Start With Why: How The Simon Sinek Method Makes You A Better Blogger
In the early days of the internet, when there was barely anything online, starting a blog and gaining an audience was easy. There was no competition, most of what you had to say hadn’t already been said a thousand times in more eloquent ways. All you had to do to rank on SERPs was stuff in your keyword as many times as humanly possible. And social media was still so infantile that Facebook was actually a viable organic business platform capable of catapulting you to stardom and a ton of traffic to your blog. These days, the quest for meaningful and impactful content creation is more crucial than ever. One transformative concept that can help you with this was introduced by Simon Sinek some time ago and is known as ‘Start With Why’.
This approach, which originated as TED talk and evolved into a book, has revolutionised leadership and business strategies worldwide, emphasises the importance of understanding and articulating the underlying purpose or ‘why’ behind every action or decision. Sinek’s method has proven to be a game-changer in fostering inspiring leadership and cultivating innovative organisational cultures. It completely changed how I viewed business and marketing in my early days, and its application extends far beyond the confines of traditional business settings.
Specifically, the core principles of Simon Sinek’s Start With Why philosophy has remarkable relevance and potential in the realm of blogging. By adopting this approach, bloggers can transcend conventional content creation paradigms, crafting messages that not only resonate deeply with their audience but also inspire action and loyalty.
Here’s how integrating the ‘Start With Why’ method into blogging practices can significantly enhance the value and impact of your content, setting the stage for a more profound connection with your readers.
Simon Sinek ‘Start With Why’ concept revolves around the belief that understanding and articulating the core reason behind your actions—the ‘why’—is crucial for any leader or organisation aiming to inspire and motivate others. At its heart, this principle suggests that when we start with a clear and compelling why, our actions and what we produce resonate more deeply with our audience, leading to greater loyalty, engagement, and success.
Sinek’s theory is grounded in the biology of human decision-making, explaining how the ‘why’ connects with the part of our brain responsible for feelings, such as trust and loyalty, as well as decision-making. By focusing on the why, leaders and businesses can communicate in a way that aligns with how individuals naturally act and decide, making it a powerful tool for inspiring action.
The importance of knowing your purpose, cause, or belief is not just philosophical; it’s practical. Having a strong why serves as a foundation upon which every decision can be made, ensuring consistency and coherence in your actions and communications. This clarity of purpose is what separates truly influential leaders and organisations from the rest. It drives action not just through manipulation of external incentives but by tapping into intrinsic motivation.
There are numerous examples of successful leaders and organisations that embody the ‘Start With Why’ principle. Apple Inc., under the leadership of Steve Jobs, is often cited by Sinek as a prime example. Jobs’ vision for Apple was not merely to sell computers but to challenge the status quo and empower individuals through technology. This clear why helped Apple to innovate and excel in multiple product categories.
Similarly, Martin Luther King Jr. did not just fight against racial segregation; he had a dream that all people would be judged by the content of their character, not the colour of their skin. His powerful why mobilised the civil rights movement in ways that laws and policies alone could not.
These examples illustrate the transformative power of starting with why. It is a principle that transcends industries and sectors, proving just as effective in the realm of blogging. By understanding and articulating the why behind your blog, you can create content that truly resonates with your audience, fostering a deeper connection and driving engagement.
The Importance Of Knowing Your Why In Blogging
Understanding the core motivation behind your blogging endeavours—your Why—is paramount for carving out a distinct space in an oversaturated market. Simon Sinek’s Start With Why philosophy isn’t just a transformative approach in leadership and innovation; it’s also a powerful framework for bloggers seeking to make a meaningful impact on their audience.
The essence of blogging transcends mere content dissemination; it’s about forging connections, inspiring change, and sharing perspectives that matter. Ultimately, when you create content in this way, you not only deliver true value to your audience in a powerful way, but you also drive growth and – yes – profit in your business far more effectively. In a digital ecosystem brimming with countless voices and narratives, knowing and communicating your unique Why gets you seen. This foundational principle not only sets the stage for authenticity but also cultivates a loyal readership that resonates with your core values and vision.
Differentiating Yourself With Your Why
Starting with the why behind your blogging—your purpose, cause, or belief—before delving into the what and how of writing your blogs, is a powerful way to ensure they have maximum impact. This reversal of the conventional approach is a game-changer in blogging. So often, the Why comes at the end of a blog with a call to action directing people to do the thing you actually want. To book the call, support the cause, share the message, buy the thing. But when the content that came before isn’t structured around that Why, you’ve failed to do the groundwork that ensures your audience cares enough to do the thing you’re asking.
By articulating your Why, you’re not just sharing content; you’re sharing a part of your worldview. This authenticity is what differentiates your blog from competitors, offering readers a reason to choose your content over others. It’s about creating a brand that’s built on a foundation of purpose, which in turn attracts and retains an audience aligned with your beliefs.
Understanding your Why ensures every piece of content you produce is infused with intention and meaning, making it more engaging and valuable to your audience. This purpose-driven content strategy fosters a deeper connection with your audience, transforming passive readers into active community members who are invested in your narrative. This alignment between your Why and your content enhances the overall coherence and integrity of your blog, making it more than a platform for sharing information and self-promotion, but a space that actively attracts like-minded individuals.
