Why Should Anyone Read Your Blog?

Why Should Anyone Read Your Blog?

Reader Comments (108)

  1. Darn. There goes my idea for an Apple fan, GTD-obsessed snarky mommy blog about social media.

    Oh wait. I already write that. (Well, except the Apple part.)

    Great stuff, as usual, Sonia.

  2. I started my blog to fill a gap in information. I wanted to start a part-time computer consulting business but found no websites that addresses this issue specifically. Sure, there are “computer guy” websites and websites about starting part time businesses, but no sites that really melded the two in an accessable fashion.

    I did, however, notice that there was a small subseciton of the net that was really interested in, and hungry for, this type of information. So, I thought it would be fun to create my own blog about my experiences with starting my own part-time computer consulting business and hopefully grow a community in the process. So far it’s been a lot of fun and the website readership continues to grow.

  3. Dooce.
    I was going to argue with you…
    I don’t buy the premise that there is only one “serious and silly, profane and profound.”

    … was what I wrote. But of course, you are right. Dooce wouldn’t be Dooce without hard work.

    I get it.

  4. Now she tells us:)

    “It’s not what you uniquely do. It’s what you uniquely communicate.”

    Obama must have gotten similar advice, and I believe that’s what makes him so special.

  5. I was going to respond with Kat’s words. Phooey!

    I’ll add that all of the above ideas ought to be seriously considered by wannabe business executives before starting a new venture. It’s crazy how often I see startups come and go because of a niche lack, no community interaction, etc.

    On a side note, isn’t it humorous how an article by you, Sonia, sparks a related post below to contact Brian?

  6. I’m a blogging junkie, I start at least 5 blogs a year that might accumulate 1-10 posts while I’m into it. It’s true, if you don’t have an audience (and it’s hard if you’re not an expert on something interesting) you’re not really going to get much out of your blog except for a personal journal.

    Maybe I should start a blog on naked mole rats and dominate the space, aye?

  7. I am glad you mentioned competition, because I think this is what it is all about. How will one know that he’s good if he’s the only one?

    When I wrote the post – What it takes to be a Ratatouille Blogger, I mentioned “Do something amazing” as the last paragraph. It’s not just being unique, it’s far more beyond that. Having a talent these days is common. We got to have an appeal, and this is what makes our readers interested in our posts.

    Thanks for the brilliant post, Sonia.

  8. I think I have found a unique niche that is very useful. I write a blog called “Connect with your teens through Pop Culture and Technology” to help parents stay up-to-date with entertainment and technology to help them better communicate with their teens. I have found that teens and many adults that don’t have teens enjoy it also.

    I started the blog in March and already have a google page rank of 4 and an alexa rating of 86,557. I have been thinking of trying the press release route as my next step using the uniqueness and usefulness of my niche as the headline. I was wondering if you could let me know what you think?

  9. I may be the only one, but people claiming to be a ‘real authority’ is becoming a real pain in the… especially online. I run into SO many offers online that are ridiculous to the point of being an insult.

    Oftentimes, people claim to be an authority, yet you hear them talk/see the info they post which may be contradictory to their ‘authority status’. While being an authority is good, to maximize your success, you have to partner that with another atribute (original voice/topic, focusing on the community, etc.)

  10. Why should you read my blog? Because I said so.

    But seriously, why should you read my blog? Because that is where I document my Internet journey.

    By the way, I don’t agree with you on the part where you say that you should be making 7 figures to start a “making money online” blog.

    Just because I don’t make millions, doesn’t mean I don’t make any money online at all. But, I do partially agree with you. Just a little.

    Awesome article, Sonia!

  11. Sonia, thank you for sharing your thoughts. I found the post refreshing on an often-overdone topic… You offer practical advice and encouragement at the same time which is often hard to slap together!

  12. Much needed post! As bloggers we sometimes have to compare our readers to young school students who need to be engaged. I’m trying now to bring down my “bounce” rate so these points were right on time!

  13. Someone should remind blog because over the four years that I have been blogging I have basically become an expert on Internet marketing and social media. I even do blog consulting for many companies in the Midwest. I am a self taught blog designer so that is why my blog design is so much different than everyone else’s. I respond to everyone’s comments and I will answer any question you have for me as long as you e-mail me. You cannot get any better help on the Internet right now. I am not one of those people that will not respond to a question. I try to write in-depth content so I’m not one of those people that writes one or two paragraphs every post. I have built a great community and everyone would want to be part of it. And those get enough reasons to want to read my blog?

