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Drawing More Readers with Inspiring Aspirations

One of the big struggles when you are launching a business blog, is how to write content that will both appeal to your audience and have some connection to what you have to offer.

I have been helping a couple of clients pull their blog topics together, they both were frustrated that there was apparently very little to talk about the widgets they sell. The solution for both was the same, even though they are in starkly different industries. You might find the same solution works for you also, even if you have nothing to sell.

What motivates your audience? Not just “interests” but really motivates?

How does this connect with what you do and how you do it?

This is why it is helpful to create a very detailed Mind Map, talk to potential or existing customers, get into your audience head space. Otherwise there are opportunities you can miss.

Without giving away my clients niches before they even launch, both sold something seemingly straightforward and practical, but there was something for each that connected with the audiences self-identity and aspirations. One was in the way the product ingredients were sourced and manufactured, the other in the customers overall life goal.

Rather than creating a “widget blog”, talk to topics that will make your audience really take notice. We often talk about addressing needs and problems, but when you are talking about products and services you can also address your readers sense of purpose, hopes and dreams.

Goals, Inspiration and Aspirations

What is the ultimate benefit you are the solution or part of the solution for?

  • Make more money
  • Freedom and free time
  • Be famous, Prestige
  • Safety and security
  • Adventure and excitement

World View and Activism

Are your potential customers facing a challenge, are they of a particular moral/political/advocate group? Do they share beliefs with you?

  • Fair Trade
  • Environment
  • Organic
  • Alternative Energy

Successful Inspiring Blogs

Consider the following successful blogs, what are the aspirations behind them?

Some are obvious, some not immediately obvious, but all have a promise that they deliver on. Everything from “make more money” to “look good without spending a fortune”.

This blog you are reading has a promise connected to my services (build more business through new media), but the promise with real crystal clarity I spun off into Authority Blogger.

Where do you fit Into your readers world?

Rather than just focusing on your widgets or services, think how you can fit into your customers world. What can you talk about that is inspiring, fills a need but also connects authentically to what you do and offer.

For any blog you need to go beyond merely supplying information or being “kinda useful”, if you do not connect in some way to what really matters to your audience, then you will get lost amongst the sea of alternatives and the many distractions of modern life.

Can you think of any other brands or blogs that are attracting readers through inspiration and aspiration?

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Comments

  1. Great post, Chris, very thought-provoking.

    I think that SparkPlugging (formerly eMom) is another great example of what you’re talking about. Wendy’s always been all about inspiring and motivating stay-at-home moms, and it was so contagious that a lot of us dads jumped in along the way too. “Work at Home Mom Success” and now it’s bigger cousin, “Small Business Success” is a big draw. I mean, what parent doesn’t want to be more accessible to their children, right? Being a success in your home business can mean, ultimately, more success as a parent. That is aspiration.

  2. Great post, Chris, very thought-provoking.

    I think that SparkPlugging (formerly eMom) is another great example of what you’re talking about. Wendy’s always been all about inspiring and motivating stay-at-home moms, and it was so contagious that a lot of us dads jumped in along the way too. “Work at Home Mom Success” and now it’s bigger cousin, “Small Business Success” is a big draw. I mean, what parent doesn’t want to be more accessible to their children, right? Being a success in your home business can mean, ultimately, more success as a parent. That is aspiration.

  3. Really useful post Chris, thanks.

  4. Really useful post Chris, thanks.

  5. I think what motivates my readers is the hope of learning a new technique or way of thinking to help increase the seo of their website or blog.

    But the aspirational angle is interesting, and to postion a blog to target those types of people has inherent value and growth.

    As I am in the process of putting together my own client coaching program I can see that targeting those who really want to burn it up makes perfect sense.

    Of course it will put other, more sedentary wannabe players off, but that’s only good.

  6. I think what motivates my readers is the hope of learning a new technique or way of thinking to help increase the seo of their website or blog.

    But the aspirational angle is interesting, and to postion a blog to target those types of people has inherent value and growth.

    As I am in the process of putting together my own client coaching program I can see that targeting those who really want to burn it up makes perfect sense.

    Of course it will put other, more sedentary wannabe players off, but that’s only good.

  7. @Bob – Sparkplugging is a great example, I know the motivation there very well because spending time with my family by creating my own business was me not so long ago πŸ™‚

    @Sherrilynne – Glad you like it πŸ™‚

    @Linkbait Cowboy – Yup, people with only a passing or casual interest even if they paid wouldn’t consume your service and therefore would not gain value from it and therefore would not be good customers, or potentially disruptive ones. Targeting the core, motivated group is best all round.

