If you can’t explain your blog in one sentence, it probably won’t attract readers. But you don’t have to invest a lot of time in your blog, manuscript, or service to know if it will succeed. All you have to do is describe it to someone who doesn’t have a clue.
It’s that simple.
If you can’t, then stop what you’re doing and go back to ”why” you’re doing it in the first place. Once you determine your “why,” it will be easy to know who you are trying to reach with your creation and how it can help them. When you understand why and how then you’ll have a successful outcome.
For example, the first version of this blog came while I was “flying the friendly skies.” I intended to create a daily log about life as a stewardess and discuss my perspective from 35,000 feet.
Meeting people from all over the world, I learned that we all desire the same thing. So, naturally, I wanted to talk about human behavior. My blog attracted a mix of travel writers and bloggers who write about the human condition. Although it appeared I was writing about travel, it was a different type of travelogue. It was one that focused on travelers going to destinations. So, it turned out that less than 1% of those subscribers commented or read my blog at all. I learned my “who” was a tiny audience who, like me, was also interested in or didn’t understand why people did the things they do.
Oddly, as a career marketing and communication professional, I do know what motivates most people. But I rejected the assumption. I didn’t want to write about pedestrian human behavior or how marketers manipulate consumers. It feels wrong to stereotype people or put them in boxes. Even when they prove the assumption to be correct most of the time. My goal was and continues to be to move us out of those boxes put our humanity on display. Therefore, my travelogue featured anecdotes of worldwide travelers. It was my goal to hold up a mirror to show how we unpack our humanness. If the blog had a logline, it would read:
An embittered stewardess finds her humanity while in service to travelers worldwide.
The prospective audience was curious to find out how being in service to weary travelers helped reopen the stewardess’s heart to find love, compassion, and creativity again. With clear direction on the subject, I could:
- decide what I wanted to accomplish with my blog,
- know who I was writing to and why,
- determine which topics are most important to them.
If I did that, my blog would have been a success. That is if I considered my blog as a business at the onset. But I didn’t. In the beginning, it was more of vanity publishing, and as a result, the blog has been through several versions in the last 5 years.
So, there you have it, an example of how to fail at blogging. Don’t waste 5 years figuring out how to grow an audience for your blog.
Before you post your first word,
- start with why you’re writing it.
- Who you’re writing the blog for,
- and how the blog will benefit them…and “they will come.”
- By the way, what you hope to accomplish with your blog could be altruistic, i.e., make a social impact. But remember, you will need to generate enough income to keep it going too.
If you’re still wondering what most people want, it’s this: people want others to acknowledge that they matter.
~Happy Holidays, Happy Hanukkah, and a very Merry Christmas!