Why I write

I have mentioned my liking for Coach.me before. When I use it religiously it makes me a better person! It helps you create habits or stick to resolutions by ticking them off.

Shortly after deciding to blog daily I joined the Develop a Writing Habit group. It has a series of 30 daily questions/prompts to help ensure that writing becomes a habit. The first question is: “Why am I writing?”

It sounds a bit meta but I want to develop a writing habit to become a better writer. And like most things the more you do it the better you become.

In the past according to Coach.me my longest writing streak for writing 500 words a day was 59 days. I am now working to beat that and I am doing it in the form of my blog.

And so I write mainly to make myself a better writer. I also write because at some stage I want to write a book. Some of the posts that I write might become part of that book, although I suspect they will need editing.

My Writing Goals

Day 2 of the make writing a habit asks you to set a goal for your daily writing.

Mine are as mentioned in this post a few days ago:

  • Write at least 500 words.
  • Write it before I can do other things in the day.
  • Not allowed to spend too much time on editing.

These I think are pretty good goals. Having said that I am not doing brilliantly at them, The writing 500 words is pretty much okay, the writing before I can do other things in the day is not doing as well. It is something that as the habit begins to get more engrained I hope will get better. However today I wrote around 300 words of a new blog post, lost them when my computer crashed. Rather than start again I came back to this post, and edited it and added in quite a lot more words. So I now have a blog post of around 1000 words, which should be slightly better quality than my not spending time on editing.

So we will see how we get on. Hopefully when I look back on this in 30 days time, this will have been a good exercise and my posts will be becoming better.

Looking at this blog you might see it is a little disjointed. And that brings me on to why that might be. The real issue is that I don’t have a defined audience. It is all well and good that I want to write but I also need to know who I am writing for. Conceivably as I write more the audience I am writing for will become more defined in my mind.

But for now I don’t know who I am writing for and indeed I don’t yet have a writing plan – I just write about whatever comes to mind when I sit down to start my writing.

In some ways this is fine but in others it is a disaster. The problem is that to achieve a following on a blog you really need to be talking to an audiences needs. As my blog topics are so disjointed this means that I don’t have a specific audience. Other than those that just like me – Hi Mum!

So if you have found this and you are reading it, whether my Mum or not, I thank you.

So how do you dial in to your audience?

Hopefully my question process here may help you define who your audience is as well.

For a commercial blog it is much easier. You are writing mainly for your customers and for those you want to become customers. You may also be writing for your fellow workers. But for a personal blog it is much harder.

.The first question is who might read my website?

There are I think a few groups of people who might read my website:

  • My friends
  • My Customers – and potential customes
  • My Co-workers
  • My Social Media Connections
  • Other random people who might think on a similar vein to me.

So the next question is why you should write for those audiences.

My friends will already be connected with me in other ways. I suspect though that they may not be that interested in what is going on inside my brain. They might be interested in what I am doing or when I am going to see them. I am unlikely generally to be blogging about that so my friends are not really a target audience.

My customers and potential customers are more likely to be reading my company websites, my emails or just talking to me on the phone.  I suspect they are unlikely to visit my personal blog, but if they do I hope they will find a few things of interest. On the assumption that in many cases customers buy on the basis of know, like and trust I would want my blog to make me come across as a nice guy and trustworthy.

My co-workers really come under much the same category of my friends – they are unlikely to be that interested in my personal blog.

My Social Media Connections – Some of these will be friends, some will be customers and others will just be people I have come across. Am I writing here for them? Not especially so, although I hope that some of what I write will be useful. And who knows some may end up becoming customers.

The final group of people are those who find the site randomly, probably through a search term. I am getting a third of my traffic that way. However I am not really writing for them either.

So who am I writing for. Ultimately I am writing really for myself. It’s great if the other people mentioned like what I have to say, better if it helps them get to know me better and even better if it encourages them to buy from me.