Stage 1 - Starting the 'S' curve
Almost every average blogger who starts blogging starts here. Key characteristics at this stage,
- Minimal focus on the content itself (assuming that you are an average starter like me)
- Drive is to post rather than worry too much about the niche / quality etc of the posting
- Low to Medium exposure to other blogs in areas that you broadly want to cover
- Getting people to read your blog is the only focus - monetizing your blog is hopefully low on the list.
As you make some postings and hopefully get some people reading your blog there are quite a few changes that one can see in the characteristics above,
- You feel your have some people reading your postings and start feeling the pressure of living up to what ever expectations that you have created in their minds.
- Meeting expectations means that you don't want to blog every idea that comes to your mind - some focus on content and quality starts coming in
- As you have started blogging the exposure to other blogs in increasing - you pick ideas on how and what to blog - this some what conditions the mind
- Getting more traffic and starting to monetize your blog become objectives for you.
As you traffic and postings increase you are starting to both benefit and face the challenges from the increased readership
- You have more people reading and hopefully contributing on your blog which makes idea generation for content easier
- Network effects start kicking in and your avenues for monetizing the revenue increase - well of course more options means more complications too !
- More people means more expectations - time that you might need to spend would increase and that makes it tougher
- You chose your niche in Stage 2 and now your increasing set of reader condition and narrow it down a little further - you are somewhat forced to restrain yourself to what your readers want. Of course you can take the approach that you keep your niche and lose some readers on the way !
Further down the road and its time to reap the benefits of the tough climb up the curve
- Your network is so strong that it can sustain with minimal contribution from you - the day you probably stop spending time in building the network your simply slip back to the earlier stages
- People look up to you as a thought leader in your chosen niche and you again get the chance to widen your scope - you are leading your network in addition to their guiding you
- Monetizing your blog is much simpler now - any option you choose would mostly work with a little tweaking may be
- You abilities in being able to network with the other thought leaders is put to a thorough test
Having been in Stage 4 for a while I guess the blogger needs to realize that it is time for him to either innovate or saturate. Some of the options that come to my mind at athis point for a blogger are,
- Sell off and restart the journey on a new S curve
- Get your users to graduate on a new S curve - could be a different focus (albeit related), an entirely new way of taking your network along