There is an avalanche of articles and blog posts teaching you how to write well. Even “reputed” and “revered” bloggers and content publishers cannot resist publishing these clichéd blog posts and articles that are perpetually regurgitating the stuff that has already been told to you at least 133 million times. They almost, always begin with: put the reader first. What exactly does that mean? Does it mean always trying to please your readers and write about things that only cater to their whims and fancies or does it mean actually writing something that benefits them? Most writers who teach you how to write seem to be focusing on the former. It should be the latter.
Whenever you are starting to write a new blog post, an article, or even a business webpage for one of your clients or for yourself think about why the reader should read what you are writing. Are you merely trying to please your visitors so that they visit your blog or website again and again or do you really intend to communicate your actual feelings?
To be honest I too have tried my hand at a couple of blog posts that were merely written to generate traffic because I felt people wanted to read such blog posts. But this is a myth promoted by web writers and bloggers who don’t want you to try something new and want to keep the territory safe for them. Don’t write for your readers to please them, write for them to really share something genuine with them otherwise it begins to sound stale and inconsequential eventually. Have you noticed the deluge of how-to lists and resource lists that tell you 50 ways of doing this and 100 ways of doing that? Do you ever follow those 50 or 100 methods? I am sure you save them (as I often do) thinking that someday you will definitely use them. These people publish these lists simply because they know that such lists draw lots of traffic and encourage people to bookmark them. They rarely go beyond that. So how can you really benefit your readers?
Share with them instead of presenting to them chunks of information and lists of methods and tips. Be one of them. For example have a look at Steve Pavlina’s blog; I think life improvement blogs will come, make a mark, create some ripples and instant celebrities, and go, but Steve’s blog is going to sustain. This is because he doesn’t present lists of things that can help you become a super achiever. He simply shares with you his experiences. He doesn’t sound like an expert or an authority figure. He automatically becomes an authority by sharing whatever he experiences and learns.
This is how you focus on your readers when you write; you become one of them. Don’t preach them, don’t tell them to do this and that in order to attain Nirvana. Simply, share your growth with them, share your experiences, and encourage them to share theirs.