The Purpose Driven Blog: Make it Plain

Jun
2010
02

posted by on blogging, social media, traffic, writing

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People create blogs for various purposes ranging from simply writing about what’s happening in their daily lives, trying to bring attention to a particular cause, selling products, for corporate outreach, or gaining increased exposure for the author, every blog works better when it has a clearly defined purpose. By the time you have finished reading this blog post, you will have a clear idea of the advantages of having a purpose driven blog and some ideas for refining and communicating your blog’s purpose to the world.

The blog seems to embody the spirit of new media. The blog has emerged as a great equalizer in the world of publishing and media. It provided the average person who might otherwise never get a book publishing contract the ability to get their message out to the world.

Anyone can start a blog for free, or you can purchase a domain name and hosting for minimal cost and potentially reach millions of readers. But in order to maximize this opportunity to reach your audience, you’ve got to make your blog’s purpose plain when visitors arrive.

People make a decision within about three to five seconds as to whether or not they like or find useful what you have to offer on your blog.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself as you begin to refine your blog’s purpose:

  • What are you trying to accomplish with your blog?
  • Clearly a blog whose purpose is to sell products will have a different layout and style from one whose purpose is to generate interest in a particular topic or cause.
  • Can visitors tell what your blog is about in less than five seconds after landing on your page?
  • The mission and goal of your blog should be clearly communicated in the title, and the content should not veer too far from the main topic keywords.
  • Have you narrowed your focus sufficiently?

Some bloggers who are knowledgeable about and passionate about several topics try to cram all of them in to one blog. This can make it challenging to attract targeted traffic, and the search engines won’t be clear on how to rank your site with such a divergent array of keywords.

Are you creating value for your readers?

Regardless of your blog’s purpose, if you are not creating value for your readers they will not have much reason to stay long or return. You are competing with millions of other blogs for your reader’s attention. Do not squander the opportunity to shine by always presenting your best content.

LaShanda Henry, author of the Sistasense.com blog, among several others, says this about blogging:

“Blog like you’ve got an audience of millions reading your blog. Blog like everybody’s watching you”

Don’t wait and hold back your best content until you get ‘discovered’ because you will not get discovered unless you consistently provide excellent, valuable content that attracts readers, keeps them coming back and inspires them to share your posts with their friends and followers.

When you give valuable content away on your blog it communicates your depth of knowledge about your topic and it causes people to keep coming back because they are confident that you will always have something important to say that will benefit them in some way.

Do you love your topic?

When you love your blog topic, when you have a passion for what you are writing about, when an idea hits you and you can’t wait to get out your laptop and blog about it, that passion and enthusiasm is absolutely infectious and it comes across to your readers.

If you love your topic, chance are there are lots of other people out there who share your feelings and who will be thrilled to find a kindred spirit.

Clearly defining your purpose will make it easier for you to create excellent content because you will be delving deeply into a narrow topic rather than going all over the place on a variety of topics.

The purpose driven blog has a clear focus, it provides value for the reader, and it communicates the bloggers passion for the topic. If you are a blogger, take a moment and re-visit your blog’s vision and mission. Where can you make your purpose more clear? Try doing a quick poll for your readers to see if you can discover what kind of impression they are getting and what suggestions they might offer to make yours a more purpose driven blog.

Now it’s your turn. Go ahead and leave a comment about your blog along with the URL. Visitors who read this post will visit your blog and leave you a comment about their impressions of how effectively your are communicating your blog’s purpose.

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