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.

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:

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! 😉

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Do You Have A Writing Style?

I’ve been working on the editing of what I hope ends up being my second “real” book. I’ve got one book on leadership out there, over to the left along with an ebook and a seminar.

Sentarum elementary school
CIFOR via Compfight

My second book will also be leadership related. It’s going to be a compilation of some of my earliest newsletters and early blog posts on the subject.

It’s actually completed and been through the second draft; I just need to decide when to pull the trigger and how I’m going to do it. The first edit was pretty tough to do. The reason it was hard is because I started out writing for my business in one way, and over time I started to find my voice and my rhythm and started writing much differently. My present writing style developed from trial and error, and I think it’s much more conversational.

This doesn’t mean that every person will like my style, but at least it’s mine. Every person that writes blogs has a certain style, and that’s a good thing.

I say that because some years ago I tried writing for what’s known as an “article farm” named Demand Studios, which works hard in trying to put everyone under the same strict guidelines as far as style is concerned. It’s confining and, though they didn’t see it at the time, leads to some very poorly written content. When they took a significant hit with the first Google Panda update they had to reevaluate what they were putting out.

Do you have a style? Is it any good? True, I did say that it’s best if people write in their voice but people also have to evaluate if their voice is, well, good in print. There are some people who can tell a great story but can’t put it down on paper, and the reverse is true as well.

I always figure that’s why it takes some people hours to write a blog post whereas I can usually write one in 10 minutes or less. All of us might have ideas that come to us the same way, but we put it down in print differently because of how we process what it is we want to say.

Still, if you do something enough times you’ll develop a style that hopefully you’re comfortable with. My thoughts have always been to never wait for perfection because you’ll never do anything. Get in there, start writing, and let the chips fall where they may. Be brave because fortune favors the brave; now where have I seen that before? 😉

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