I read frequently that the consensus to have a site that is popular, that people will read, is to be helpful. A familiar buzz phrase is to publish “useful content”. Some writers will even go overboard and put an “insanely” in front of that phrase.
I know writers that do this well. When it comes to business and social media, my friends Marcus and Craig put out some great stuff. If I want to know how to effectively use email or Twitter to its full potential in a business context, a guy like Marcus can show me some ropes.
And although Marcus posts about business, he puts a lot of personality into those words. I’ve never met him off-line, but he comes across as one of the guys, someone I can sit down and share beers with.
Over at his website, Vince publishes excellent food related content in the format of easy, simple to prepare recipes accompanied by mouth watering photos.
His philosophy is simple. It’s easy to eat well at home, without the bloated prices and caloric content of a restaurant.
He’s right. I’ve saved thousands of dollars in the “dining out” category of my budget by following this principle. Reading Vince has helped me do this.
That’s what I call helpful content.
I set out to do the same with my posts, the intentions are there. But, the content that I write that I most identify with are the posts that are about my concerns. Whether it’s about me, my wife and kids, or other members of my family, what I write really has nothing to do with the reader.
It’s all me, me, me.
And according to many ‘experts’, without the ability to help your reader, your content fails.
I will try to keep the reader in mind with future posts. But I know the only way I have been helpful to you (if at all) is purely by accident. By creating feelings of how great it is to be a parent, or to recreate that glow of growing up in the 70s and 80s (What an era!). 🙂
Really though, it’s all about me.
I need to prop up my ability to remember. Man, the memory goes, and it can go quick. Take the aforementioned 70s – 80s. Those images used to be crystal clear in my mind, in full color, with the voices of my grandmother and other family sharply present.
Now, everything looks grainy, with that color a little washed out, and faded. Memories become less vivid. I want to try to put a halt to that. This blog should help keep memories alive.
This reason is my number one. Whether it’s a post about my godmother, reflecting on a kitchen coffee ritual from the past, or remembering saying goodbye to my mentor, the written word can take what you might have forgotten and bring it all rushing back.
The blog can also act as a great resource for my kids. As my friend Jack mentioned in a comment recently, my children may want to read these words. Why not?
When the time comes, they can think back to a breath taking end to an epic baseball game, the relaxing summer days spent on the lake in their youth, or an unforgettable trip to New York City.
All that will be here waiting.
Yes, it would be nice if I could give you some social media tips or post content that is more business friendly. But that’s not the direction I’m interested in taking. I have a different purpose.
If you read this far, and you’re still sticking around, thank you. I’m here to build a library of words that my kids may appreciate years from now. But I think you can take away a little appreciation as well.
And who knows? Maybe, in the end, some of this may even be…helpful.
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9 thoughts on “The Purpose Driven Blog: It’s All About Me, My Friend”
I love what you’re writing here and I can certainly relate to many of your stories. We are about the same age, have that former chubby thing going, plus my youngest son is as into Coldplay as your daughter. 🙂 Seriously, I love the honesty and enjoy reading about your experiences. Keep ’em comin’.
What you are building here is certainly a great library that your kids can dig into many years from now. My oldest son told how much he liked a few of my posts the other day. This from an 18-year-old! He’s my son, but still … I didn’t think it would resonate with him. So glad it did.
Anyway … I’ll be sticking around for a while, my friend.
Also, thanks so much for the shootout here, really appreciate that!
I like reading about your memories, because we share many of them. I also like reading about your life NOW. I wish I had the time and the memory to blog my own self. The stories I could tell…
Who knows? Maybe someday!
Were your ears burning lately? Gab is fond of putting up Coldplay posters in her room. So of course I mention to my wife about the Kiss “wallpaper” competition we had when we were young. Wasn’t much of a competition, though, you won hands down 🙂 Loved putting up all those photos from Creem and Circus on my walls. Those mags…wow!
We had it made, didn’t we?
Yes, the stories you could tell. What a read that would be, my brother!
Oh, the memories that flood back… Remember watching that Kiss movie down in the basement about a thousand times?! And plotting to try and go to MSG to see them? And the Rush concerts? (what the hell happened the 2nd nite?! -Remember?) And all the Yankee games we watched at The Taproom? I’m smiling from ear-to-ear right now…
What goes around comes around. A few years after that Rush show that I took a girl to, instead of you, our friend Muscatello was supposed to take me to Springsteen’s SPAC date in ’85. Guess what happened? You got it, he took some babe. And she didn’t even like Bruce that much. I was hot, brother.
Karma was a bitch even back then. Even though I’m still friends with the girl I took, you should have been with me at that Rush show. Mea culpa (damn teenage hormones).
I appreciate the shout out. There are two groups of people who last in blogging, those who get paid and those who enjoy it. They aren’t always one and the same.
The business bloggers are a dime a dozen. I don’t say that to be disrespectful to Marcus, Craig or anyone else but I know from experience that relatively few of them last for the long haul.
I am biased, but the stories we share here are important. How many times as an adult have you wished that you could sit down with your grandparents or great grandparents and just talk to them. How cool would it be to be able to listen to their stories or ask for advice.
These stories that you share are real. They are meaningful and one day these tales are going to mean a lot to people a lot younger than us. it is going to be a connection because it won’t matter what kind of work they do or how technology has impacted the world- some things won’t change.
And when they read your words they’ll know that Dad/Uncle/Grandpa/Great grandpa Joe dealt with some of the same challenges. They’ll know some bits and pieces about what you like and love and it will be special to them.
“These stories that you share are real. They are meaningful and one day these tales are going to mean a lot to people a lot younger than us. it is going to be a connection because it won’t matter what kind of work they do or how technology has impacted the world- some things won’t change.”
Thanks for the great comment, Jack. I’m compelled to write the content about my grandparents. I do it for no other reason than to pay tribute to two very wonderful people and at the same time keep a big part of myself alive. I’m grateful for the technology as it allows me to publish and connect, but I’m also interested in showing how well a life can be lived without being absorbed by that technology.
Tall order, right?
Joe, keep writing just as you have been writing. Those memories, those stories about your kids, the great relationship you and your wife have…that’s what important. We’re losing a grip on what’s important, what really matters. Family, values, morals, FAITH! Your posts “quiet” me, in the flurry of the workday, in the craziness of what the government is doing to our liberty, your posts bring me back to what really counts. Social media tips? thanks but no thanks, I can find all that on the internet. You just keep on reminding me what life is all about, your intergrity will shine through, and everyone will realize it sooner or later.
Thank you cousin.
A comment like yours is priceless because it shows me I am on the right track, and I need to cover what I know about. You’re correct, we need more content about what is really important, especially now when it seems the world is falling apart. I felt sometimes I posted too much about family, maybe I needed to widen my niche.
But the truth is, I don’t post about family enough. There’s plenty of material, a life in our world can give you much inspiration! There will definitely be more “Rose and Sebastian” upcoming. They taught me a lot about life, and it’s my duty to share!
Thanks for posting this comment. It made my day when I read it!