Are you sharing stuff, but nobody cares? Do you write blogposts, but nobody reads them? If you want your blog posts to be shared for a long time? This post will explain how to do it.
But before I get into it, let me make one thing clear: If you do not want any readers or comments on your blog, this is totally fine. Nothing against using your blog as a personal journal or outlet to post your very best and funniest cat photos.
However, many writers desperately want readers and comments, but fail, because they have one thing in common which is the me-trap.
What is the Me-trap?
Me, me, me, my life, my opinion, my favourite color, my baby, my dog, my cat, the things that I like… and I don’t give a shit about anybody else.
Not that there would be anything wrong with the me-trap, but it may be the reason why nobody cares.
I know you don’t want to hear it, but nobody cares about you (if you hadn’t noticed yet). And nobody gives a shit about me or anybody else either.
Because everybody only cares about themselves.
So the solution to make a good blogpost great is this:
Start with what you are interested in, if you will, but go one step further and explain what this means for your reader. What is in it for your reader? What can he or she learn? What is the takeaway for your reader?
What can you put into the post so that your readers will miss big time if they don’t read it? In other words, how can this post be a tool that your reader absolutely needs to achieve his own personal goals in life faster? Because if you cannot explain that, your post will have little impact. And it deserves no impact. And you will not get as many likes as you could get.
The problem with this concept is that you must be really interested in helping others.
You cannot fake it. And it means coming to terms with giving valuable stuff away. This is counterintuitive in many ways.
We are trained to keep the important and valuable stuff to ourselves. This includes important thoughts and experiences.
I remember when I was a child. I had a drawer where I stored my most valuable and precious items. Some books, drawings, notes, chocolate and some plastic toys. It had a sticker on it and nobody was allowed to open it. Especially not my big brother.
Of course my older brother enjoyed being stronger than me and he opened my drawer anyway, which made me really angry. I had to find other places to hide my stuff. And I had to protect my drawer, no matter how much his blows hurt me and how ineffective my kicks were to him.
I remember reading a lot as a kid. I read in the morning before school. I read in the afternoon after school. And I read in the evening before going to bed. But my mother did not like some of the books I read. So I had to hide them, sneak them into the house and put them away, before she could notice, because nobody could argue with her if she was against something.
We all learn this protective behaviour because we all have been squashed and kicked down by bad people for being good, curious and owning something of value that they wanted to rob from us. Because they did.
Sure, we all tried to be good at one time or the other, to give our stuff away, to share it freely and open heartedly. And we all know, what happened after. We got abused for our good nature.
So we learned to keep it all to ourselves. We protect. We hold back. Just in case.
And in turn we give away our chances to connect and change other peoples lives. And we miss creating value.
And that is why so many talented writers end up writing Me-posts. Me, me, me. They are busy protecting themselves from the evil brother or the evil mother – or whoever took over that role, now, 10 or 20 or 30 years later.
And from their perspective, they are right, because there are many people who are after them. The government. A future employer. Their neighbour. The guy in the club. You name them.
But this mindset also keeps them in the box. They stay trapped in the position of a child that never learned to have power and influence people.
If this rings a bell with you and if you want to write blog posts that matter, you may need to change your mindset.
“Spending money that you do not have to impress people you do not like”
Have you ever heard of people who “spend money that they do not have to to impress people they don’t like?”
The same goes for writing blog posts. If you write stuff that is “safe” or that might impress people that you do not like, you are sure to fail. Stop it immediately.
Look at the stuff that is most valuable to you and give it away. Let the people who fill a role that once was filled by your evil brother or misunderstanding mother curse you, ignore you, belittle you and laugh about you. They don’t matter.
Be aware that there is always somebody out there who understands you, if you give the best that you have. You may need courage, persistence, time and some trial and error to connect with them, but they are out there, somewhere, waiting for you.
This is a crucial point. Because once you understand this emotionally, you are free from trying to impress the people you do not like and you can do something that is really fun. Finding an audience that is good to you, cares about your stuff – and that is worth that you care for them in return.
Let’s say you got it emotionally. You want to connect with your audience (even if your audience did not show up yet) in your outer world. How do you make sure that you reach them? How do you make sure that they want to connect with you?
The following 5 questions will help you to communicate the best that you have to your audience in a way that they can understand you:
1. Is it meaningful?
If the great thing means a lot to you, chances are that it means something to your audience too. Start with what you are interested in, and figure out what it means. What is the takeaway? Then go one step further and explain what this means for your reader. What is in it for your reader? What can he or she learn?
If you do not find anything meaningful in your life, you may be too harsh on yourself. Maybe you are still looking to find meaning? Well, take your time and keep looking.
2. Is it about you or your audience?
If you do the great thing with the expectation that your audience will applaud you and that they will tell you how awesome the great thing is and how amazing you are, you are still on the wrong track. It is still all about you. Which means, you will not have any meaningful impact whatsoever.
However, if you do the great thing in order to be useful for your audience, your are getting closer to having impact.
3. Is it useful for your audience?
Does the great thing make your audience laugh? Does it make them happy? Does it give them a wonderful experience? Does it help them to solve a problem they are having? Does it help them to get closer to who they are? Does it make them a better person? Does it make them money, income, friends or give them pleasure? Does it help them to avoid something that they want to avoid?
4. Are you ready to let your audience win?
Are you ready to allow your audience to make more money with the great thing which you provideed than you ever could yourself? Are you ready to accept that they could enjoy the great thing more than you could, without ever telling you or without you ever knowing about it or without ever giving you a penny in return?
If you feel uneasy with this, you are not there yet. You are still stuck in a mindset of control. If you want to control who will receive what and what it means for your audience, you sabotage your ability to give value and have impact. You may need to learn how to embrace a mindset of abundance first.
5. Will your audience want to share it?
If you audience gives you feedback like: “Yeah, this is great. Well done!”, then pat you on the back and you never hear from them again, you are not there yet.
Ask yourself, even before you create the great thing, if your audience would want to share it. Why would they want to share it? With whom? Would they rush to share it? Or would they hesitate? Why?
Test it. No speculation is as good as a real life test. Don’t delude yourself in false hopes. If nobody wants your stuff, it is OK. Just learn from it, improve it and move on.
Loving your audience and caring for them may help you to develop, change, modify and transform the great thing in a way that your audience will rush out to share it with others, because it has the power to improve not just one life (yours) or two lives (your immediate reader), but many lives.
This post is meaningful to me. I tried to write it in a way that it is useful for you. I would be happy if it changes your perspective while creating your big thing in a way that gives you more impact. And you do not even have to tell me about it (although I would appreciate it). You are welcome to share this with whomever you like.
But if it turns out that nobody gives a shit about this post, I could easily live with it, because it would simply mean that I did a good job trying, but that I am not there yet. Real life will tell.
I wish you success in sharing value!