~ By Jennifer Chait
Before publishing your next blog post consider two little words. Those two words are, “So what.”
As a college sophomore, I was handing in a writing essay to one of my writing instructors. I gleefully said, “Here’s my essay.” She replied, “So what?” At the time, her comment made me really upset. I thought she was being extremely mean. Honestly though, it’s one of the best writing tips I ever got.
Later my instructor explained to me that she only said, “So what” to writers with potential – which what, was supposed to make me feel better? It didn’t. Not until she told me the following…
“As a writer we need to take the position of the reader. We need to think carefully – when a reader reads my words, are they going to feel anything? Are your time invested words going to invite people to say, “So what?” Will your words matter to even one reader – counting yourself? If not, you shouldn’t write those words.”
My instructor said, “So what,” so that I’d consider my words before handing them over to her or anyone else. As a blogger, you don’t want readers saying “So what.” You want readers to say things (or at least think things) like:
- “Wow, what an amazing post!”
- “This post really changed my life for the better.”
- “This post moved me. It was so sad, yet, I’m glad I read it.”
- “I love that this post taught me something new.”
- “You helped me to solve a problem.”
- “Well, I’m convinced!”
- “I clicked the links because of what you said.”
- “After reading your post, I’m going to act on your suggestion.”
- “You can really relate to my situation.”
- “This is the news I needed to hear.”
- “You really know how to share information; not simply lecture.”
- “I subscribed so I won’t miss another post.”
- Even, “I cannot believe this post! It made me so angry. I don’t agree at all and you suck!”
The key is to only publish content that matters. Are you helping someone, entertaining someone, getting a rant off your chest, moving someone to do something, helping someone to feel a feeling? Those are reasons that matter. If you create posts full of keywords, just to gain hits. If you pull news and re-post it word for word, with no extra input, I guarantee, your readers are going to say, “So what.” Their lives won’t have changed one bit from reading that post you published.
I think it’s useful to note, that we can’t wow everyone all the time. However, regularly taking your reader’s position will increase the odds of your posts hitting the wow-factor mark more often.