Your Purpose In Writing

Years ago I read a blog post which took the position that people writing for business should talk about solutions and not about themselves. I took a slightly different view with a post on this blog titled 5 Reasons Your Blog Is Definitely About You, No Matter What It’s Topic Is. He wasn’t totally wrong, and I’m not totally right, because things are never that cut and dry.

I rise
Lua Ahmed
via Compfight

My major point was that people who sell themselves or their services that write blogs absolutely need to say more about themselves than those who writes blogs that sell products. In my case I obviously market services, and I work hard on making myself come across as a person I hope people want to work with. In his case he was a very successful pool salesperson (who’s now more of a personality than a pool salesman, so he came in my direction lol); products were more important to push than himself.

Our markets were drastically different. Whereas he could talk sales in general built around marketing his product, I have to spend more time building up my presence by highlighting issues I feel are important. That hopefully helps to show my possible clients what I know how to do and give them an idea of my proficiency. By the way, how am I doing? 🙂

I also have products, but nothing like what he used to market. You see them over there to the left. Books are harder products to sell, but they’re not really part of my intention. The reason I write books on leadership is to once again promote my competency. If it wasn’t for how long it took me to write them, I might think about giving them away to drive people to my business website… but I’m too shallow to do that. lol

Back to writing. The first thing everyone needs to figure out before writing anything is what their purpose for doing it is. You have to know if the reason is to help market you and what you do, market products you sell, or to just express yourself in a multitude of ways. In every case you’re really marketing yourself, but the purpose might give you different ways to write about yourself.

In the case of the other person I’m talking about, how many stories could he have written about himself and pools? He wrote a bunch of stories about how he helped people solve issues with their pools, or how he helped them select a pool. Every sales person does that sort of thing.

It’s almost the same for those of us that market services. I spend a lot of time on this blog talking about the process of writing, which indirectly markets my writing services. I spend a lot of time on my business blog talking about health care and leadership. Sometimes I solve problems; other times I tell stories that hopefully will get people thinking in a different direction. In all regards, I’m working on marketing myself, which I believe is the overall secret to success (marketing, not my working on marketing). To reinforce this, check out this video:


https://youtu.be/wigiJMeRunU

Truthfully, I can’t help you market products all that well, so I’m going to talk more about marketing yourself and your services. In that regard, I’m going to tell you some of the things I do towards trying to achieve my marketing goal.

I work hard on adding personality to whatever I write. I do that by trying to form my posts into little stories. After all, who doesn’t like a good story? Isn’t it nice when a good story has a happy ending? Even without the happy ending, as long as I’ve satisfied the 3 rules of blogging (entertain, inform or educate) I figure I’ve done the major thing that gets everything started.

After that, it comes down to promotion. You can’t become known if no one knows how to find you, which means you have to go find people to read what you have to say. This is where it gets dicey. You have to decide what you’re willing to do for promotion and if it’s acceptable for the audience you’re trying to reach.

You have to do a mix of marketing and promotion to reach a wider audience. You have to be willing to promote everything you can regarding yourself without being too selfish and not promoting others. When you promote others, many of them will help to promote you.

Here’s the reality of your situation. Every person gets to decide what their purpose is, and then how they want to get it across. There’s no one way of doing anything that works for everyone. My way might not work for you, and I acknowledge that; it might not even work for me!

With that said, write something at some point, then write more, then rinse and repeat as often as you can. Write with purpose while writing from your heart and your mind; make people feel you. Decide which way is best for you and then go for it. Who knows; I might even read it! 😉
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2014-2018 Mitch Mitchell

The Basics Of Writing A Newsletter

I’ve been writing a newsletter for more than 7 years now. I was writing two, but I already wrote about why I gave up writing one of them.


When I started, there weren’t tons of email newsletters out there. Not that there weren’t any, but I’d seen very few when I decided I was going to write one. Over the years I think I’ve refined it somewhat, to the point that I believe I can now tell others my thoughts on writing one. Sure, everyone has their own style, and that’s fine. You can see what I have to say, then take from it what you will and do your own. My opinion, my blog, and thus I’m writing my beliefs on the subject. By the way, if you’d like to subscribe to my business newsletter, there’s the link for it.

The first basic is that you have to have something to say. Just like the recommendation I make to bloggers, if you don’t think you can write about something for at least a few years don’t even start it. I know people who start writing one and give up after 3 or 4, or go six months or more between them. To me, that’s a waste of time and insulting to your readers, since they took the time to sign up.

The second basic is determining a style. The lucky thing is that you don’t have to keep the style you start out with. When I first started writing my business blog, there was little personality in it. As I kept writing, I knew that people might like seeing more of what I was about and why I might come to the conclusions I do when writing my newsletter. I’ve come to a style now where I start off with some kind of story most of the time, then use the story to get to my point. Not that I have thousands of subscribers, but I can say that once I went to a less formal format readers seemed to enjoy it more, and I started getting some comments, which almost never happened before that.

The third basic is determining what your purpose is. Will your newsletter be to showcase your expertise? Will it be a sales and marketing newsletter? Will it be a combination of both? Will you post a product, and will that product be related in some way to your topic? Will you highlight your business in some fashion, or just entertain? Will your newsletter have new content, or will it be a recap of blog posts you wrote during the week? My newsletter is to highlight my expertise in certain business areas, and I’ve stuck to that all these years. It took me awhile to realize I should have not only my business listed on it but my products and some of my other websites. And it wasn’t all that long ago that I started adding two books that I recommend in some fashion with every newsletter that addresses the topic, at least most of the time, as I haven’t been able to resist popping something in every once in awhile that I just happened to like.

The fourth basic is determining the look and format. The newsletter I have now is the culmination of maybe 10 different styles or colors. It used to be really colorful, and every newsletter had a different color. Now it’s pretty clean; all white background, dark blue print and framing, and the books. As a matter of fact, I’m going to let you see one of my newsletters, the last one I’ve written, because I not only want you to see it, but because I was somewhat inspired by a blog written by one of my favorite commenters here, Karen Cruz, and she honored me by not giving the link out to the newsletter and I want to thank her for that. The title of my newsletter is Money, Power and Respect, and Karen’s post was titled Letter of Resignation.

By the way, a quick sidebar to Charles, who comments here and writes a great blog as well. What I just did in linking to a specific post on Karen’s blog is a trackback. If she’s got it turned on, her blog comment will show this link in it saying I have linked back to, or tracked back to, that specific blog post.

The fifth and final basis is determining how you’re going to send it out, or delivery. I’m not going to get into how to market it or publicize it, as that’s another topic entirely; just stemming that question for now. Anyway, You can decide on a number of things; send out email, post it to a website or blog and let people know about it, print it and send it out in regular main, set up a forum, etc. What I do is send it out in email along with the HTML attachment, and then I put the link online. I’m thinking about either creating a membership site at some point with all my newsletters in there, since new subscribers don’t have access to older newsletters, or taking what I consider are my best written ones, re-edit them, and put them in a book format. I’m just not sure yet.

Oh yeah; how many words? That’s up to you. I’ve seen some newsletters that are barely 300 words, and others that are nearly 2,000 words; I think I’ve written one or two of them. Someone said the standard should be between 500 and 750 words; I tend to think, just like blog posts, you write as much or as little as you need to and then move on. For instance, if you’re writing an instructional newsletter, you might be using images and thus cut down how many words you’re writing. Or you might have a long story to tell to get to your point, in which case you write longer newsletters. Mine come in between 750 and 1,100 words most of the time.

And that’s that. If there are other questions I’ll be glad to answer them. Otherwise, good luck!

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2010-2011 Mitch Mitchell