  14. There is little being written out there about the restrictions the American church puts on women. Women are turning from the church and finding fulfillment elsewhere as dynamic leaders and innovators. Why? Because the church has misinterpreted a few verses in Scripture and used that to limit women. My blog is about me and my life as a leader and a change agent in this strange world called the church. I want to see women free to be strong leaders without having to abandon the church. I am different and, within the church, very controversial and most definitely worth reading.

  15. Dear Sonia,

    Copyblogger is the only online blog I consistently read because it offer valuable ideas and I can act on them.

    I believe parents can proft from my blog too. Each blog, like yours, also offers at least one practical positive idea that parents can use. Raising happy and responsible children with solid character is my goal.

    I appreciate the help you and David offer, Sonia.

  16. Great question! I’ve been staring at the comment box too long trying to come up with a great answer to match it. I’ve got a pretty good idea of what I want to be able to say, but what I’ve blogged so far doesn’t match it. Hmm, room for growth. In the meantime I can say that in my blog I’m struggling with improving my ability to think towards the whole and put into action whatever simplicity I pull out of complexity and I’d love to listen to and talk with other people with similar issues.

  17. Read my blog because I share: writing ideas; tips of all sorts; opinions on movies, books, and events; useful finds, and experiences (usually for laughs, ’cause who doesn’t like that?).

  18. I’m with Rajaie – my blog is where I document my journey, if people want to read or participate that’s great they’re welcome to join in.
    I don’t really dispense anything useful to anyone, except to my Aunt, but that’s not my intention.
    The blogs that I subscribe to do dispense useful things – humor, tips, tricks, insight and opinions that differ from mine. So you are correct they do have a unique voice.
    I probably take more from the blogging community than I give back and hopefully one day that will change until then my Aunt is my target audience.

  19. These are awesome, it’s great to hear about so many diverse and excellent blogs!

    @KatFrench, LOL. “And” is good. “Or” needs more justification. (My friend Steve likes to say that “Or is for wimps.” Except his term is much ruder than that.)

    @GoingLikeSixty, there are probably an infinite number of great ways to combine those ingredients. Only Dooce can combine them in the way she does, but they’re totally up for grabs for a new voice, a new angle, a new set of preoccupations and observations.

    @Amanda, naked mole rats FTW!

    @Mark, agree.

    @Laura, absolutely–in fact, I think there’s always room for another blog that makes us laugh. The market is infinite.

  20. This is a fundamental question anyone with a blog should ask themselves. If you don’t want anyone to read your blog then WTF are you putting all that info online for? There must be a reason.

    I focus on my physical community and discuss topics in a virtual one. Taking a blog to a community level can really make you a front runner in that niche.

  21. Good post, Sonia and I love this line:

    It’s not what you uniquely do. It’s what you uniquely communicate.

    On a side note, I know typically it’s wise to focus your blog on one specific niche – I mean, really focused. However, sometimes I find it can also be very limiting and this is something many people don’t talk about.

    For example, my blog is about being a web entrepreneur. I might have one post which highlights whether a xml sitemap is really necessary for your website while my next article will be on discovering where you true beliefs come from.

    After one of my subscribers unsubscribed from my blog they provided me some feedback. They said my topics varied too much – from entrepreneurial to marketing, to web development. She only liked the entrepreneurial.

    I then considered if I was indeed being too general on my blog for “web entrepreneur” and did a little research. The biggest proponent that I was not too general was my case study of Stumble Upon users. I looked at their interests and discovered a large number of stumblers were interested in:
    entrepreneur, seo, marketing, business, web-design, wordpress, graphic design, etc.

    I suppose the point here I’m trying to make is we always hear how you have to focus on one specific niche, and in business this is usually true, however is it always true with blogs?

    Not many people discuss this opposite side of things.

  22. Sorry, I think I forgot to use the end blockquote correctly in my last comment. Could you please edit it so the only blockquote is this line:

    It’s not what you uniquely do. It’s what you uniquely communicate.

    Thanks and sorry about that.

  23. Thanks for the great post Sonia, I appreciated your points and delivery. Love this blog!

    I work with individuals, professionals, and small businesses to help them get what they want from computers and the Web. We recently launched a blog to reach more people with our empowerment through education message.

    Working with people who are experts in their own fields, yet feel left behind by changing technology and are often just “getting by” with computers gives me a particular perspective.

