Dec 252011

This guest post is by Matthew Setter of The Dreamers Manifesto.

Have you wanted to start a blog, a website or an online business, but you’re not sure where to begin? Are you already putting in the hard yards to build one or the other or both, but you’re not sure if it’s going where you want it to go?

The reader puzzle

Image copyright FotolEdhar –

Building blogs and online businesses is very exciting, but it’s a very challenging endeavor as well. Whilst the excitement helps, some days it’s never enough to prepare you for just what it takes to be successful, as always there’s so much to do.

Here’s a common list:

  • the epic content that you have to write, both for your blog and for the guest posts for other peoples blogs
  • the work to build a social media presence on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, StumbleUpon, and Reddit—amongst others
  • the SEO research that you have to perform, from keyword research and analysis to implementing SEO in your post titles, excerpts, links, images, headers, and meta data
  • reviewing your site statistics and analytics on a regular basis, so that you know how you’re going
  • establishing and building a growing mailing list of people who want to be more actively involved with your community
  • the time you need to take reaching out to fellow bloggers and networking with people so they even know you exist
  • searching for and getting in touch with affiliates and partners (i.e., checking email).

Even reading this list can leave you feeling a bit exhausted. Whatever happened to “build it and they will come”? Well, I’m sorry to say it, but as exciting as it is to do all this—you have to work to build your dreams and make them come true.

But I’m not going to dissuade you—heck no! Today, I’m going to share four key pointers that will help you build your dream blog sooner than you’d anticipated with less time and effort wasted.

1. Have a dream

The first and most fundamental thing you need is to have a dream. This is something dear to my heart, it’s something very important. You need to know what you’re setting out to achieve. Whether that’s a legacy, an achievement, a journey, to continue a tradition, to gain satisfaction, to leave your job, or whatever. No matter what you do, you need to know why.

Without the why, you may soon

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