A blogger is often a problem-solver, writing blog posts that state, “how to [blank]” or “Why [blank] is better than [blank].” The blogger identifies a gap for the potential reader and hopefully provides an answer to their question. Bloggers have an underestimated level of power and influence. For example, “how to pack” is a common travel question I see online, and most travel bloggers might indicate how to fold clothes to increase space while include travel packs to solve the issue. With the amount of information, a reader should hopefully a) learn two ways of saving space and/or b) justify buying something based on a second opinion. My next example is blog posts that can influence why carry-on trips are better than luggage bags. The purpose of this post is to provide a guide to bloggers that seek to use their platform to help others choose an item or know the pros and cons of an item.
To help readers solve a problem, you must think of their dilemma with an item and guide a solution or, at least, a new way of thinking about it. Here are some things that can help bloggers explain something to a reader:
- Please explain the problem and why it matters to you and your readers. Problem: I am taking a trip to Disneyland, and I am not sure if I should take my GoPro or my mirrorless camera.
- Describe how something should work. You might say take both, but a blogger should be able to write a post that shares both perspectives, “How to get magical photos at Disneyland with a GoPro” and “How to get magical photos at Disneyland with a Mirrorless Camera.” As a bonus, I would then combine both posts, “Why a GoPro is better than a mirrorless camera for a Disney Trip.” At this point, you should have shown photos taken by a GoPro and Mirrorless camera to a reader with all the pros and cons. The last post now serves as you, the blogger, closing the loop for your reader and letting us know why the GoPro won, in your opinion. If this were my issue, the photo quality would have answered my question because the posts should have shown me the pictures I intended to take while at Disneyland.
- Explain the financial cost of the problem. Let’s change my question and pretend that I don’t have a camera, so I am looking between a GoPro and a mirrorless camera; as you compare and contrast, you can re-write the third post, “Why a GoPro is better than a mirrorless camera for a Disney Trip” and make the fourth one just on the cost of digital cameras. At this point, I have examples of photos taken at Disneyland for both cameras, I have which one is better based on your assessment of the cameras, and now, once you compare their abilities by cost, I can consider which to buy. Random disclaimer: Most humbly, if a blogger has indicated all these steps to make the reader knowledgeable about an item, I would ask readers to click on their affiliate links (you don’t have to buy the items), but sometimes the clicks alone generate some money to readers. For example, I am a Grammarly Affiliate, so anyone who signs up for free means I receive $0.20. If you write as much as I do and choose to upgrade, a blogger with Grammarly would get $20. I use the funds to purchase my next year’s subscription, so every payout, whether $0.20 or $20, is good enough for me. My first year with Amazon Affiliate made me $0.10. That was okay with me.
- Things to remember, you must back up your claims and explain the benefit of your proposed solution. Sometimes your opinion alone will help a reader choose an item. Sometimes, a blogger may hold a bias towards an item, so you must cite or have enough supporting evidence why the GoPro, under my example, beat the mirrorless camera.
- Provide a summary and conclusion. Some readers want a “Yes or No” or want to skip towards the ending, which is okay. It would help if you accepted that some people might not want to read all you had provided; they want the answer to decide what is best for them. You should always include a conclusion at the end when writing about topics shared on this post.