    The blog outlines digital survival strategies and skills for life and work in the 21st century. I tend to write educational posts about strategies for learning generally, and about learning technology specifically. Those are some of the reasons it is worth a read, thanks for asking!

  24. Long time reader, first time commenting here, Sonia. Great post, but I do believe there’s one part of the premise of blogging missing from this line:

    It’s not what you uniquely do. It’s what you uniquely communicate.

    …Because many people who read my blog, (some for the 11 years I’ve been blogging), simply come for the conversation and community, and not so much about my content. So, I guess I’d have to say I (somewhat) uniquely have created a community of conversationalists within my comments.

    Love your stuff… Always an inspiration!

  25. Great job Sonia, as always.

    I’m trying to find a voice in the “useful” category.

    I’ve been in marketing and advertising for many, many years and had the good fortune to have started back when companies had the time / resources to train entry level employees. I find business people today are sorely lacking in an understanding of the fundamentals. Not because they aren’t smart, but because nobody bothered to tell them. So, I draw on my experience and have focused my blog on the reasons why some strategies and tactics work better than others.

  26. Sonia,

    Isn’t writing such a gift? I mean, how beautiful that we get to share our thoughts, dreams, and random bull; and what do we really have to say that someone should stop and bless us with their time? Sonia, your words make me stop and think about why I write. Thank you being a motivator!

  27. I’m going to cheat and reuse the comment I left at Problogger.net when Darren gave people the opportunity to promote their blog in 140 chr. or less:

    Broadcasting Brain is about communication, social media and technology with a side of humor and geekiness. You really should read it. It’s good for you.

    OK, let me do this honestly:

    I blog about communication, social media, and technology as means to an end, not ends unto themselves.

    I believe that technology has made it possible for anyone anywhere who has access to that technology to share their unique voice and perspective with the rest of the world.

    I believe that ideas shared, considered, and discussed can be more powerful than those developed in isolation.

    I believe that the process of creating and articulating concepts and ideas will not only help people who need that knowledge, but it will also help you grow and develop your skills.

    I believe these social media tools can help people move beyond the basic needs in Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs and let them develop esteem and self-actualize.

    I believe that these tools can help the shy, introverted, insecure, and inexperienced to develop valuable skills that can help them improve their lives in ways both big and small.

    I think I need to edit my About page now.

  28. I started my blog because I have an unhealthy obsession with pens. I figured there were others who had the same addiction, and it turns out I was right. 🙂 I review tons of pens, especially Japanese pens, and my readers are fantastic!

  29. I couldn’t agree more with you on the ‘make money’ niche. Case in point why I don’t touch on it at all…in fact I show my failures more that any profits. But it’s simply fun for me too.

  30. @Tanya, 11 years, dang. (I’ve been blathering online for 19 years, but blogging for just a little over 1.) That is very very cool. There are definitely some “hangout” blogs like that on my favorites list as well.

    @James, your blog is definitely highly useful. Nothing wrong with solid fundamentals, and you’re right, I don’t see much of it, esp. with your background, in the blogosphere.

    @Mark, very cool!

    @dowdyism, I am heading right over. I still haven’t bought my Nakaya, but it will happen. Traditional black/red urushi, mmmm.

  31. Answering this question can often require a combination of the things you mentioned – usefulness, authority, and uniqueness. The more of these advantages you can get, the more stable your corner of the web will become.

    For example, my blog is on Australian environmental law. It focuses on these advantages:

    – There isn’t really another active Australian environmental law blog. The closest is an environmental-economics/law blog, and I focus my material very differently.

    – I blog on a topic with fairly high entrance costs – I have degrees in law and environmental science, and work as a specialist environmental lawyer.

    – There is currently a real need for more community legal education about environmental law. I also have a professional audience since the topic is constantly changing.

    – I blog with a focus on educating the community and anyone who will listen about environmental law, and try to have a fairly natural approach. So whilst I maintain professionalism, I’m the only Australian legal blog that makes use of things such as Flikr images on most posts providing a link between what the law is and what it regulates. In this way I try to differentiate myself from other legal blogs out there.

    – I spend money on design as communicating visually is an important part of my unique voice.

    All these elements add up to create a good niche to fill that can be robust against competition. Now I just have to write more to actually fill that niche…

  32. Well, i don really care if my blog doesn’t get indexed. What i really care about blogging is to share what you have, it could be your thought about something or good stuff that you found on other site, so even my blog doesn’t get indexed, i’m still have fun by sharing valuable information that other ppl may have not yet know.

