” Sometimes, you find the best theme and direction for your blog through its natural evolution. Just keep asking those questions, and you’ll do great!

  8. Had to laugh at your comment about the transition from newspaper reporter, a.k.a. a Jedi Knight, to the Dark Side of public relations. I started out the same way: newspaper reporter. Then PR in higher ed, then freelance writing for marketing – mixed in with magazine journalism, and now fiction. I think we become stronger, more versatile writers having had the experience of writing in ALL those areas! I’m now adding technical writing to my arsenal. Woo wee… And look what that diversity has done for you and your blog!

    1. Hahaha! Yea, anyone who works in the field knows that joke. 🙂 I agree, though! The diversity has done wonders for me as a writer, and for this blog! You too, on yours. And like you, I’m moving more toward the creative realm, and really enjoying it right now! Thanks for your comment. Sorry mine is so late. I just got back in town tonight!

  9. Like Julia, I always try to connect with my readers as well. I try to respond to all comments. But I can’t always. So I always follow the blogs of my consistent commentors. And I will always visit a blog of someone who comments. It’s just a nice way to show support.

    1. I agree, Leah. I try and pay the most attention to my consistent commentors on their sites, as that’s where to best build loyalty for everyone, I think. Thanks for being one of MY top commentators! Sorry for my delayed response. I just got back in town. 🙂

  10. Great post — my blog is also a “writer’s blog,” and I share your goal to build subscribers/followers, but also to make connections with other writers. I think you’ve hit great questions on the head; I would add that I make sure I connect with every person who leaves a comment on my blog –first by replying in comments and then by visiting their blog or via Twitter.

    1. That’s a GREAT add-on! It’s a magnificent way to connect with other writers, and build a LOYAL following. 🙂 I must admit, I’ve been struggling to keep up with my online circle lately with some life craziness. Thanks for commenting Julia! Sorry for the belated response. Just got back in town!

  11. Thanks for an excellent post reminding me to focus. I keep changing my mind about my blog. That’s not good.

    1. I’ve actually changed my mind about this blog a few times, as well. In fact, the original title and theme of this blog was, “Peanuts and Watermelon,” a blog about starting my all-organic garden (which I have yet to do) and mixing it with the rebirth of my creativity as a writer. However, sometimes the natural evolution of our blogs, I’ve noticed, help them find success! Thanks for commenting, V.V.! Sorry on the late response. Just got back in town. 🙂

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