How To Create A Blog That Actually Matters (for both you AND your audience)

blogging tips

I’m not even sure where I read this, but while going down a rabbit hole of mass blog consumption today, I came across this line:

…a blog that matters.

Huh, a blog that matters.

I paused.

Well, I want to create a blog that matters, was my first thought. (and yes, it sounded just as whinny in my head as it does written down LOL)

For those of you who have been following along on this little journey of mine for awhile, you’ll know that I’ve constantly struggled over defining Hustle and Hearts.

I’ve talked a lot about defining my blog on my own terms. To hell with niches has always been my general attitude

But here’s the deal: I think there’s one thing that I’ve forgotten about. And that, my friends, is about creating a blog that matters.

Because really, does it matter if you can gain 1000 Instagram followers in 28 days?

Does it matter if you have pretty drugstore makeup?

Does it matter if you read a budget friendly gift guide?

Yeah, there might be value in those posts, because I deliver what I promise, but do they actually impact someone’s life?

Depending on who you ask, maybe not.

I think the more I’ve been working on my ebook, and the more I’ve been evaluating my own career, the more I’ve realized that I have more to give than makeup tips and fashion advice.

I’ve built a lifestyle for myself that revolves around freedom, opportunity, and creativity. And if that’s not something worth sharing, well, I’m not sure what is.

And hey, by no means am I belittling beauty and fashion. I seriously never could because they’re my fav topics.

But I’ve started to question whether I personally can create valuable enough content on those specific topics to the point where they actually matter for people.

The point of this post is to show you guys that sometimes the universe might be trying to tell you something when it comes to your blog. As much as I’ve resisted it, and as much as I keep maintaining my blog can be about whatever the hell I want it to be, the more I’ve started to realize it can’t.

Or more accurately: it shouldn’t.

It needs to be about bringing content to you guys that I think actually matters to you, and that I know I can deliver on.

Dreams, productivity, business, blogging, writing. Yes, yes, and yes! Those are all things I know. And they’re things I know well, and most importantly, things I know first hand.

Write what you know. Isn’t that what they say?

And so, I’m listening to the universe, I’m not resisting, and for now we’re going to be focusing a lot more on freelance writing, female entrepreneurship, and all that jazz.

But of course I can’t leave you without some valuable takeaways for your own blog, so here ‘ya go…

Five quick questions you can ask yourself to decide whether you’re creating a blog that matters:

blog tips

1) What posts get the most shares and comments?

These are the posts that matter to your audience. Focus on them, and write more content like them. Simple.

2) What posts do people spend the most time on?

Check your Google Analytics. The posts that people spend multiple minutes on are the posts that people are actually taking the time to read. Pageviews are great, but what people actually do once their on your site is more important.  

3) Am I passionate about my blog topics?

Even if people are absolutely loving a topic, it doesn’t mean you should be writing about it. You have to have a passion for it too. For me, I could never write exclusively about freelance writing. I love what I do, but I’m not passionate enough about it that I’d be able to talk about it all day. What I could talk about all day? Online entrepreneurship! I want more women to realize they are totally capable of building a lifestyle on their own terms. The passion from both yourself and your readers needs to be there to have a successful blog.

4) What perspective do I have that’s unique?

We all know the blogging world is saturated. There’s millions of blogs on fashion. Millions of blogs on mom life. Millions of blogs on blogging. Millions of blogs on travel. Most people will respond to this by saying, but there’s only one of you. I’ve heard that before, but what I haven’t actually considered is thinking about what specifically it is about me that gives me an edge. Is my perspective on makeup unique? Nope. Is my opinion on fashion special? Defs not. The thing about me that is unique and separates me is my career. I’ve never had any sort of full time office job. I graduated school and decided I was going to make the entrepreneur thing happen. I don’t say that to brag (at all), but I know it’s unique. Really focus on what actually makes you unique, and you might just find it changes your blog. 

Focus on what makes you unique, and it could change your blog Click To Tweet

5) Could I create something beyond this blog?

