Wednesday, November 6, 2019

What Is the Purpose of a Blog Post?


Typing on a laptop

When people are new to blogging and they are trying to research what makes a good blog post or how to improve their blog’s performance measures through their content, a certain type of advice comes up almost every time.

“Write the BEST content on your article’s topic.”

“Make your article better than every other article on the web.”

“Make your post the definitive, most detailed resource available.”

“If someone finds your article, they shouldn’t need to look for any other information anywhere else because your post will be so complete that they will have learned all they need to learn about the subject.”

This is a wildly intimidating goal to set for your content, and unfortunately, while the intention of setting a lofty goal is that you will end up achieving better results for it, what most often happens is that you will develop a fear of failure and that will prevent you from even starting. Which is the worst possible outcome. Even a failure that gets finished is a learning experience that can teach you how to do better next time. 

When you never start, or never finish, any projects, then you will never learn anything or get anywhere.

So, to help promote action in others, I’d like to explain what I believe a blog post’s purpose can be. 

A post can be nothing more than your expression of opinion on a given topic. You will write a better piece if you have knowledge about what you are writing, and if you include detail along the way, but it doesn’t need to be an exhaustive encyclopedia entry. 

You can mention the information you want to speak on and exclude the bits you don’t have much to say about. When this is how you write a blog post, then you are really beginning a conversation with the readers. 

You create a thesis, then you write sentences and paragraphs in support of your thesis, and then you encourage readers to respond in the comments section or on social media.

You are adding your perspective to the eternal conversation or debate on that topic. Your readers will appreciate that perspective, because it could be novel, eye-opening, or new to them.

And just because the reader found and read your article doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t read other articles on the exact same subject. A person who reads multiple articles on a subject isn’t someone who was necessarily unsatisfied in each but the final article. They will likely gain something more from each successive article, and they might just enjoy reading about that topic.

Other than some very simple questions that require a very simple and constant answer (such as ‘How many ounces in a gallon’ or ‘What date is Christmas’), most subjects allow for nuance and opinion and the reader will benefit from additional research.

Think to some topic you consider a hobby and which you have researched online. For me the subject might be internet marketing or blogging. I have read hundreds of articles with nearly the same title and information. But I’ve enjoyed reading most of them, and I continue to seek out more because I enjoy the process of reading about what I am interested in. 

And, I would be very disappointed if nobody every wrote about those subjects again because they figured that anything of value had already been written. 

If there weren’t new and fresh content in those subject areas all the time, I would be let down. 

Is that experience similar to you and the hobby you’ve pictured yourself researching? I bet it is. And it’s like that for most people.

Writing a blog post on something that’s been written about lots before (which at this point is most any topic imaginable) doesn’t mean that your article is useless or needs to be better than the rest to add value to readers. Your article will be your version of it. Your article will contain your opinions. Your article will be valuable because of YOUR perspective and voice.

Please, if you feel even a slight urge to write about something, do it. 

Don’t be paralyzed with fear. Don’t worry about the inferiority of your article compared with others. 

As long as you aim to write a good article that you will be proud of and happy to share with others, then your article will be worth writing and worth reading. The world needs your voice and perspective. It is waiting for you, even if it doesn’t know it yet.




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