How To Create Reader-Centric Blog Content that Engages – Be Purposeful

First decide on the purpose(s) of your blog. Anyone can have one, but without engaging content and calls to action it’s not going to take you where you want to go.  And your purposes should be reader-centric.
Purposes that don’t count:  Everyone else has one.  My boss/board member told me to do it.  I like to write. It’s cool. It’s easier than other social media. These purposes are focused on you.
Purposes that do count:

I want to inform… share…teach… entertain… help… inspire… engage. These are focused on the reader.  Learning to write a blog in a way that attracts visitors, makes it interesting to readers and encourages them to visit more than once takes some knowledge, planning and skills.  It’s not difficult; it just must be approached thoughtfully – like anything else worth doing.

It all begins with getting inside the minds of your readers. What might they want to hear? How can you entertain them? How can you inspire them? How can you be helpful to them? 
I recommend three general reader-centric purposes to provide structure to your blog posts.  Each case is a Win/Win, because you’ll be (1) demonstrating your knowledge, authority and effectiveness while (2) providing your readers with something that you’re uniquely suited to give them:
  1. Offer new information and insights (e.g., call attention to what’s happening in the world; then relate it to what you’re doing; alert to pending legislation; explain unfamiliar concepts; take your readers ‘behind-the-scenes’; suggest new perspectives and angles);
  2. Teach new skills (e.g., “How to ____”; “7 Ways To _____”; “Tips for ___”), and 
  3. Provide inspiration that helps your audience overcome obstacles to getting more involved and invested (e.g., tell stories that engender empathy; write posts that demonstrate your effectiveness and show how you’ve leveraged resources; interview people and share what you learn; create polls or surveys that engage your readers).
There are then a number of techniques – or categories of writing — to captivate your audience. Kivi LeRoux Miller  posted on this just yesterday in Six Different Kinds of Nonprofit Blogs. Sometimes we enrapture through storytelling.  Sometimes it’s by telling personal anecdotes about ourselves. Sometimes it’s by teaching. Sometimes it’s by sharing links. And sometimes it’s offering opportunities for involvement. 
Give your readers a gift to take away. This is your overarching purpose. Give them… a laugh… a cry… data… new information… insights… answers to questions… something to think about… something to do. Whatever you do, don’t leave them cold.
Don’t leave your common sense at the door.  How would you share this information with a friend or loved one?  You’d probably try to make it funny or entertaining or dramatic or attention grabbing in some way.  You’d consider who you were talking to, and tailor your style and purpose accordingly.  Got it?
Have you found a certain type of post to engage more reader participation or to drive more action?  What kind works best for you?
Recent Clairification posts about content strategy and implementation:
 Writing style and formatting:
§         Purely Practical SMIT for April: Twitter Headlines (has links to great articles about headline creation that apply equally to blogs)
Finding, hoarding and creating content:
Content strategy and planning
Recommended posts from other authors that may provide motivation and help with writer’s block:
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About Claire

I’m Claire and I want to help you raise more money, reach more people and build long-lasting relationships with your supporters. Take a look in the archives.


  1. very useful tips for blogging. keep it up


  2. Glad you found this helpful, and thanks for the encouragement. I'll keep it up!

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