Who has had the most impact on my blogging life?
Without any doubt, it’s Neil Patel. I started writing articles on getting business capital for new entrepreneurs a year or two ago. I came across a profound article that carries the title ’13 Questions to Ask yourself Every time you Write a Blog Post’ by Neil early in my writing journey and I have found it to be extremely useful. I have religiously used the article as my checklist each time I have to write an article for a magazine, newspaper or for my blog. I have written over 30 articles and each one of them has had to pass the checklist test. Check out some of them at https://abcafricaaccelerator.com.
The first question that I have always had to answer is, ‘Who is the blog post for?’ My readers are mostly people who want to start their own businesses but do not know how to go about doing that. In pursuit of their dreams, they fumble and make many mistakes that cost them dearly the resources that they hardly have. By answering the question, I am able to focus on the needs of this group of people. Knowing my audience is one big lesson that I have learnt from Neil. If you are a startup entrepreneur, the lesson is equally important for you as you embark on your entrepreneurial journey. The blogging checklist works equally well for startup entrepreneurs as it does for bloggers. Putting up your ideas out there is like an entrepreneur who creates a product and sells it to consumers who need to solve a high pain problem they are experiencing.
Secondly, the checklist requires me to establish the purpose of my article. Am I writing the post because I need to help new entrepreneurs understand the importance of acting on their dreams? May be they are wasting too much time, effort and resources on things that are really not that urgent, things that can be done once their businesses are up and running. I could be writing the post to inspire entrepreneurs to act on their dreams using the knowledge they are getting from me and other sources. Without purpose, it’s easy to end up wandering all over without focus. That compromises the quality of my writing and alienates some readers who may have better things to do than read an article that is trying to please everyone.
Related to this, is finding the best way to present my point. I am not much of a story teller and therefore I really need to spend time thinking about my angle of approach. I miss this and the message does not go through as intended.
Neil also taught me that I need to know what I want my readers to do after reading my articles. Writing is a means to an end. Writers need to know what they want their readers to do after reading their works. I want my readers to be better entrepreneurs and most of all, to access the capital they need to grow their businesses. For this to happen effectively, I need to be using every opportunity to encourage them to act on my teachings.
An important take away from my association with Neil has been learning the business side of writing. The checklist requires you to answer the question, ‘How do I promote my posts?’ While you may love what you do, you also need to earn a living from it. This question in the checklist helps me take my passion to the bank. I admit there is a lot that I need to be doing on this front and I am glad I am acting on that.
And, thank you Neil for teaching me that I can repurpose my post. While I may be writing mostly for startup entrepreneurs, the articles I write are also very valuable for established small businesses. Neil taught me that instead of having to write a new article for that specific audience, if the message is more or less the same I can repurpose the articles originally intended for startups so that their content adds value for established entrepreneurs. While I enjoy writing, it can be daunting at times and this kind of knowledge comes in very handy indeed.
Last but not least is the need to know how I will measure the success of articles that I write. Without this, there is surely no way of knowing if the articles I write really do make an impact on people’s lives.
Neil always says while you can read as much as you like from his articles, the only guarantee that you may begin to generate results is when you promise to act on his teachings. I am committing to doing exactly that as I embark on the second leg of my blogging journey. Thank you Neil. Check out his website at NeilPatel.com
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