Have you ever gotten halfway through writing a blog post, only to sit back and ask yourself, “Why am I writing this?”
Maybe you just couldn’t think of a topic for your weekly article, so you settled on the first thing to pop to mind, even though it didn’t relate back to your target audience. Maybe you heard some news that got you personally excited, so you wanted to write about it even though it didn’t tie back to your business in any way. Maybe you were so focused on a certain keyword or search term that you dove at it before you really had a working framework to tie it back to your value prop.
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Either way, you’re now halfway through writing a blog post that has an almost zero chance of helping you convert a reader into a customer. Still, you’ve put two hours into it already. You might as well finish it, right? Not exactly the most effective way of doing inbound marketing.
Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us from time to time, for countless reasons.
In all honesty, it happened to me today when I sat down to start writing this blog post. I opened my editorial calendar and saw that I had a blog post due on mission statements, so I dived right in. But I realized pretty quickly that I didn’t really know why I was writing the article, or even what the real focus should be.
You know how I fixed course before getting too far in the weeds? By reflecting on Pepperland’s internal blog mission statement, which helped me figure out an angle and focus for my article.
What is a Blog Mission Statement?
A blog mission statement is, well, a mission statement for your blog. In other words, it’s a short statement (no more than three sentences) that explains the whole point behind your blog, sort of like an elevator pitch for your website.
What kinds of things does an effective blog mission statement include? The questions below are a great way to frame your mission statement:
- Who am I writing my blog for?
- What kinds of topics will my blog focus on/what kind of questions will my blog answer?
- If you will focus on a certain kind of media (video, text, infographics, etc.) you can spell that out as well.
For example, if you run a blog focused on teaching parents and college students about student loans, your mission statement might read something like this: “Student Debt Warriors is a free resource for college students, graduates, and parents who are struggling to make sense of the complex world of student loans. Full of tips about saving for college, repaying debt, successfully managing student loans, and more, our goal is to help create a brand new generation of student debt warriors.”
Why is a Mission Statement Critical for my Blog?
A mission statement will help your blog be successful in a couple of key ways.
For starters, having a mission statement on your blog that is outward facing (say, it is built into the banner of your blog, or down in the footer) helps your reader know whether or not your blog is going to answer their questions.
The student debt website mentioned above, for example, makes it clear that it is focused on one topic—student loans—and that it is targeting parents and students. Someone looking for help with credit card debt might find their way to the website through search, but thanks to the mission statement they will quickly realize that it probably isn’t the best resource for them.
But beyond the value that a mission statement adds to your audience is the value that it adds to you and your marketing team. By having a mission statement to reflect back on, you can make sure that any content you are creating is on point, and that it is content that actually deserves to have your attention and time invested in it.
How? By offering you a framework of what a successful blog post will look like. For example, returning to the student debt website, let’s say that you read a book about business owners and start to write an article about entrepreneurship. Sure, it’s interesting to you, but is it going to be a valuable addition to your website?
By reflecting back on the mission statement, you can see that the answer is no: It doesn’t focus on the right topic (entrepreneurship vs. student loans) and it doesn’t target the right audience (business owners vs. parents and college students).
Reflecting on a mission statement helps make your blog more effective by forcing you to only write content that will appeal to your target audience. This will make sure that a.) any new visitors have a higher chance of converting and b.) that returning visitors and subscribers do not get frustrated and unsubscribe because your content always remains on point.
The Bottom Line
The whole point of having a blog is to attract an audience that will eventually become customers; you need to make sure that anything you write is ultimately helping you with these goals. If they aren’t, then you shouldn’t be writing about them. A mission statement helps you stay on track and focused.