Blog Challenge: Top 10 State of Sunshine Goals for 2007

Shortly after switching to WordPress to power this blog, I subscribed to Lorelle on WordPress. I have found her bog helpful as I ponder how this blog will move forward — but it might be a little to “inside the blogosphere” for most of my readers.

Anyway, today she posted a blog challenge: come up with a Top 10 goals for 2007. So, without much ado, here are mine:

10. Grow my readership. Right now, I have a number of loyal readers, and I’m sure more people read my RSS feed than visit my site. However, I want to work to grow this into one of the most widely read political blog in Florida. I appreciate those who have been with me from the beginning, and thank you for your support (even if we disagree politically).
9. Find a way to make money. Okay, everyone wants to get paid doing something they love. I think the best way to get paid for working on State of Sunshine will be to find advertisers. Of course, without a larger readership, it may be difficult to ask for any advertising money, let alone enough to be substantial. I didn’t start this to make money, but if I can get some income from it, I can devote more time to it.
8. Start podcasting. One of the neat parts of moving to WordPress is that I can include audio files in my posts. (My MLK post, for example, included his “I Have a Dream” speech.) These audio files can then be downloaded into your iPod or mp3 player through feed readers like Juice. I will even put them into iTunes once I start writing more.
7. Improve the technology behind this blog. WordPress is great, and I will probably stick with them. They have issued a new release, and I need to upgrade already. However, I will also need to keep watching for new plugins that can help make the State of Sunshine better.
6. Research and write more original stories. A lot of my content comes from media reports, or reading other blogs. I want to become a little more of a blogger-qua-journalist by doing a little more real reporting. Don’t worry, I will not be a new Drudge — but I would like to help blur the line between this medium and the MSM.
5. Keep learning. I am always learning new things, but my goal is to keep expanding my understanding of politics, the blogosphere, and the intersection of the two. This technology is still so new, and it’s application in politics still largely untested, that I find I am still moving up the learning curve.
4. Interview politicos. Okay, so a blog with an admittedly limited readership isn’t going to draw a lot of politicos. However, if I can achieve goal 8, then I can provide them with audio files they can use. I won’t be Chris Matthews or Tim Russert, but being able to ask elected officials and political pundits questions about the issues of the day would be an interesting addition to the State of Sunshine.
3. Be a source for the MSM. The media are warming up to bloggers more and more, and I hope to be (aspire to be) someone they contact for insight and analysis on Florida politics. I was on the ABC Action News election night webcast with Brendan McLaughlin, and enjoyed the experience. No, I’m not craving the spotlight, but when the MSM reaches out to someone, it provides credibility and reinforces that they are an expert in there subject area.

A subset of this goal would be to work with many of the local political pundits on their shows – Flashpoint, Florida This Week, and Political Connections. If you are a Tampa Bay reader of State of Sunshine, I urge you to DVR these shows every week.
2. Win a 2007 Best of the Bay Award. Don’t get me wrong, I am just glad I have my own soapbox on the Internet, and the fact that a few people are reading my blog still astounds me. I almost have a Sally Field moment anytime there’s a comment. However, since I want to reach higher, I can’t think of anything better than winning another Best of the Bay Award.
1. Keep going. The term blogfade has been coined because a lot of bloggers start strong and fade away after a little while. It happened to me, slightly, before the holidays. My goal is to make sure that I keep up with this blog – in whatever form it takes.

About Jim Johnson

Editor and publisher of The State of Sunshine.
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6 Responses to Blog Challenge: Top 10 State of Sunshine Goals for 2007

  1. Lorelle says:

    I’m glad my “bog” is helpful. ;-)

    Great list. You’ve got some wonderful goals many bloggers should put on their list.

    As for making money, why not consider building traffic and content for at least six months to a year before you start adding ads. It will build an audience and you will get more benefit than the ton of energy maintaining ads takes and the little return (very little for a long time) on the investment. I’ve seen many people spend 4-20 hours a week maintaining their site to support ads, and make USD $40 a month or less. Not a good return on your time investment.

    Building a blog is a better investment.

    Good luck and let me know how it goes through the year!

  2. Chuck Palm says:

    Jim, I love your list, and I hope I can help you achieve many of these goals! Keep on cranking, and I’ll help you start PODCASTING! Well done, my friend.

    Chuck

  3. kate says:

    These are great goals. I think your site would grow even more if you made the comments sections more of a discussion. People would tune in several times throughout the day, even after they’ve read a post, if the comment thread continues. Not quite sure how to keep that consistent as the commenters can be fickle and not quite consistent. However, try responding, commenting on other sites, etc. and that might encourage people to comment more on yours. Encouraging more of a dialogue with readers would give them more ownership and they’d participate more often.

    Just a thought.

  4. Jim Johnson says:

    Thanks, Kate. Excellent suggestions.

    I do try to respond to comments, but a lot of my readers only read. I suppose I need to start picking more controversial subjects… or actually ask for comments.

    You are right that I should comment a lot more on other people’s blogs — that was actually suggested at the BlogOrlando unconference I attended. Just don’t quite have THAT much time… yet.

  5. Laura says:

    Great goals !
    Don’t believe for a minute that MSM is not paying attention.

    From our blogs we find our ideas spread far and wide. And swiped … Since we’re activists we consider this a good thing.

    What’s interesting is to use some key words and phrases, keep coming up with new ones that are easy for you to search and identify …. (lucky you hanging out with the au currant student pop.) … and then you can track how your stuff is being distributed and read.
    I used to use a little experiment with credit card companies by using middle name or initials in varying ways to discern who was selling my name to mailing lists. In this fashion you can find your audience …
    I’ll be following along. Nice layout.

  6. Laura says:

    As to commenting on other peoples’ blogs I will say this: I keep it right. IF it moves me I comment and in that way, even if it takes time, it’s not a waste of same … sorta like killing two birds with one stone…

    Sometimes I feel like I have spent my day on this but I believe this is a powerful tool that we had better USE or LOSE.

    Some people are controversial without even meaning to be. Which is fun. I think keeping it REAL is what people are after. When I can find someone with an honest take whether I agree with them or not, I read em and talk to em.
    And, I stick with them. I think that’s the audience that lorelle refers to. Maybe.

    What do I know?

    Good luck and see you again.

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