Making Your Blog Stand Out

By Jane | October 19, 2011

Hanoi Scooters

I just finished working through the questions outlined in this Million Dollar Blog Project post: The Key Question You Have to Answer to Make Your Blog Stand Out. I did it really quickly, seeking the answers from deep inside my subconscious.

It was kind of fun to do, so I thought I might as well share the results. In a year we’ll come back and check to see how far off-base I was.

Audience’s Needs & Desires

What do they need help with?
Figuring out what’s good, better, best for environment and what isn’t. iPad or notepad? Bus or bike? Eco-tourism? Farmer’s market or grow your own?  Actionable ways to care for the earth. How to be an active member of modern society and not destroy the earth at the same time.

What are they afraid of?
Becoming a scary outcast granola type. The earth shriveling before their very eyes until we reach a Mad Max meets Waterworld existence, where all the men are either Jew-hating wife-beaters or guys who drink their own urine and can’t figure out how to distill salt water.

Who (and what) do they admire?
Nat Geo, Ian Somerhalder (for his foundation, not his ability to portray a hot vampire), Dian Fossey, anyone who has ever saved an orphan gorilla, WWF.

What dreams do they have that they might be afraid to admit?
They want to ditch their corporate job and live on a commune just outside of Portland. They want to go undercover in a slaughterhouse. They want to march on Washington. They want to captain the Sea Shepherd and move to Uganda to save the gorillas.

What do they regret?
Buying those leather boots that time, returning to a conventional life after backpacking around Thailand, wasting the last ten years giving all their energy to The Man when they could have been doing something useful.

What have they failed at?
A lot of stuff. Making their childhood dreams come true – none of them are princesses, pop-stars, or jockeys. Avoiding the trap that all our parents set for us: success = stuff + a big house + kids. Reinventing themselves. Finding their passion while they’re still young.

What makes them laugh?
Anything that examines the hypocrisy of middle-class existence (aka British comedy), when corporations talk about their “green” policies, cats chasing lasers on YouTube.

What else do they read or watch?
Nat Geo, CNN, OMG, various eco blogs, Slate, Good, viral videos, anything by Morgan Spurlock or Michael Moore, books. They are a multi-faceted bunch of people.

What conventional wisdom do they subscribe to?
Kombucha is good for you, as is the Paleo diet. One person can’t change the world. Bigger is better. Meat is yummy and perfectly OK as long as it’s grass-fed organic humanely killed. Carbs are bad but diet crackers are good. As is the extra large buttery popcorn at the movies.

What are their current thoughts on your chosen topic?
The EPA and big business need to do something about all this environmental stuff. That BP spill really was a shame wasn’t it? What can I do about it? I’m only one person. I give money to WWF & I get Nat Geo each month – not that they can fix anything. The way we live is going to be OK, as long as we can find a miracle source of energy that’s clean, domestic, and cheap. La la la la la I’m not listening because if I do I will collapse in despair at how bad things have gotten.

What’s out there? How could it be better?

There’s a lack of personal voices out there. Most of it is very depressing. Just a lot of newsy articles about how big business and the government are destroying our earth. Or stories of dead animals, rescued orphan gorillas. But nothing about what that means to me or what I can do about. There’s nothing real that cuts through the crap, compiles the stats and applies them to real life – in an enjoyable way. There’s nothing for normal people who don’t really want to picket circuses and show animal torture pictures to small children.

No wonder most of us feel stuck and helpless. There’s too much information out there and not enough at the same time.

Why would you read me?

Infotainment, baby. Find out something new, laugh about it, and be a better person, all in a 500 word blog post.

What’s My Five Acres about?

  • Personal responsibility
  • Making small choices that collectively lead to big change
  • Laughing at ourselves
  • Inclusiveness, we’re all in this together
  • Everyone is on a continuum, no one is better than anyone else, (just more evolved ;-\)

If you’re reading this, then you’re my audience. What are your fears about the environment and your health? What do you want to know that is a mystery to you now? What would make you keep coming back? How can I help you? Let me know in the comments below!


  1. Comment by Hmerologia Spiral

    Hmerologia Spiral Reply October 28, 2011 at 5:33 am

    Nice post. I like to read more from you. Thank You

  2. Comment by Pedja G.

    Pedja G. Reply October 23, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    Dear Jane,

    I live in a highly urban area and would be interested in learning how to organize my lifestyle so that it becomes healthier for me and more nature friendly for my surroundings.

    Take care,

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