Not every blog has to create a product/service beyond their blog. Some people are amazing at selling their lifestyle, but for those of you who either aren’t succeeding with that or don’t want that, consider products/services. If you really are offering something that matters to your audience, eventually you should be able to create something valuable enough that people would be willing to pay for it. If you can think of something that maybe you could eventually sell, it probably means you have a blog concept that matters. 

Those are just some questions that I’ve recently been asking myself when trying to decide whether my blog actually matters. By no means am I making the switch to thinking niches are necessary for a blog, but at the same time my eyes have been opened to the idea that they might not be such a bad thing.

Just like you guys, I’m still trying to figure it all out, but I hope something in here might have struck a chord with you.

Let me know in the comments if you have any specific questions regarding freelance writing or online entrepreneurship. I would absolutely love to answer them!

And if you’re interested in building your own business online, full time or as a side hustle, you can sign up below to the waiting list for my soon-to-be-released ebook on how to become a freelance writer.

** Disclaimer: I know different things matter to different people. By no means am I trying to tell anyone that only certain topics matter, or that you have to have a certain type of blog to be relevant. I’m simply trying to give you an alternative way to thinking about your blog

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12 Comments

  1. Reply

    Veronica @ Passion by Girl

    December 14, 2017

    Awesome post!! I just launched my own blog and it’s hard b/c I want people to actually learn something from my content. I see too many mediocre blog posts on the internet and it sucks. I’m trying to do more research on content marketing and what actually makes a good blog post and what makes a good blog in general. I’m on break now so I’m going to spend the next 5 weeks lots of research!!

    • Reply

      Veronica @ PASSION BY GIRL

      December 17, 2017

      Another thing I want to add is that i think there still is value to be had in topics like fashion, beauty, etc. They may be more surface level, but at the core they still work to improve someone’s life in some way. If you look at Lisa Eldridge’s YT channel, I know she’s not a blogger but she has a big impact on women, to enhance their features and be themselves. That’s why I watch all her videos.

      If you feel that blogging/online business is a better niche to focus on for *your* audience, then thats fine but I still believe there’s value in beauty/fashion, just in a different way.

      • Reply

        Andrea

        December 18, 2017

        Hey Veronica! 🙂

        I probably didn’t communicate this well enough, but I tried lol. I totally think there is A TON of value in fashion and beauty blogs. They’re actually my favorite kinds of blogs to read myself, but as topics that I can personally add value to in the world, I’m not so sure. They’re interests and passions of mine, but in terms of content creation, I personally don’t think I can add as much value there. Does that make sense? I definitely wasn’t trying to say those topics don’t have value! I’ll honestly still probably be writing about them because I’m so passionate about it, but I just think more people need to focus on creating content that makes sense for them, rather than creating blogs based on the kinds of blogs they enjoy reading. I think a lot of us fall into that trap, but really what it all comes down to is your own personal view. Everybody should feel comfortable blogging about whatever it is that they want to blog about! This was simply meant to give people a different perspective of looking at it 🙂

        I think I still might not be explaining that as well as I should, but hopefully it makes some sense! I just really had to clarify 🙂

        • Reply

          Veronica @ PASSION BY GIRL

          December 19, 2017

          Ok, I understand now. You mean that bloggers should blog on what past experience they have/what they like, rather than just making a certain type of blog just because they like reading them. I totally understand if you feel that you can’t give as much value in beauty/fashion posts vs. blogging posts.