  8. @Bob – Sparkplugging is a great example, I know the motivation there very well because spending time with my family by creating my own business was me not so long ago πŸ™‚

    @Sherrilynne – Glad you like it πŸ™‚

    @Linkbait Cowboy – Yup, people with only a passing or casual interest even if they paid wouldn’t consume your service and therefore would not gain value from it and therefore would not be good customers, or potentially disruptive ones. Targeting the core, motivated group is best all round.

  9. Interesting post, Chris.

    I just took a dive in the other direction. I decided that How to be an Original, my blog, is not a business blog, but a (passionate) personal blog. I don’t choose the audience, the audience chooses me. I’m not going to define who that audience is, it’s not up to me.

    I’m a guy that has an authentic desire to grow and I’m not afraid to share my failures, questions and doubts or to show my vulnerable side. By doing so, and by connecting with my audience, I’m being part of a community of people interested in personal growth. Not because I know and tell, but because I do and share.

    I’m also starting two other blogs soon, and for those I am taking the business blog route. They are on niche topics and that’s where I can focus and apply the business blogging strategies. I will still let a personal voice come through, but it won’t be a personal blog.

    They require a totally different approach in my opinion. Business blogs are meant to make money, Personal blogs might just make money as a side effect. But treating a personal blog as a business blog may just hurt your blogging groove, and leave you disillusioned with blogging alltogether.

  10. Interesting post, Chris.

    I just took a dive in the other direction. I decided that How to be an Original, my blog, is not a business blog, but a (passionate) personal blog. I don’t choose the audience, the audience chooses me. I’m not going to define who that audience is, it’s not up to me.

    I’m a guy that has an authentic desire to grow and I’m not afraid to share my failures, questions and doubts or to show my vulnerable side. By doing so, and by connecting with my audience, I’m being part of a community of people interested in personal growth. Not because I know and tell, but because I do and share.

    I’m also starting two other blogs soon, and for those I am taking the business blog route. They are on niche topics and that’s where I can focus and apply the business blogging strategies. I will still let a personal voice come through, but it won’t be a personal blog.

    They require a totally different approach in my opinion. Business blogs are meant to make money, Personal blogs might just make money as a side effect. But treating a personal blog as a business blog may just hurt your blogging groove, and leave you disillusioned with blogging alltogether.

  11. You will find that even if you do not target an audience consciously you still are (we get the audience we deserve), and it sounds like with “How to be an original” you are on an aspiration and inspiration path too πŸ™‚

  12. You will find that even if you do not target an audience consciously you still are (we get the audience we deserve), and it sounds like with “How to be an original” you are on an aspiration and inspiration path too πŸ™‚

  13. I don’t want to lose track of why I write in the first place by putting to much into just trying to make money. I don’t know who reads my posts and like the previous comment whomever they are they will find me. I’m not trying to write for a specific audience. It’s more of a journal and if others find it interesting or thoughtful then for now that is my reward. One thing I find interesting is that I know people read my posts even though they may not comment. Because I get direct email from some readers letting me know they liked a particular entry…..to me that is cool!

  14. I don’t want to lose track of why I write in the first place by putting to much into just trying to make money. I don’t know who reads my posts and like the previous comment whomever they are they will find me. I’m not trying to write for a specific audience. It’s more of a journal and if others find it interesting or thoughtful then for now that is my reward. One thing I find interesting is that I know people read my posts even though they may not comment. Because I get direct email from some readers letting me know they liked a particular entry…..to me that is cool!

  15. thanks for this article. I found it helpful. I write about open source software and I think you have helped give me a new way to look at my writing. thanks!

  16. thanks for this article. I found it helpful. I write about open source software and I think you have helped give me a new way to look at my writing. thanks!

  17. Chris, I’m actually relatively new to your blog – but it’s about new media, so I’m interested. This post was a great first impression.

    Actually, this post challenged me to reconsider my blog’s target – and just exactly what is the solution or inspiration that I’m offering. Thanks for the advice and have a great day.

  18. Chris, I’m actually relatively new to your blog – but it’s about new media, so I’m interested. This post was a great first impression.

    Actually, this post challenged me to reconsider my blog’s target – and just exactly what is the solution or inspiration that I’m offering. Thanks for the advice and have a great day.

