But How Does That Apply to Me?

“How does this apply to me?” is a question I ask every time I visit another blog. Sure, there are some pretty narrow niches out there, but I think most of us want our blogs to appeal to as many people as possible. One of my challenges with blogging is to make sure it’s not all about me, and believe you me, if there’s anything I like to talk about it’s myself. However, I don’t think you’re into hearing about me unless it’s about how something I did led to success or if I report on news, products, etc. that will appeal to everyone.

I was thinking about this yesterday as a read about someone’s visit to a conference. The blogger talked about what she was wearing and who she was most looking forward to seeing. She also talked about her favorite restaurants in that area.

How does that apply to me?

When I read someone’s conference report I want to learn about the educational sessions and what the blogger learned and took away from each session. I also want to learn if any new and useful products were introduced. I don’t mind hearing about parties and clothes, if there’s other useful stuff thrown in there, but I think all blog posts should be written with the reader in mind – don’t you?

How does that apply to me?

  • If you’re doing a product review, how does it apply to me? I’m happy that new shade of lipstick matches your favorite sweater, but if it doesn’t match my wardrobe it doesn’t apply to me. If you received a blender to review and all you talk about is making babyfood it doesn’t apply to me because I don’t have a baby, throw some other stuff in there too. Talk about how it appeals to the general public.
  • If you’re doing a book review, how does it apply to me? I’m glad reading this book increased your sales, but you and I do two different things, so how will the same book help me?
  • If you’re on a press trip, how does it apply to me? I get that someone is paying your way for you to talk to us about either the trip or the reason behind the trip, but if it’s all about you and what you did, it doesn’t apply to me. Why and how do the things you do on your press trip apply to me?
  • If you’re offering tips for better blogging, how do they apply to me? Writing about how the latest plugins will help an automotive blog is great for all the automotive bloggers. But it’s a narrow niche. If you want to bring in more traffic and readers, also talk about how the plugin works for all bloggers. I’m not saying nichey people shouldn’t get nichey, but if you want to bring in more traffic and look like you know what you’re doing beyond said niche, there’s nothing wrong with getting general once in a while. Otherwise, your blog and your brand are going to hit a stalemate.
  • If you’re at the latest conference, how does that apply to me? Seriously, why do I want to read your conference report? If it’s a name dropping, place dropping, piece of self servery, it really doesn’t apply to me at all. However, if there are benefits of attending said conference, do let me know so I can make the decision as to whether or not to attend next time around. Also, if a speaker is giving away some killer tips, share with us.
  • If you have a personal anecdote, how does that apply to me? Telling your story is awesome. It gives a human element to your blog and lets us know something about the blogger behind the blog. But how does it apply to me? What’s the lesson? What’s the moral? Why should I even care.

Make it Apply to Me

If your blog is personal, and it’s only applicable to people within your personal circle like friends and family, there’s no need to read this post. There’s nothing wrong with creating a space to share with your loved ones.

However, if you’re looking to grow your blog, your brand and your name, your blog is no longer about you. It’s about me, the collective me. It’s about all the mes who are reading your blog. It’s great that you have so many good things to share, but if they have nothing to do with the collective me, there’s just no reason for us to stop by.

How are you going to make your content apply to the collective me?

  • http://dr1665.com/ Brian Driggs

    This is a super important point to make, Deb. 

    So much of the “conversation” revolves around whats. We need more why and how. As someone preparing to launch a campaign around a trip to the EU this summer, I know I could go on and on about what I’m doing to prepare and what we’ll do when we’re there, but the whole point of sharing the stories is to encourage others to try something similar for themselves. 

    The “collective me” is still other people. We need to be ourselves and specialize, but we need to make sure our efforts are making a difference in the larger world. Anyone can tell you what they did. People only car about WHY we did it.

  • http://twitter.com/AVGirlMidori Midori Connolly

    AWESOME, awesome reminder about creating the WIIFM!!

  • http://www.mynotetakingnerd.com/blog Lewis LaLanne aka Nerd #2

    People doing the opposite of what you’re talking about in your post leads to them doing “Me, Me, Me” advertising. This why you see huge billboards of the local realtors glamor shot on there and his name – maybe  a cute slogan.

    Advertising salesman love people who run ads like these because they’re writing the check to assuage their ego – not to bring in clients. And if the ad is never measured for effectiveness, as long as there’s money in the budget, that ad space will be paid for.  

    It’s oh so crucial to see the world of our audience from the frustrations and desires of our perfect prospect less we start to delude ourselves into thinking we’re our audience. Thank you Deb for reminding me of this important lesson!

  • http://expatlifecoach.com John Falchetto

    This is essential Deb, yes as bloggers we are often serving our need to share but there has to be some value.
    Perhaps if everyone online asked this question before they posted/tweeted, the noise would go down.

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  • http://boozefoodtravel.com/ JCMatt

    Great reminder. Know matter what the medium, we need to engage our readers so they continue reading. Now I need to go review my blog posts and possibly edit them.