Wednesday February 27, 2013

Why Your Blog Didn’t Make the Cut

Blog

I was recently wondering how much bad advice is floating around the internet pertaining to best blogging techniques. To get an idea, I did a quick search for “bad blogging advice.”

On the first page of search results, eight out of the ten results had blog titles that were spot-on relevant to my search. Out of these eight blogs, five stood out as examples of strong, relevant content. Here’s what differentiated the memorable from the forgettable:

Audience and the Purpose of Mission

Among the blogs that didn’t make the cut, it appeared that the content was written for writing’s sake. There was no clear path to why. It was as if they were saying, “I’ll just stand in my corner of the internet and make some noise, hoping someone will hear me one day.”

In other words, these blogs did not appear to be built on the foundation of a good mission statement. A mission statement guides the content and serves as a reminder why and for whom the content should exist.

If a business creates a blog, then the blog should reflect the mission statement of the business. If you have created a blog as a separate entity from your business – or perhaps an extension of your own experience or expertise – a mission statement is still very much necessary. You must be able to answer these questions:

  • Why does my blog exist? 
  • What do I stand for? 
  • How am benefitting my readers and why?

Of the five blogs that pulled off a successful post about “bad blogging advice” – all five appeared to have clear mission statements. There was no question why they were writing this material or for whom they were writing it.

Original Thought

The blogs that didn’t make the final cut featured reused ideas. On the first page of search results alone, there were four or five posts that were essentially paraphrasing identical thoughts. Moving to another search results page uncovered longer lists of recycled ideas.

The successful blogs had something unique to say. Maybe, they were inspired by other ideas, but they went to the trouble of owning their content and putting forth the effort to expound upon an idea in a direction that was useful, creative, and original all the while adhering to the real reason for writing: the answer to the question why.

Given the breadth of content on the internet, it can be a challenge creating new ideas—or even creative twists on existing ideas. Anyone who is a blogger/writer has experienced this. Writing consistently original content is not easy, and it requires a significant time commitment. Hiring a strong writer with a proven record will obviously give you a big advantage here.

My Final Thoughts

It isn’t enough anymore to create a blog that shares useful information. There are countless blogs that do this and do it well. Readers expect it. If you don’t have a measurable value proposition, then there will be no direction to your writing. If your blog lacks direction, you will create lax content. If you create lax content, your blog will head in only one direction.  

Benjamin Bullock
Simple Machines Marketing

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