Why Great Content Helps Readers & Keeps Them Coming Back

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When you look for advice on creating a successful blog, most everyone will tell you, “Create GREAT content.”

But what does that mean?

Over the years, I've thought about this a lot. Noticing how some sites post kittens and do extraordinarily well. Others will post a pair of shoes with no text and get 300 comments. And in the meantime most bloggers are tearing their hair out in frustration because they can't seem to figure out what it is that readers love and get excited about.

The truth is, people don't read our blogs to make US happy. They read our blogs because it makes THEM happy.

People are generally on the internet to entertain or inform themselves. Bloggers can help readers achieve that goal, by providing entertaining or informative content. However, this idea seemed to get lost somehow.  I hear bloggers talk about their blog's topic, that it's about “fashion” and/or their “inspiration” which is great, but it doesn't communicate how the blog helps another person. Even more so it does not communicate, WHY another person should read a blog about a perfect stranger's inspiration.

Questions to ask about your blog's content:

Everyone has something to offer. It may take some introspective thinking, but you do have something to offer the world. I had to spend a lot of time thinking about what my “strengths” were, but it really came down to getting out there and trying everything interesting before I figured out what I'm good at.

If you're having trouble figuring out how your blog helps your readers. Maybe it's helpful to ask yourself a few questions:

  • Does my blog solve a problem?  Is it hard to find stylish plus size, petite, maternity clothes? Are you really good at finding the sales? Do you know all the new ecommerce shops out there? Do you know how to style wardrobe basics and restyle them in creative ways?
  • Does my blog inspire my readers? Whether it be body acceptance, or entrepreneurship, or just plain self-help, if your blog gives your readers a positive spin to the day, it is helpful.
  • Does my blog make my readers laugh, or at least smile? You want to know how Buzzfeed is taking over the internet? It's hilarious. Man Repeller did the same thing, plus she has great taste. Laughter is hard to come by for many, many people, and making them smile or laugh is really something.
  • Does my blog unearth new information? Can you dig up news stories, be the first to report what's happening in the fashion space? Are you good at seeing the trends between the trends? Do you have a great bullshit detector? There is a reason why the news industry is so big (even if it's shrinking) but people like to stay informed.
  • Do you take AMAZING photos, have AMAZING style? I'm saying AMAZING, like knock me out of my chair amazing. Like “Holy moly!” amazing. The sad fact is, that the market is so saturated, and has become so competitive, that if you want to make it taking photos of yourself, that you have to have AMAZING style, unless you pair it with another component, like solving a problem or making people smile.

If you still don't know, I would suggest giving every one of these points a try with your blog content. If anything, you'll have more content… or you just might discover something new about yourself.

 

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16 Responses

  1. Jill

    I loved this post! I am in nesting mode/spring cleaning around the house and with my blog brainstorming on ways to make it better, clean out the clutter and go to the next level. These are great tips and a great reminder to always be creating content to inspire others!

    Reply
  2. Lee Anne

    I agree! Content is king in the blogging world, and without it your blog will become lost among all of the others!

    Reply
  3. Donna

    Great article. It is hard to stand out in the online world. I have been doing make up tutorials, but I thought that I would try something different. So I’ve been doing more product reviews, but they don’t seem to get as many views. I thought that people would get tired of tutorials, but maybe not. I guess I’ll go back to those for the majority of my content,. If spring ever comes to the Northeast I can start doing some fashion photos again.
    Donna
    http://Www.prettysparklythings.blogspot.com

    Reply
  4. Sarah's Real Life

    This is good advice, but I think it’s also important to remember to keep your content HONEST. Assuming a personality that’s not really you or trying to be an “expert” on something you only dabble in…that’s not going to be sustainable. I can tell a difference between people who are being themselves and people who aren’t. Genuine people are just more followable in my opinion, even when their content isn’t as “amazing” as someone else’s!

    ~Sarah of Sarah’s Real Life

    Reply
  5. Tavoya

    Great post. It is great to keep in mind that while we started blogging to share a part of your experience, whether it be directly through your life or how you analyize the work of others we still have to fill a need in order to maintain a following. There is no better way to form a sense of community than by offering a service. If you come from a giving place you will be successful in many areas of life. My blog is still in its infancy but I will try to keep this in mind as I have plans to blog for a long time to come.

    Reply
  6. Lady G

    This is a phenomenal piece. I am trying to get my blog off an going but I am so determined to not make it like all the others. There are so many rules I’ve made for myself based on what I’ve seen on other blogs. I really do what there to be real life relatable content. Thanks a lot.

    Reply
  7. Peet

    I agree, it can be nerve-racking, but if you don’t give anything, you won’t get anything… Besides great content, I think you need patience and perseverance too, definitely.:)

    Reply
  8. Alexandria Adair Vasquez

    Before I started my blog I sat down and thought about what I wanted to offer to my readers that would make them stay. I’m only a few months in so I’m still figuring out what kinds of posts I like putting together that my readers will like as well but I definitely think it comes down to offering genuine passion and creativity in what you do!

    Reply
  9. Sabina

    I definitely agree that too many blogs are self-directed and sometimes even self-obsessed with the blogger not considering what it is others could get out of it.

    But on the other hand plenty of huge fashion blogs don’t have a self-help component or even styling tips, just lots of pictures of the blogger and what she’s bought or has acquired “c/o” with a bit of info about what went on that day or week.

    Nevertheless these are good suggestions, with the most basic one of course being that if you care about getting people to read your blog, remember that while you’re doing the writing.

    Reply
  10. Vilosopher

    Yeah… I was just thinking about it today. What is good content? I realized that for me “good content” means that I can relate to it, I recognize myself there. I follow the bloggers that have similar understanding of beauty and style, even if they don’t have any text or their pictures are mediocre.

    Reply
  11. Noemi

    This is useful, sometimes I ask myself why I started my blog and why I keep on blogging (my blog is young, by the way, it’s not 1 year old, yet). The answer, for me, is always the same. I would like to see and read things that I don’t find anywhere else, so I’m trying to work this way.

    Reply
  12. Patrinia

    I think many people try. I do as well but for someone photos can be amazing, but for some dont. I would like to ask you to do me favor, can you please visit my blog and tell me what should I improve or any your thoughts you have about my blog. I would really appreciate if you do so. Thanks very much for any of your time and of course, I can return the favor if somebody would be interested to hear my opinion.

    http://www.coco-mocco.blogspot.com

    Reply