  19. Chris, this is an excellent post! Thank you for writing it. I want to do more of what you are saying at Interview Chatter, but have hesitated. I wrote a post last night that caused me to think long and hard before posting it because I don’t want to offend my readers. I want them to grow and do better. But growth comes from feedback. And applying lessons learned from mistakes, etc.

    Also, I am putting together a 50 minute discussion for learning professionals – Blogging for Learning Professionals. Your post will help a lot. My focus for the discussion was going to be creating organizational blogs that are focused on training, leadership training, technical skills training, that can be used as an internal resource. I am sure I can incorporate your suggestions. Very challenging post. Thanks!

  20. Chris, this is an excellent post! Thank you for writing it. I want to do more of what you are saying at Interview Chatter, but have hesitated. I wrote a post last night that caused me to think long and hard before posting it because I don’t want to offend my readers. I want them to grow and do better. But growth comes from feedback. And applying lessons learned from mistakes, etc.

    Also, I am putting together a 50 minute discussion for learning professionals – Blogging for Learning Professionals. Your post will help a lot. My focus for the discussion was going to be creating organizational blogs that are focused on training, leadership training, technical skills training, that can be used as an internal resource. I am sure I can incorporate your suggestions. Very challenging post. Thanks!

  21. My blog is an opinion blog. My opinion and my readers opinions. Normally I ask a question of my readers and then tell them what I think and ask what they think.

    I have noticed, and there is no doubt what-so-ever about it, that when I publish a post that is inspiring, the page view numbers go way up and the amount of comments left are easily double or triple of what a normal day would be.

    Live From Las Vegas
    The Masked Millionaire

  22. My blog is an opinion blog. My opinion and my readers opinions. Normally I ask a question of my readers and then tell them what I think and ask what they think.

    I have noticed, and there is no doubt what-so-ever about it, that when I publish a post that is inspiring, the page view numbers go way up and the amount of comments left are easily double or triple of what a normal day would be.

    Live From Las Vegas
    The Masked Millionaire

  23. @Chris: If there’s an audience I target, it’s the audience I already have. But I’m not getting in their heads, I allow them in mine. It is me who is on an inspiration and aspiration path, and because I am, my blog is also. Not the other way around πŸ™‚

    I still think you’re absolutely right with this post, don’t get me wrong. I just think there’s a big difference between business blogs and personal blogs. Personal blogs that get treated as business blogs depersonalize fast. At least that’s my opinion.

  24. @Chris: If there’s an audience I target, it’s the audience I already have. But I’m not getting in their heads, I allow them in mine. It is me who is on an inspiration and aspiration path, and because I am, my blog is also. Not the other way around πŸ™‚

    I still think you’re absolutely right with this post, don’t get me wrong. I just think there’s a big difference between business blogs and personal blogs. Personal blogs that get treated as business blogs depersonalize fast. At least that’s my opinion.

  25. Christ, i am still in a world which most of us fit me in “Who is this guys?”.

  26. Christ, i am still in a world which most of us fit me in “Who is this guys?”.

  27. Really great post, Chris. Thanks

  28. Really great post, Chris. Thanks

  29. @Steve – If someone takes the time to email that is great feedback, both with their words and actions

    @chase – That’s all I try to do so thanks πŸ™‚

    @Herbert – Even if we have thought about it and still do the same things at least we are doing the same things consciously πŸ™‚

    @Darlene – Incorporate away, these ideas are here to share!

    @The Masked Millionaire – I see that pattern too, in fact for a while I tested the beer/coffee donation button for the plugin developer and found the days with an inspirational post got the most donations.

    @Lodewijk – Yes, different goals and intentions develop different readership. You find though you attract an audience that agrees with your world view in most cases though.

    @David – Tell them who you are then πŸ™‚

    @Sebastien – Glad you like it πŸ™‚

  30. @Steve – If someone takes the time to email that is great feedback, both with their words and actions

    @chase – That’s all I try to do so thanks πŸ™‚

    @Herbert – Even if we have thought about it and still do the same things at least we are doing the same things consciously πŸ™‚

    @Darlene – Incorporate away, these ideas are here to share!

    @The Masked Millionaire – I see that pattern too, in fact for a while I tested the beer/coffee donation button for the plugin developer and found the days with an inspirational post got the most donations.

    @Lodewijk – Yes, different goals and intentions develop different readership. You find though you attract an audience that agrees with your world view in most cases though.

    @David – Tell them who you are then πŸ™‚

    @Sebastien – Glad you like it πŸ™‚