I think a lot of us struggle with what to write about and WHO we are writing for. I’m also glad that Gini touched on a similar topic today because it reminded me to write about it here. Here’s what Gini said:
“When this blog gained a little bit of popularity, we began to have internal conversations about the type of content we should be writing. You see, what I consider the “smart” posts are never the ones that get shared a lot. Sure, people read them, but not as many comment nor share on their social networks.
The ones that do get a lot of comments and shares? The top 10 this or the such and such is dead.
It kind of makes me nuts. I won’t pretend it doesn’t.”
I am in the same boat. A few years ago on The Viral Garden, I began to notice something. Every post I wrote would get 5-15 comments like clockwork, UNLESS I wrote about music marketing, those posts always got 1-2 comments at best. Most of them got none. This drove me insane, because I really thought there was so much that marketers could learn from how music artists connect with their fans, but my readers never wanted to talk about that, it seemed.
So the next time I wrote about music marketing, I ended the post by pointing out how passionate I am about this topic, but that I noted that the readers never responded to it. I asked if this was really a topic they cared nothing about? Several readers commented that they loved my music marketing posts, but had no idea what to add. Some felt the topic was ‘over their heads’, which is why there really wasn’t much discussion happening around the posts.
And back to Gini’s comment, those Top 10 Reasons Why….posts ALWAYS get shared and linked. I had a guy tell me once that writing list posts was ‘beneath’ me, and that he would never do it. Well, if your readers want that content, and you are writing for your readers, then what choice do you have? Sure, you can play the role of blogging hipster and look down your nose at list posts, but if your readers get value from that type of posts, why not write them?
But that also doesn’t mean that you should ONLY write for your readers, you as a blogger still have to have a passion for your blog, else you’ll lose interest. Personally, I think there needs to be a balance when you are writing your blog. If you decide that you are just writing for yourself, to hell with your readers, then you’d better have a voice that other people LOVE and seek out. Few bloggers are this popular with their readers, IMO. On the other side, if you only write for your readers, I think you’ll eventually lose interest because you won’t be addressing all of the core issues that are important to you.
I think there needs to be a balance, and like it or not, there probably needs to be room for an occasional ‘Top 5 Ways To’ post. What do you think?