          • Andrea

            December 19, 2017

            Yes, exactly! I really think any topic can be impactful; it’s really all just about the angle that you approach it from. That’s all I was trying to say 🙂

  2. Reply

    Lola

    December 19, 2017

    Hey Andrea!
    I just touched on this in one of the posts that I’ve written for my new blog in 2018! You articulated this idea so well, I’ll have to link this article in mine when it comes out.
    I think with this new wave of “creatives” and monetizing the blogging industry, people aren’t stopping to think about whether their content is actually adding value. And I think this post should be considered only within the context of people specifically looking to make money through their blogs, because I know some people just want a digital space to talk about things they enjoy and care about and that’s totally fine.
    Lately, I’ve seen a lot of people positioning themselves as experts on topics they really don’t know much about and, like you said, producing mediocre or unoriginal content. Looking on the flip side of what you said in number 5 (and you mentioned it too), not everybody needs to be selling a $400 e-book or course. Some people can provide more useful content by simply talking about and selling their lifestyles. But, I don’t think everyone realizes there are alternatives and multiple ways to make money through content creation. We must be honest with ourselves about what we can do. It’s about finding that balance between creating content that we’re passionate about, that we can involve our unique perspectives to make it original, and that is valuable/adds to a conversation. Otherwise, the content we create is 1. just distracting and 2. not to be too mean, a waste of digital space. It’s always a difficult topic to broach because nobody wants to be the blogging police telling people their work is not valuable. But it’s worth considering.

    Sorry for the long comment, it’s got me thinking more!

    Lots of Love,
    Lola

    • Reply

      Andrea

      December 20, 2017

      Hey Lola,

      Thanks so much for responding! I love all comments, but ones like this that get the conversation rolling are my fav 🙂

      Honestly having this post up gives me some anxiety. Because I know how it sounds: like I’m saying certain topics aren’t valuable, which is not what I believe AT ALL. I’m allllll about creating content you’re passionate about, and I hateeeee when other bloggers shame someone else for creating content in a certain way. It’s so unproductive. This post wasn’t meant to tell people what they should blog about. It was more so a personal revelation for me: finally understanding that as someone who makes a full time income online (not through a blog), I need to share that with more people. Why? Because it matters! On the other hand, I may love me a good lipstick, but does that actually matter to people? Probably not. And why is that? It’s because I personally don’t have knowledge or insight that makes that lipstick matter. But are there other women in the world who do have knowledge and insight that can make that lipstick matter? Of course!

      I think i really need to put a big disclaimer right at the top of this post, explaining that. Seriously, fashion and beauty blogs are my fav to read. I get so much value out of them. It just doesn’t mean I can give value with one. I hope that makes sense.

      Once again, thanks so much for taking the time to respond, Lola. Means the world! 🙂

      xx,
      Andrea

  3. Reply

    Joanna

    January 4, 2018

    Hi Andrea! I am loving this post. Very logical, to the point tips! It is so true about really taking something mainstream and make it your own. Adding personal value is what makes a post stand out!

    xo

    • Reply

      Andrea

      January 8, 2018

      Thanks Joanna! I’m glad you were able to get something out of what I was saying. It definitely is a topic that could easily be misinterpreted, but really it all just comes down to adding value to your readers 🙂

  4. Reply

    Nichole

    January 4, 2018

    This was a really well thought blog post and I sincerely appreciate your honesty in this. I too have felt and sometimes feel the same way! They way you talk about a blog that matters. Of course we want to write for the sake of our readers, but you also have to be passionate about it on the other end. I love you how you mentioned gaining so many followers in so many days, isn’t necessarily a blog that matters. It’s the purpose and value that you can offer that matters. Regardless of your following, because your using your unique selling point to talk about it in the way no one else can. Thanks for sharing!

    – nichole, thedailypursuit

    • Reply

      Andrea

      January 8, 2018

      Thanks Nichole! 🙂 I’m glad you were able to see what I was trying to say. It’s not that I was saying certain topics don’t matter. Just like you said, it’s really more important to give those topics a twist with your own unique perspective so that the topics resonate with people on a different level 🙂

  5. Reply

    Krista @ Reroute Lifestyle

    January 17, 2018

    LOVE this look into how you’ve evaluated where you want to take you blog. Especially this: “What posts get the most shares and comments? These are the posts that matter to your audience. Focus on them, and write more content like them. Simple.”

    As I’m beginning to crank out more content for Reroute Lifestyle, it’s important for me to go back and reflect on what, exactly, is resonating with my current audience – and what is growing it, too.

    xoxo

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