  33. I write a blog about organizing, based on my experiences as a Professional Organizer (I don’t claim to be an “authority”, though!). There are a million plus one blogs on organizing, but I’ve been able to create a unique niche but focusing on procrastination as it relates to organizing (I host a monthly procrastination challenge) and perfectionism (I have a book coming out on overcoming perfectionism).

    I also try to set myself apart by fitting in somewhere between the “mommy” blogs and the “professional” blogs. As a result I grab people from both of these demographics.

    Great post! Thanks for the info!

  34. Blogging for profit is WORK. It’s another job. One where you don’t get paid.

    I put in about 20 hours a week to get the readers that I get. I still don’t think it’s enough.

    Good luck.

  35. Hey Sonia

    Great stuff!

    > It’s not what you uniquely do. It’s what you uniquely communicate.
    Beautiful play with words.

    > why should we read your blog?
    You’ll get fierce results in the game of life. It’s insight and action from the world’s best teachers and books. It’s scoped to the big rocks in life – mind, body, career, emotions, financial, relationships and fun. The best is yet to come, but there’s ~300 nuggets that can change your life so far.

  36. Ah, if only I were making 7 or even 6 or 5 million… well, maybe next year.

    Great points. One of the reasons I’m glad I’m blogging on my own now is I have fewer restrictions… b5 didn’t put many on me, but now I can wax political or spiritual any time I want along with all my stuff about freelance writing… my voice will be stronger I’m sure… as soon as I really learn to run Thesis 😉

    Thanks for the post,

    Anne Wayman, now blogging at http://www.aboutfreelancewriting.com

  37. I started my blog in April to augment my website (www.jeangogolin.com) and enewsletter, both designed to stay in touch with clients, and win news ones, for my freelance corporate communications/speechwriting business. But like a character you develop in fiction, it’s slowly taking on a life of its own. I still focus on corporate communications but am getting looser about it – and having more fun writing in my own voice.
    My goal is to sound like myself, influenced by you and Naomi. Stay tuned.

  38. Well, I must say that the frequency of the posts and keyword relevancy of the tags associated with the posts do add value. For example, I just came across a blog post from a casual blogger who has just started writing. He goes about explaining on what makes Google and other search engines index his article within minutes of getting published.

    If you want to believe, you can find a screenshot of it over here – http://tinyurl.com/68f82s

    The page has been indexed in about 12 minutes!! too good for a new blog, I shud say!!

  39. My boyfriend and I started a blog called Bizzyness for couples in business together. We noticed that there aren’t many resources for that niche and decided to add our two-cents. The site highlights our experiences as we attempt to become serial entrepreneurs, but it also highlights other couples doing the same as well as provides resources for interested couples.

    So far, the response has been great. We get lots of traffic from all over the world. Sadly, we haven’t perfected the art of engaging readers enough to comment, but we’re working on it! (lol) Take a look and let me know what you think. We would love any feedback.

  40. I recently started my blog because I truly felt that I had information that would help pregnant or soon-to-be pregnant women and moms with young children. There is a lot of nutrition information out there on the web, but not everyone has the appropriate educational background to be writing about it. Check it out and send your friends!

  41. You shouldn’t.

    It forced itself out of two niches because literary people don’t think it’s a “serious” book blog, and people interested in something amusing will avoid book reviews like they were tax seminars.

  42. I have asked teh same question as my subscribers increased and more people kept telling me they loved what I wrote. I still look at it with disbelief.
    Sure, there are wonderful blogs out there, but when the person seeps through the words, there’s attraction, not excluding the kind of life they lead.
    I also recently started cesmots.wordpress.com – which is where I collected all my “fables” .

    Good article 🙂

  43. @Jean, you’re doing a rocking job. Keep it going.

    @Bitterly, I think it’s fantastic.

    @untreatable, not just difficult, probably impossible. However, being better than 99% of the competition is not that hard.

  44. I think what never fails is to be ourselves and dedicate our effort and focus to our unique talents, vocation, mission.

    If we follow our true passion we’ll have a unique voice, and most important, we’ll be credible. In the long run, we’ll have the feeling that our life has a meaning and we are not wasting our time.

    I want to read blogs from people who are offering to the world their authenticity. That’s contagious…

    There are thousands and thousands of blogs where you cannot find all of this. Authenticity and quality are not so common.

