Do Your Posts Pass The “So What?” Test?

By Daniel Scocco

Last year my buddy Chris Garrett wrote a really good post titled Who, What and So What?. It basically explains how most bloggers tend to focus on the topic they are writing, instead of focusing on the readers and on figuring out how they will benefit from the information.

Here is how Chris describers it:

A much overlooked aspect though is “So What?”. What should the reader take away? Where is the benefit? Why should we listen to you?

I agree with him completely, and I got admit that sometimes I commit this mistake too. That is, sometimes I focus too much on the idea I had for a post, simply because I think it is cool. Then after hitting the “Publish” button and not receiving a good feedback I realize that I forgot to put the readers into the equation….

Before writing and publishing your posts, therefore, remember to run the “so what?” test. What will your readers take away? Will it provide value to them?



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31 Responses to “Do Your Posts Pass The “So What?” Test?”

  • Sam

    So true. I had to delete one or two posts because of that. I stay happy when I add a new post, but then when I read it I don’t feel that happy.

    Good post.

  • InternethowBlog

    Many of us do the same mistake. But at the end we are all learning. Thanks to you and other probloggers. Then again, you can learn what your readers like after the blog matures and you get more comments.

  • Alex Lim

    You are very much right!

    The audience should always get something out of a post, weather a lesson, tip, info or just a plain inspiration. Keep in mind, who are your targets and eventually it will lead you to a fairly appreciated effort or even conversion. Being selfish won’t get you far.

  • Mj

    Thanks for bringing this idea up! I am not new to blogging, but I have been increasing my posts lately. I am very chatty so I love your –so what–test.

  • Boerne Search

    Yes, I have indeed done this a few timed But who here hasn’t?

    Kane

  • SteveWiillaism

    I think most of us just blog about what we’re interested in, in a style that would draw us in. I certainly suffer from this, and really must considering whether my posts are appealing on a grand scale.

  • Peter

    Thanks for useful information, I think this is common mistake of many bloggers, me include:)

  • Blog Ebooks – Claus D Jensen

    Great advice!

    It should be fun for you AND the readers to read your blog posts!

    😀

    Greetings,
    Claus D Jensen

  • Alex

    Great advice!

    I also want to add that you should focus on timeless value.

    Before publishing I tend to think, if I am going to read my post in about a month or two, will I still gain value out of it?

    Value is always good – timeless value is better.

  • Hesham

    This is sometimes happen to me also!

  • excITingIP.com

    In a highly technical topic like what we cover in our blog, this is very important. There are many sites where people can get the same information but getting it clearly, comprehensively and in simple words that are interesting is crucial to make them read one or two more articles after having come through search. In fact, we are even considering a slight humorous touch 🙂

    Destination Infinity

  • Hal

    After blogging for a couple of years in a somewhat scattered, “I’ll write whatever I want” attitude, I have started a highly focused blog. This advice is timely – it is imperative that I remained not only focused, but always aware of what the reader’s perspective is.

  • Barbara Harvey

    I am a newbie blogger and this post is so helpful. There is so much to get to grips with that you could easily not even think of this. Thanks for this it will stop me making the mistake. 🙂

    Barbara Harvey

  • BloggerDaily

    Yeah. Now I understand about this “So what?”. Have to apply it! =p

  • Mohammad Farzan Hussain

    Thanks for the very useful test.

  • Mark McCullagh

    Reminds me of what a friend of mine in the banking/financing business would say when evaluating a financing proposal for a business venture,”So you’ve built a better mousetrap, so what?”.

  • GoBusiness101

    From our Blog we agree with that statement.
    Happy Blogging!

    Keep getting richer everyday!

  • Swashata

    Very much true! But how to know what our readers want actually or how to distinguish our target audiences…

  • Surender Sharma

    Don’t write for yourself because blog hmmmm, you are writing for readers but not for yourself.If you are writing only for you then make your blog as a Private Room.Don’t open its windows,doors.Put cover your doors and windows, I mean publish your blog as a private blog so only you can see,read.
    But if you are publishing or writing for me then write for me and my friends….
    What do you think ?

  • Keith Davis

    Couldn’t agree more.

    I do a little public speaking and the first test of any speech is the same… “So What”.

    In other words, what do you want the audience to do with the information you are giving them?

    Take action.
    Vote for me.
    Write to the local newspaper.
    Feel better.
    Change their behaviour.

    In a speech, the golden rule is… tell them what you want them to do and how they will benefit.

  • edwin joseph

    Many failed in this test. We tend to focus on what we believe is good. Unfortunately most of our instinct fail us. So I guess we need to go back to focus on the “So what”. It will make our post worth reading for our target readers 🙂

  • Coffeeblogger

    This reminds me of the saying, “It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.” (Attributed to Twain, Lincoln, and others.)

    We get wrapped up in writing posts, just so we’ll have a new post on our blogs. But how often do we stop and ask ourselves if we really have anything important to say?

  • Chester

    Yes, I was once did it not even once. Hate to admit it!

  • dhrobonil

    Real world true statement. Making assessment thyself is good for one.

  • Ching Ya

    I’ve read this post earlier and true, I think that most of us have experienced that. It’s a good advise from Chris. Always think on behalf of the readers. 🙂

    @wchingya
    Social/Blogging Tracker

  • Igor Kheifets

    Great Post, Daniel

    sometimes I do forget about the “So What?” aspect.
    Thanks for reminding.

    I love the fact that your posts are always short and to the point.
    But doesn’t it bother you that it makes your bounce rates higher?

    Igor

  • Tom Bradshaw

    Yes good tip, if it’s not worth your reader reading then it’s not worth publishing. Successful blogs are the ones that tell you something you don’t know or adds to your knowledge. It’s all about quality not quantity.

  • yodz

    nice reminder, I was about to publish a new post, decided to browse something on my google reader for some ideas and came across this post.
    I decided to totally edit it.
    Thanks for the tip!

  • Harrison

    Writing a political blog I have to ask myself this question every time. I think if you’re getting into technology or how-to or the like you can go off on some esoteric tangent that at the end of the day few people will bother to read. But at least micro interests can find their own audience as long as you stick to the same subject matter and don’t write about flat headed nails one day and camping the next.

  • Web Marketing Tips

    If you unable to give them anything than impressed them with your thoughts … or as other people are doing showing high income … lollzz

  • Magnolia

    I’ve come full circle on this idea and for those of us who wish to profit from our blogging needs to realize the truth in this.

    At first, I approached my blogging as more of a creative outlet. But, the problem with creativity is that it’s totally subjective and most people really don’t give a crap.

    Since I began to refocus my blog I’ve seen my blog traffic increase 100%. I have a LONG way to go yet, but the lights have certainly come on regarding the “so what” muster.

    In fact, I have asked myself that over many of my posts that provide a certain amount of warm fuzzy connection for my readers, but not a whole lot of useful, helpful information for “them”.

    Given my topic of perimenopause, this is really a very important factor that if overlooked will cause my blog to be mediocre at best.

    So, long winded way of saying…..’point well taken and I agree whole heartedly with you’

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