Questions to answer before you start blogging

1. Audience analysis

Where will you publish your writing? If you’re publishing on an existing site, what does the owner and what do the readers want? If you’re writing your own blog, what kind of readers are you trying to attract?

2. Content

Knowing who you’ll be writing for should help you decide what to write about. Where do your interests coincide with the readers’ interests? This should give you a topic to write about.

3. Purpose

Now that you have an audience and a topic, why are you going to write whatever it is you have in mind? Hint: the answer is not to make money. Your purpose has to benefit the readers. Do you want to teach them something? Do you want to entertain them? Do you want to persuade them? How will reading your article be good for the reader?


Consider this blog entry on shopping at Trader Joes.


My audience – people who are worried about aging gracefully, who want to be healthy in their old age so they can continue to enjoy life. Mostly Americans so their diets and lifestyles may not have been the best throughout their lives.


Content – I had a reader ask me about food shopping at Trader Joes so choosing the content was easy this time. I happen to be interested in food shopping and buying healthy foods so our interests matched well.


Purpose – To inform or educate. Also to warn. You can’t expect everything or even most things to be healthy in a super market. And I want to persuade people to be careful when they shop and avoid some unhealthy foods.

And once I know who I was writing for (#1), what I was writing about (#2), and why I was writing it for them (#3), I was able to quickly come up with a fairly long (800 word) blog entry.

Filed Under: For my students

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