A blog post isn’t a diary entry.
Writing for yourself is fine and can be valuable, but it’s essentially a private exercise that many people happen to publish.
The true point of writing in public is to leverage your ideas and experiences to enlighten and inspire an audience to take action.
That’s why most successful blog posts feature an exchange of value between a writer and readers that comes from writing which is rooted in three specific goals.
Here’s what they are and how to apply them to your own posts.
GOAL 1: Provide Value To An Audience
The best blog posts are designed to provide more value to the people who read them than the people who write them.
You may not always succeed in delivering that value, but you should always aim to do so.
A post in which you solely talk about your personal experiences or rattle on about your product may seem valuable to you, but it won’t be unless you use those experiences to convey a message or lesson that benefits your readers.
The truth is, the more value you deliver to others in your writing, the more valuable that writing will be for you.
For example, in this post I hope to provide value to readers (aka you) by sharing a new way to think about your blog posts and a system you can implement to ensure your writing helps accomplish your goals.
I’ll get value out of this post (more on that in a minute), but that value will only be unlocked for me if I first deliver it to you.
(Btw, here’s how to get the “secret” social media tips I send out daily.)
GOAL 2: Reach A Specific Audience
It’s one thing to write a great blog post, but it’s another to get people to read it.
The discovery of your writing is a separate challenge from its creation and needs to be approached as such.
“Small” details like your post’s headline, images, and social media descriptions are not small at all —they determine whether your target audience will ever even see your post.
If you write the world’s most brilliant blog post about playing clarinet, but nobody who plays clarinet knows it exists, then your effort is meaningless.
Reaching your target audience should be a goal of every blog post — one that’s just as important as the writing of the post itself, and one that won’t magically happen on its own.
You’re not just a writer — you’re also a marketer. So make deliberate choices about how you position and promote your posts.
GOAL 3: Convert Readers Into Action Takers
No matter what your blog post is about, you didn’t just write it for people to read it. There’s an action you want them to take.
Maybe you want them to buy something, change a habit, support a cause, accomplish a goal of their own, hire you, or spread the word about something.
There are a million actions you may hope to inspire, but there should always be at least one you optimize for and judge your post’s performance against.
For me, the goal of 90% of my blog posts is to get readers to subscribe to my For The Interested newsletter.
Identifying this as my main goal — and therefore key success metric — allows me to optimize my posts to drive readers toward this action and measure a post’s success accordingly.
It’s not a coincidence I’m referencing my newsletter in this post — it’s a major reason for this post’s existence in the first place.
Ultimately, I’ll judge this post’s success not on how often it gets read, shared, or how many likes it generates (all of which would be awesome and thanks in advance for doing so!), but rather on how many subscribers it generates.
Your goals will vary and so will your conversion tactics, but it’s crucial to consider what action you want people to take and have that be one of the main goals of your writing.
Otherwise, it’s easy to spin your wheels with posts that feel successful (who doesn’t enjoy getting likes?), but don’t actually move the needle for you in a meaningful way.
Not Everybody’s Going To Love This Post
I know some of the people who read this (maybe even you?) are going to hate it.
You’re passionate about writing and want to write about whatever you want in whatever way you want.
I totally get it and by all means encourage you to do whatever your creative heart drives you to do.
There’s nothing wrong with ignoring these goals. However…
If you write to accomplish something beyond a creative exercise, then these three goals can guide your work and ensure you make the most of it.
That’s the value I hope it provides to you (goal 1), assuming you’re the person I intend to reach (goal 2).
And if you did find this post helpful, I bet you’ll also love the ideas I shared here (goal 3).
See how that works?
Thanks for reading.