What Is It That I Do Here, Anyway?
Last month I impulsively submitted my blog for a “website review” from the fine folks at Blogging Concentrated. I’d heard great things about their conferences and blog reviews, so when they offered a special, I jumped at it.
This review was very thorough. Dan went through all of my social media channels, my blog’s home page, my category pages, my About page, Media Kit, and even my Google Analytics. He had a lot of wonderful advice for growing traffic as well as making my site more user-friendly and more focused on the reader experience. This has always been of the utmost importance to me. Without happy and engaged readers, there’s no reason for me to pour my heart and soul into creating content.
One of the most difficult tasks he gave me was to rethink my bio (or my mission statement, if you will) across my social media networks. While bloggers may spend many hours writing about our lives and sharing our thoughts, ask us to write a bio and we freeze. I’m always editing and tweaking my bios, trying to come up with something that succinctly sums up who I am.
My bios used to read something like this (and they were all a bit different): “Christ follower. Lifestyle blogger. Foodie. Style Watcher. Aspiring runner. Gluten free. Momma to 3 littles. Hopeless coffee addict with a penchant for colorful handbags.”
But Dan had a different approach.
Rather than describing who I am or what my blog is about, Dan urged me to come up with a phrase that explains what it is that I offer my audience . . . what it is that I do for you.
This was 10 times harder than trying to describe who I am and what I write about. This task was particularly difficult for me because I don’t feel like I’m necessarily an authority on the subjects I write about. I write about topics that interest me at the time and I share what I’m learning, but I’m not an authority or an expert on specific topic. And it feels rather presumptuous to state that I actually offer a legitimate service among all the rambling that I do here.
But I also realize that if I’m not creating anything of value here, then there’s really no point writing this blog at all. On some level, I must want to offer something to the reader . . . whether it’s encouragement or entertainment or friendship or dialogue or information or expertise. Or why do this at all?
So I decided to take on the challenge.
First I played around with many verbs . . . do I teach? do I encourage? do I help? do I demonstrate? do I entertain? do I share?
I settled on helping — that doesn’t seem too presumptuous, does it?
When I share what I’m learning about food or fashion or the latest product that is sent to me, I share it to help other women who may be interested in learning the same thing. So help seems to fit.
The next question was, WHO exactly am I helping? Women clearly make up the majority of my audience. But what KIND of women?
This had me stumped. I feel like I reach many types of women. Liberal women, conservative women, Christian women, non-Christian women, working moms, stay at home moms, homeschooling moms, public schooling moms, women who eat gluten-free women, women who eat paleo, women who wish they’d never heard the words paleo or gluten . . . ha!
I mean. Where do I begin?
I came up with the “busy moms” label because, well, approximately 95% of my readers are moms, so that seemed safe enough. I decided on “busy moms” because while it may seem redundant (I’ve yet to meet a mom who is NOT busy) my reasoning was most women reading my blog like my posts about style and food and products because they’re too busy to research those topics themselves. They enjoy when I share what I’m learning so they don’t have to take the time to siphon through the information themselves. Most women reading my blog are juggling jobs, kids, husbands, friendships, church commitments, school commitments, etc. We are a pretty average, mainstream crowd, I’m guessing.
Helping busy moms. I like that.
But what do I help busy moms DO? Cook? Decorate? Plan meals? Stay in style? Stay up to date on products and trends? Stay apprised of current health and food trends? Decide where to go on vacation? How do I sum up the broad variety of topics I cover, and how is what I’m writing about actually helpful?
While I cover a l lot of topics here, these days it’s primarily food and fashion. Beyond that, I write about fitness, healthy living, travel, parenting, marriage, and technology. And I’ve been known to cover topics related to blogging and social media topics, and sometimes I even write about home decor, books and movies, current events and faith-related topics. But if I’m going to try to be succinct, I thought I should focus on the primary topics — food and fashion.
That’s when I settled on stylish and healthy living. I felt health covered fitness AND food. And style covers beauty and fashion and even home and technology in a way.
Finally, after much brainstorming and hemming and hawing, I came up with the bio that I now have across all my social media platforms:
Helping busy moms stay healthy and stylish while juggling kids, career & family. Author. Blogger. Mom of 3. Lover of puppies and pinot noir.
I added “author, blogger, mom of 3” to give some context about who I am, and I threw in the puppies and pinot noir because I felt like it was so sterile otherwise. I like bios to have some personality.
But the important part, the part that supposedly tells people what I do for them, is the first line: “Helping busy moms stay healthy and stylish while juggling kids, career & family.”
The thing is, I still see that and second-guess myself so I am coming to you with this question.
What is it that I do for you? For my audience?
And why do I care, anyway?
Well, that I can answer. This is important for two reasons. First, if I know what I’m doing here, I can do it better and more intentionally. I definitely can’t justify the time and energy that goes into this blog if it’s just for my own amusement, so I want to make sure that what I’m doing truly does provide value.
But also, there are so many blogs now and so much noise. We really have to rely on our social media channels to bring readers to our sites nowadays, and a person will only take about 5 seconds to determine whether or not they want to click over and find out more, so you sure better know who you are and how to convey that in an engaging way or you’ve lost another potential reader.
It’s hard for bloggers to keep our content in front of our audience these days. It used to be we just wrote stuff, put it out there, and people found it and read it. Mostly other bloggers read blogs back then, and we would comment on each other’s posts, and that is how we found new readers. A few years ago, I would have to explain what a blog IS whenever I meet someone new. Now it’s all about explaining what I do here. Which brings me back to the topic at hand. What IS that?
I’d love to hear your thoughts.