3 Things Your Readers Need to Hear Before They’ll Read Your Blog

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What would it feel like to know that readers are using your insight and advice to change their professional and personal lives?

It would be a rush right?

That’s why we spend hours researching, brainstorming, and writing posts every week. That is why we blog.

However, the disappointing reality for many bloggers is that they don’t have this kind of impact on their reader’s lives. They are barely a blip on their visitor’s radars. It’s evidenced by their inability to get their reader’s to take a simple action on their behalf.

If you find yourself in this situation then it’s likely that you’ve made a common mistake.

You are your reader’s “buddy” not their mentor.

Blogging with Morpheus

In “Resonate”, Nancy Duarte’s insightful examination of effective communication, she explains the three duties of mentors:

  • They give Guidance.
  • They give Confidence.
  • They give incredible (often magical) Tools

Duarte does a fabulous job showing how mentors in popular films proved their mettle by playing these roles with their students.

Mr. Miyagi guided Daniel Larusso in his study of Karate. He encouraged him when he felt that he could not stand-up to the young Cobra Kai bullies. He gave him the magical “Crane Kick” to defeat his nemesis and win the All Valley Karate Championships.

My favorite mentor, Morpheus in the Matrix trilogy masterfully guided NEO as he grappled with his decision to take the Blue or Red Pill. Offered him encouragement as he tried to uncover his role and destiny. And most importantly, he offered him the tool of kick-ass Kung Fu.

I’m sure you can pinpoint how mentors in your life fulfilled these roles in your life.

The best bloggers serve in these roles with their readers too.

Guidance

The blogger shares personal insights that help the reader discover answers to their problems.

Confidence

A blogger helps the reader break down and overcome their fear so that they can move forward.

Tools

The blog writer gives their students tools to make their journey easier.

Hooking Readers

Sometimes bloggers forget that readers come to their blogs searching for solutions to problems.

For example, I am a serious bass fishing addict. I frequent fishing blogs of experts who can fulfill the role of a mentor. The blogger that convinces me that they can put a 6 pound largemouth bass on my fishing line wins my attention. I consistently visit these blogs because the offer me the guidance, confidence, and tools that I need.

On the other hand, the “I’m just like you” fishing blogs get far fewer visits. Like I said, I’m looking for mentors not other students.

The same applies for your readers. They want guidance, encouragement, and tools. Extraordinary blogs recognize this dynamic and step-up to provide what their readers need.Every aspect of their blogging reflects their intuitive focus on their three roles. A quick review of their post archives show post types targeted to each role.

  • Point-of-View Posts (Guidance) give new perspectives that guide the reader. These posts aren’t rants, they provide balanced and insightful information that the reader hasn’t considered.
  • Case Study Posts (Confidence) offer details about the blogger’s progress, challenges and achievements. The reader’s confidence grows as they see the blogger meeting and overcoming their challenges.
  • How-To / Tutorial Posts (Tools) teach the readers new skills and tools.

A blog needs a mix of these post types to grow and sustain a responsive and loyal audience.

The Blogger’s Goal

Ultimately the professional blogger’s ultimate goal is to give their readers something new. That’s what makes blogging a daunting and rewarding way of communicating with your audience.

The bar is high. But the reward of being a mentor justifies the work.
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{The amazing Morpheus caricature comes from: jedijnx.blogspot.com}

About Stan

Stan Smith is the Managing Director of Pushing Social a content marketing consultancy for aggressive, results-focused organizations.

10 thoughts on “3 Things Your Readers Need to Hear Before They’ll Read Your Blog

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  4. Leawheeler

    Great post. And you’re right. I never thought about it that way. This has given me new insight and focus. Thank you for being a mentor. I think I’ll come back…

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  9. Wittlake

    Stanford, you look to have combined Guidance and How-To in one post. Whatever it is, nicely done. ;-) Good perspective and one I will revisit as I think more about the plans and objectives for my personal blog this year. Keep up the great content, this is becoming one of the first sites I think of when someone asks me how to get started blogging.

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