It is said that “a person going nowhere can be sure of reaching his destination.” A blog post not going anywhere can be sure of reaching its destination, no-where land. It can therefore be useful to ask yourself some questions before writing a new blog post.
Question 1: What is my goal with this article?
Do you have a goal with the article you are about to write, or are you simply writing to write something? As a preacher prepares for a sermon he needs to know what his message is and what he wants the listeners to learn as they listen to his words. As a blogger you need to have a message that you want to give on to your readers. Before you start writing the article go grab yourself a cup of tea and ask yourself the following questions: What is my goal with this article? What do I want the people to remember after reading it? Asking yourself these and similar questions will make the end result much better.
Question 2: What is my target group?
Are you writing to people who always follow and read your blog or are you writing to people with no knowledge about you or your blog? Are you writing to people with blogging experience or are you writing an how-to article explaining something to a crowd without insight on the subject? As you think through these question it will help you write your article in a way focusing on your target group. And as you know your target group there will for sure be things worth skipping as you write (for example very technical information) and it will be things worth adding (very basic information which you would skip in an article targeting professionals).
Question 3: How long do I want my article to live?
I have read many articles mentioning the previous two questions, but my third question is not so normal. What do I mean? Are you writing material that will be interesting in five years from now or are you writing news that will be forgotten and uninteresting tomorrow?
Let me explain what I mean. I work with travel related websites and before Christmas there are several special activities going on in cities all around the world. People visiting London before Christmas are always interested in knowing the date for the annual “turning on the lights” for the giant Christmas tree at Trafalgar Square. A London blog should for sure feature that in an article, even though the information is limited to a certain amount of time. However, why not make the article everlasting, only by making a few adjustments. Write general information about the Christmas tree at Trafalgar Square and maybe a few words about the tradition of lighting up the Christmas tree. This information is very general and valid for a long time. Maybe in the introduction or in the end of the article you add the specific information on that given year, and then you keep refreshing that information every year as new information is given. If you do so your article will not expire, but stay alive and bring new visitors from to your site from year to year.
Question 4: Would I read the article myself?
We live in a society where most people run from one task to another. We do not have much time to read blogs posts and much less comment them. You need to find a good title which will make people interested as they see it. Will the title draw people to your article, or will it make them scroll further down looking for something more interesting? Would you stop yourself to read an article with the same title, or would you keep looking for something else?
Have you got any good questions worth asking before writing a new blog post? I would to hear from you, so please share your thoughts as you comment the article!