Do you ever ask yourself what questions when you’re creating?
I often don’t. I think, ‘ooh I want to write a post about The Hills today,’ I write it and then… air.
Oh sure, then I’ll ask myself questions. Like – did I not promote this well enough? Was my SEO not good? Was it rubbish? Why isn’t anyone reading?
But we really should ask ourselves questions before hitting publish. And this is what we should be asking.
I’m almost flow charting it up in here so take some notes if you feel like it!
At the top of my flowchart I’m going to think to myself…
Who is this for?
Then under that I’m going to branch off with a ‘for me’ label and a ‘for others’ label.
In fact, head over to VixMeldrew.com because I’m going to make a graphic to help illustrate what I mean here!
Ok right back to ‘for me’.
If I want to write a blog post that’s for me, I’m going to ask myself why and these are often my answers – you can jot em down.
Is it cathartic? Am I trying to express something? Get something off my chest through writing?
Or Is it fun? Is it a topic I And probably I alone want to write about?
Often when we’re writing for ourselves it’s just because we want to. We want to express a thought. Have a discussion with ourselves. Write about a passion that we love to show our love for it.
And of course that’s absolutely fine!
As long as we’re fine for it to get not much traffic, not many social shares and not much engagement.
As long as we know it won’t be a great ‘performer’ we’re just happy to have it out there.
But if we’re not OK with that, we might want to revisit that branch about it being for others.
Then we might want some sub branches where we ask ourselves, why should people read this?
These branches are questions like:
Is it helpful? Does it answer a question or solve a problem?
Is it entertaining? Does it make people feel good?
Has it been said before?
Is it well researched?
And also, soz guys, but we need to ask ourselves – is it any good?
I’m going to go through these questions and why they’re important we ask ourselves them.
And I want you to tell me too – we’ll have a chat in the Facebook group about it – what questions do you or do you not ask yourself?
Firstly, ‘is it helpful?’
If you have a piece of content that’s helpful to others they will engage. They will share it. They will see you as an authority. It will drive them to almost like, help you back for helping them.
And these pieces of content could be tips, guides or advice or they could be pieces from the heart that others relate to – that helps them see a situation in a new way.
They could also be reviews where you’ve helped them make a purchasing decision or book a flight or try a new product.
But ask yourself, have they left with more than what they came with?
Maybe your content isn’t helpful. So is it entertaining?
Does it give people a laugh? Does it challenge them? Do they immediately want to tell their friends to read it so that they feel like they’re the ones making the witty observations? Does it take people on a journey?
Or is it dull? Dry? A slog to read?
Here you want to ask yourself, have I changed someone’s mood with this piece?
You also want to ask yourself if you’re just adding to noise or if you have a unique stance.
I don’t know about you but there’s nothing worse for me than reading 4 blog posts by different bloggers all in reaction to the same topic with all of the same viewpoints.
But it’s OK to add your voice to a topic that is widely spoken about.
But here you need to ask yourself, ‘am I saying anything different?’, ‘am I adding to the discussion?’ Or ‘am I repeating what has already been said with no new or original thoughts?’
If so, you probably don’t need to join that discussion.
This is where research comes in.
Which blog post on body positivity are you more likely to read and engage with? The one that says, ‘oh yeah all bodies are good bodies guys, let’s learn to love ourselves and sacrifice our femininity at the altar of Jameela,’ OR the one that details the originality of the movement, how it started, who started it, when it became mainstream, who pioneered that, who bastardised it and what it looks like today?
Writing content on a topic that you have thoroughly researched and have a lot to add and discuss makes you look like the dogs bollocks to be quite honest. Poorly researched, wafer thin waffle makes it seem pointless.
By all means, like I’ve always said, write whatever you want to write about – just bear these questions in mind!
Which brings us to asking ourselves if it’s any good.
Is it as entertaining as it could be? Is it as helpful as it should be? Does it need more thought? Does it need justice doing to the topic?
And if you’re wavering over any of these questions – do you really need to post it?
Could it be a Twitter thread? Or an Instagram caption? What purpose is it serving?
There’s so much more we could talk about when it comes to content – and I’m going to tell you a bit about how you can get even more help with my own ‘Content Strategy’ in a sec.
I want to share with you a study that was undertaken by Orbit Media* who surveyed 1,000 bloggers across a variety of niches.
Before I do though I just want to take 5 secs to talk to you about becoming a member of Exciting Emails.
If you got my announcement email then you’ll know all about the 4 different tiers and how I offer a range of affordable and bespoke coaching options.
But I want to offer something more to you too. The top 3 tiers are gone, there’s a waiting list but why not sign up for an Excited Membership? For £15 a month (cheaper than chippy tea mate) you’ll get an exclusive Facebook group, huge discounts on the shop resources – including new Presets that are out soon, the courses and the events I’ll be running next year. Not only that though, you’ll receive a monthly email with an in-depth lesson on an aspect that the podcast goes in to – but waaaaay more in-depth. For example – members will get my full content strategy, detailing how to plan and think of different types of content that will grow your audience relationships, get you more brand deals and yelp you tip those Google searches. Pretty good deal right? For the info and the application form, just go to vixmeldrew.com/membership and join me for the ride that 2019 is going to be!
Anyway, back to the Orbit Media survey which I’ll link in the show notes. The results showed reports that content performed so much better when it was long form (so well thought out), when it was well researched and when it was well written.
So those points about us auditing ourselves and asking ourselves if it’s any good or if we’ve added enough research, thought and reflection in, really do need to be listened to.
Like I’ve said before, I’ll never tell you that you can’t write a post on The Hills or your Aldi truffle addiction or that you’re not funny enough or enlightened enough. Your blog is your blog to do whatever you want with.
However, if you want to be consistently creating content that converts (oh hi check me out with the alliteration) then it’s time to start asking yourself these questions.
Don’t forget to get signed up for a Membership today!
Right I’ll stop bugging you now, and I shall chat to you next time! Bye!
Listen to the latest episode here!