Interestingly enough, the most popular blogs on the internet are about blogging and writing. People seem to binge on information about how to be a better writer and how to earn money from a blog. If you read enough of these posts, however, a common theme seems to appear – write for your audience.
I’ve been experimenting with different styles of writing on Medium to get a better feel for what works.
The “What’s in it for me?” debate
When you’re writing a novel, it’s your own spark of creativity. But, blog posts are meant to be informative. Posters often say you should write with the aim of the reader asking “what’s in it for me?”
What ends up happening is that we tend spew out a bunch of how-to articles or listicles. I can’t count how many times I’ve done this, and not surprisingly, received a very positive result.
Over time though, these posts can become tired and worn out. You start to feel that you had a higher purpose when you started a blog. Then I started to realized that posts didn’t have to always be how-to’s. Yes, there has to be something the reader would find interesting enough to read. However, you can also write about your experiences instead of simply trying to give advice. This brings me to my next point.
Getting Personal is Okay
Most bloggers say that you shouldn’t be writing a post like you write your journal. While I can understand this point of view, writing personal posts isn’t necessarily wrong. Some of the most popular writers on Medium and WordPress post extremely personal thoughts.
A good move is to integrate personal experiences into your writing benefit others. Personal posts don’t have to be just stories but can be lessons for others. It’s also always more interesting to read posts that have personal examples of what works.
Focus on Your Reader but Don’t Fake It
It goes without saying that you have to remember who you’re writing for. Ultimately, you’re writing for an audience. Some people decide not to choose a niche and start to write about anything and everything. Now, if your aim is to dish out advice and how-to’s about these subjects, then you better know what you’re talking about.
It’s never a good idea to write about something with conviction if you really don’t know anything about it. Sooner or later, it will start to show.
That doesn’t mean you can’t write about new things. But it’s probably a good idea to learn about it and gain some experience before you start to give out pointers.