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I was recently challenged by a very good friend that the contnet of my blog was only really clear to people who did not need to read it.   His comments challenged me on several fronts.   

  • Why do I post blogs?   
  • Who do I believe my target audience is?  
  • What do I hope this audience gets from the blogs that I post?

There are several reasons why I post blogs.   Sometimes I post a blog so that I can quickly find something that I struggled to figure out in the first place.    In this case, the target audience is myself, and I hope to make it easier for me the next time that I do something similiar.   If others find something useful there, that is great, but they are not necessarily the target audience.   I admit that these blogs are rare, or atleast I hope that they are rare.   Probably more blogs are written with me as the target audience than I intend.

Sometimes I post blogs with the intention of giving back to the community and helping others have an easier transition in learning something new, or encouraging someone to venture into new technologies that they may otherwise be intimidated by.   In such cases, the target audience is someone new to DotNet or someone who has not really explored much beyond what was needed to get specific jobs done.    This is where I probably have failed my audience the most in the past.  The content may not always be as readily accessible as I would intend.

Sometimes I post blogs with more of a "Look at me, ain't I smart" attitude.   I am ashamed to admit that this is more common than I wish and probably leads to the problems with many posts not being easily accessible to who I believe my target audience is.   I challenge anyone reading my blogs to help keep me inline.   Just be nice about it.

My friend recommended a format that he thought would make the content more accessible to a broader audience by focusing on:

  • What does this mean
  • How will this help me
  • How do I get started 
     

This sounds like sound criticism and good advice.   I challenge all of you who do post blogs to think about the three questions that I struggled with at the begining.  

  • Why do I post blogs?   
  • Who do I believe my target audience is?  
  • What do I hope this audience gets from the blogs that I post?

How would you have to answer these questions?   What do you think of my firend's suggested format?

Posted on Wednesday, March 5, 2008 9:23 AM | Back to top


Comments on this post: Why we Blog!

# re: Why we Blog!
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Great post! Regardless if you end up taking your friend's advice or not, it's a great exercise to stop and think about these topics from time to time.

I believe wholeheartedly that a focused effort on making your posts target an audience will certainly help build and maintain a long-term readership base; one where the reader will want to check-in on what you have to say for the long haul. In my opinion, this is preferable to someone doing a web search for an answer they're looking for, finding it on your blog, getting their answer, and never returning because there's no additional content that they're interested in - focusing on a target audience helps ensure you stay on-topic and hopefully induce readers to return time after time. Think of it as building a brand called "You".
Left by Jerod Crump on Mar 05, 2008 10:05 AM

# re: Why we Blog!
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There is definitely some value in being "reflective" about your blog, but I will say that your friend's analysis isn't 100% accurate. While it is true that your topics tend to be more advanced in nature than say... 4GuysFromRolla.com, some of us prefer the advanced nature of the blog.

I find your insights useful and relevant.

That said, there is nothing really wrong with modifying your format to match your friends recommendation.
Left by Randall on Mar 06, 2008 7:22 AM

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