    From Spain,

    Juan Bielsa

  45. Tango enthusiasts should subscribe to my blog for at least 3 of many other reasons:

    1. My personal posts tell a story (using I and YOU) which is often followed by action steps and encouragement to start a discussion.

    2. I provide useful tutorials with quality video instruction that doesn’t hog up YouTube’s bandwidth or flood your screen 🙂

    3. I am an instructor and active social dancer in my community that seeks out topics to address that affect me and the other dancers alike. In many ways, I try to teach even when I’m off the job.

    The THOUSANDS of other tango blogs available focus mainly on the experience of the author. A dancer can only watch so many videos of famous people dancing and read personal accounts about the author’s feelings toward tango, the music, or social dances.

    I want to build a community where people can be themselves and feel free to ask each other for help utilizing my unique approach to tango.

    Here’s an example of a blog with a well-written author that could use help in these arenas:
    – topics don’t match: tango and online dating
    – ads don’t support the niche(s)
    – color scheme and layout are hard to navigate
    – ads are in too many places

    I’ve spoken to the author and read his blog when he posts. I have more to say, but I don’t want to rant any more than I already have. Thanks for your post, Sonia.

    It inspired a lot of thought,
    Pete | The Tango Notebook

  46. I have always been a successful communicator and leader in person and don’t try to be someone else in my blog. I try to just be the same person on the website that I am in person.

    I still talk to a lot of people in person and my blog is just and extension. If I find reader, cool, if not cool.

  47. I have definitly experienced this many times, so I ditched the concept of having a ‘blog’ about a single thing.
    Thus, Core Steps was born.
    It’s a business, a blog, and go-to site for all artists, teens, and people alike. It’s fun. It’s an experiment.
    Let me know what you think!

  48. I do think I have a unique voice online. But don’t just take my word for it, take my words for it! Visit my blog & see whatcha think.

    One exception I take to Sonia’s excellent article is “don’t write in a tired space.” OK, I know she didn’t mean that literally, but sometimes when I write whilst very sleepy I come up with some strange & dreamy things. The other night I wrote my suggestions to make sports better while almost asleep & I liked it even the next morning.

    So come by & read my blog… it’s a great place to procrastinate.

  49. I created my blog to help people who want to improve the quality of the lives, who want to live their best life possible. I developed a process to help people quickly and permanently eliminate the core beliefs that are responsible for almost all the problems we face in life. I write about how to apply that process to dealing with specific issues in our lives.

  50. One thing that has bothered me in both my blog and the blogs I frequently visit…

    We all have the same voice. The same snarky voice.

    I don’t like the sameness.

    I don’t know how to stop myself though. I snark therefore I am.

  51. Do not read my blog I need to create a unique voice to impress readers. Right now after reading this post it is dull and boring with no specific purpose. Will begin to improve my blog post with the above recommendations.

  52. I aim to be unique and remarkable, even if just a tiny way. Because if there’s nothing unique or remarkable, then what’s the point, right?

    Sometimes that just means communicating something in a bit simpler or funnier way than I’ve seen it done before.

  53. I recently discovered this post. What is unique about my blog is how I am looking to use hip hop lyrics in a positive light. I use the lyrics and create daily affirmations. My goal was to create 365 of them for 2010 (1 a day.) I just started reading Copyblogger and I have a looong way to go. Thanks for being here.

    Your Ambassador,

  54. I am a newbie blogger. As a radio talk show host, author and speaker, I felt that this was the next best step to take in my evolution. Thank you for the insight. I do think I am having a unique approach to attract more people – I am on a mission to make the world a happier place, of course bearing in mind all of the things that seem to get in our way! 🙂

  55. My blog is a attempt to share with people my expirience how to create and live life what you want. I write only about practice and how it works in real life. Sometimes it seems to me that nobody cares about life’s creation and I begin to hesitate in my blog’s idea. But when I see so great amount other personal growth’s blogs I understand that everything what I have to do – it’s find my own audience. Thanks for this article. It inspired me.

  56. I would appreciate for people to read my blog about building a web presence that has integrity. It is all about learning and navigating the shifting tides of web marketing. I do not do it for myself, I do it for the readers and for the industry. eSeek3r is still in the early stages but I am excited to see how it develops and I can’t wait to engage with other readers and learn and grow together. We will advance together and do great things.

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