Before You Blog: What Are You Writing About?

When you sit down to write a blog post, what are you thinking about? 

Are you thinking about the idea you're super excited to write out before you lose it to life's distractions? Are you thinking about how you just have to write this thing today because you're supposed to write a new post every month/week/day {please don't hold yourself...most people should not write every day, or at least not publish every day}.

The thing is, those scenarios have something in common. They're all about you.

 what are you blogging about

What if, for each blog post you write, you ask yourself two questions:

 

What is the one thing I want people to learn here?

 

What change am I seeking to affect in my reader?

 

When you start with this mindset, you're putting yourself into the mind of your reader. You're thinking about how you can be useful to them. You might start even recognizing how your language can fit them better, how you can talk about your ideas more like a human, and not sound like a jargon-bot 3000. 

You might find that the idea you're so excited to write about isn't actually as exciting to your intended audience as it is to you. That's ok. You might skip it. That can be painful, but not as painful as putting time into content nobody reads. You might change it. That can be awesome, that just putting yourself into your dream clients' minds can help you find a way to make what's in your head matter more to what's in their heads, too.

what's the one thing you want people to learn here?

Really. One thing. Just one. If someone reads your article top to bottom {or, let's be honest, skims the headlines}, what's the one lesson you want them to go away with? The one thing they can do something about?

Why does that one thing matter to the person you're writing for? Why is it something they need to learn? What makes it matter to them? 

what change are you seeking to inspire in your reader? 

This is what makes that one thing matter to your reader. What's going to change for them once they've learned this one thing?

This focus helps you create useful content. Content that exists for a reason other than simply to create more content in an already noisy world.

Sometimes, that change you're seeking isn't just in the reader, but in yourself, too. Sometimes, we write for ourselves. We write because there's something we wish we'd learned earlier, that we know would've changed things for us in a real way. Or we've realized there's something we need to think about differently or do differently in order to achieve a change we want for ourselves. That's totally ok. If it's relevant for you, it's most likely relevant to other people, too. 

breathe and focus in on your reader before you start typing

I find that I write differently when I'm typing than when I've got a good old pen and paper in hand. Something about the keyboard and the screen changes things.

If you're like that too, try hand writing the answers to these two questions before your fingers hit the keyboard. It might allow you to engage that part of your brain that turns off when you're already at the screen, and already feel like you're typing for someone else.

Beyond the value of the practice of handwriting anything, you'll also have a physical reminder right in front of you while you write, and something you can refer back to before you publish.

review your post before your publish.
did you nail those two questions?

Each blog post is a request for a person's time + attention. Giving you that time + attention is worth it if you taught them one useful thing that has the potential to help them affect a certain change for their life or work.

To keep yourself honest, and see if you've made that blog post worthwhile to your reader -- and not just to yourself -- once you've finished that post, review it to see if you nailed those two questions.

Happy blogging!


How do you make the content in your marketing matter?

It all starts with a marketing Master Plan. Because you need to know what to say + do. And that becomes clear when you know why you're doing marketing and who you're doing it for. But that can all seem really complicated when you're trying to do it all by yourself.


get some more blog + content marketing ideas...