Starting off with your blog, you don’t know who you’re writing to. Sometimes it can feel like your blog is your personal journal and you can just let it all out, since no one is probably reading it anyway. BUT, that may be one of the worst mistakes you could be making when writing your blog posts. You need to know who you are writing to and WHY they are reading your post.
Your Biggest Mistake When Writing A Blog Post
The Difference Between a Journal and a Blog
If you just want to let out all your feelings, then you might want to write in a personal journal or a diary instead. No need to set up a blog and worry about privacy settings, branding and social media since it’s just all about you, you, you. How is a blog different? A blog is something you are writing TO someone else. They are reading your words, thoughts and feelings for a reason – and that reason is all their own. It really has nothing to do with you, besides finding someone who can help them with their problems.
How Can You Solve Their Problem
There it is. The ONLY reason someone is coming to your blog to read your posts – how can you solve their problems? This is where your writing skills come in to play.
Perhaps you had a bad day and yelled at your kids and you feel horrible. I’ve been there and it can be therapeutic to write about it. You can handle it two ways – if you wanted to just journal about it, you would write about what happened, and how it made you feel and maybe make a promise or two not to react that way again. That would be helpful to YOU.
But what about your reader? Do they really care that you cried yourself to sleep? Do they care that you promised not to yell at your kids again? No, not really. They want to know how THEY can stop yelling at their own kids.
So, you turn your post around. Remember it’s not about you, it’s about that other mom who feels bad and wants to know what she can do to make herself feel better.
Your post can start off about you and your experience. Tell that other mom what happened and how you felt, because she probably felt that way too. Validate her feelings by letting her know she’s not alone. But that’s not the end – you need to solve her problem.
Create a list of things she can do next time – an actionable list that will help her not yell next time or react differently. By the end of your post, you have helped someone solve a problem that was bothering them so much they took to the internet to look for solutions. And you’ve gained a loyal reader in the process.
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Your 5 Step Plan Of Action
Step 1 – Know Your Reader
Build a picture of who your ideal reader is. Most likely, she is someone just like you, with similar problems and issues in her life. Write it down – how old is she, where does she live, does she have kids, things like that. Get to know her like you would get to know a new friend. Be as specific as you need to be. Even give her a name if you want. This is who you are writing to when you write your posts.
Step 2 – Describe the Problem
Start your post with a description of the problem. Is it something you experienced? How did you feel about it? Remember that most readers make a decision to read the entire post based on the first few sentences, so make sure they are worth sticking around for. Your first impression is everything.
Step 3 – Solve the Problem
Finally, make sure you solve the problem for your reader. Make sure anyone reading your post can take away a solution they can apply to their own life.
Step 4 – The “Who Cares” Test
If a stranger told you this story, would you care? How quickly do you “get to the point” in the writing and make the reader care about what is happening and how it affects them? Is this something you would want to read if you hadn’t written it?
Step 5 – The “Shareability” Test
The goal of shareability is to write something that your readers will want to share with their friends. Try to make every post life-changing or so incredibly helpful that everyone who reads it will immediately want to show all their friends. This is usually easier said than done, but it should be the goal of everything you write. You want to help as many people as possible, right? And the only way to do that is to write really amazing content. If it’s boring or doesn’t help someone solve a problem, then your readers won’t share it and they also won’t come back for more.
Fix Your Mistakes
One of the things I love best about having a blog is the big EDIT button on the side. You can edit a post every single day if you like, and it’s absolutely fine. Of course, that’s a lot of work though. That’s why it’s easier to get it right the first time. But if you wrote some boring, journal style posts in the past, you DO NOT need to delete them or let them go to waste.
Consider the post and the 5 Step Plan of Action above. Most likely your post is stuck in Step 2 where you’re describing the problem and your reaction to it. It’s easy peasy to fix that – just go through Steps 1, 3, 4 and 5 and maybe re-write step 2 a little. You can even re-write the post title if you think it will make the post more shareable.
One thing to consider though – DO NOT change the URL of the post. Even if your post was only shared once on Pinterest, if you change the URL without redirecting it, you lose out on that share whenever someone tries to click on that pin. So make the change to the post title, but leave the URL alone. Don’t worry, this is perfectly fine to do. The URL doesn’t usually change automatically either, just be sure not to change it yourself.