Identifying Your Why As A Blogger
Embarking on a journey to uncover the heart of your blogging venture is more than a mere exercise—it’s a transformative process that aligns your content with your core beliefs and values. This alignment not only invigorates your writing but also connects more deeply with your audience, setting you apart in a crowded digital landscape.
Here’s how you can delve into the essence of your blog and discover your unique Why…
Reflect On Your Passions
Begin by considering what topics you’re genuinely passionate about. Your blog should reflect subjects that excite you and that you’re eager to explore and share with others. This passion is infectious and is the first step in distinguishing your blog. If you’re blogging to make money (either as a business or through affiliate marketing, traffic, etc.) you may have topics you need to write about in order to attract the right audience. Ideally, these two things will completely align. One would hope you love what you do! But if they don’t (or don’t fully), you can still find ways to align the topics you have to blog about with what you’re passionate about.
Understand Your Strengths
Identify what you’re good at. Your strengths play a crucial role in how you convey your message and engage with your audience. Understanding your unique skills helps tailor your blogging approach to one that leverages these strengths, making your content more compelling and authentic. Again, one would hope if you’re blogging for profit in any way, that you’re working to your strengths and within your zone of genius. But you may have additional strengths that don’t appear immediately relevant to your blog, which can be harnessed in unique ways.
Identify Your Audience’s Needs
Who are you writing for? Understanding your audience’s challenges, interests, and needs helps shape your Why by aligning your purpose with what truly resonates with your readers. This alignment ensures your content is not only relevant but deeply impactful. It will also ensure you’re attracting the right people to your blog – your ideal clients, or ideal readers, the people you really want in your space. Sineck based the Start With Why method on the biology of human decision-making and its power lies in the depth of understanding it brings. You should aim for similar depth when understanding your audience. Go beyond the superficial demographics and learn who they are on a psychological level, so you can craft content that speaks to them on a deep, primal level. (I use archetypes to do this, and it is the core of my own Divine Blogging method).
Analyse The Impact You Want To Make
Consider the difference you want to make through your blog. Whether it’s inspiring change, providing valuable information, or offering solace and entertainment, the impact you seek to have is a powerful indicator of your Why. Your answer here may simply be ‘to make money’. That’s not what we’re searching for, even if it may be an outcome you require you blog to have. If you’re blogging for financial gain, factoring this need in is crucial, but you want to dig deeper into your answer here. Depth is everything with all of these steps. What is the true impact of earning that money through your blog? Will it ensure a home and life for your family? Does it secure your financial independence? Is it generating additional income to save towards a big goal? Are you using it as a primary means of promoting your products or services? The impact you truly want to make is likely more complex than simply earning money; where does that income impact? How does it change the world? And how do you want to impact the wider world, beyond your need or desire to earn money?
Questions to Ask Yourself to Uncover Your “Why”
What inspires me to write?
Whom do I want to help or influence with my blog?
What change do I hope to inspire in my readers?
How can my personal experiences add value to others?
How do the topics I’m passionate about align with the needs or interests of my target audience?
In what unique ways can I leverage my strengths that may not be immediately obvious to my blog’s theme or content?
What underlying values motivate my audience, and how do my blog’s topics connect with these values?
Beyond demographic characteristics, what psychological or emotional states define my ideal audience, and how can my content address these?
If financial gain is a goal, how does achieving this goal allow me to serve my audience or community better?
What specific challenges or problems am I uniquely positioned to help my audience overcome?
How does my desire to earn an income through my blog support a larger mission or purpose?
What legacy do I want to leave with my blog, and how does each post contribute to that legacy?
How can I use my blog as a platform to enact change or influence within my niche or the broader community?
What actions do I hope my readers will take after engaging with my content, and how does this reflect my underlying Why?
Your passion for your blog topic acts as the fuel that keeps you motivated, especially when faced with challenges. Meanwhile, your values serve as a compass, guiding your decisions and ensuring your blog remains true to what you stand for. Together, these elements are the bedrock of a successful blog, fostering a sense of purpose that transcends mere content creation to become a mission.
Integrating Your Why into Your Blog
After identifying the core Why of your blogging journey, it’s essential to seamlessly incorporate this purpose into every facet of your blog. This integration goes beyond mere content; it extends into the design, messaging, and overall brand ethos, creating a unified and impactful presence that resonates with your audience. Below are strategies and examples on how to achieve this:
Purpose-Driven Content Creation: Ensure every blog post mirrors your Why. Reflect on whether your articles embody your mission and convey the values that motivate you. This could mean selecting topics that deeply resonate with your mission or sharing personal anecdotes that underscore your Why.
Design That Echoes Your Mission: The visual aspect of your blog should articulate your Why. Opt for colours, imagery, and typography that reflect your values and mission. For example, a blog dedicated to empowerment might use bold, vibrant colours to symbolise strength and confidence.
Messaging That Makes A Connection: From your about page to social media descriptions, your messaging should clearly express your Why. Develop a compelling tagline and mission statement that immediately informs visitors of your core values and purpose.
Blogs That Effectively Communicate Their Why
The Bloggess:Jenny Lawson’s blog brilliantly showcases her unique blend of humour, mental health advocacy, and the importance of embracing one’s quirks. The design and content of her blog reflect her commitment to creating a space for open dialogue and laughter, encapsulating her Why in every post.
Marie Forleo:Marie’s blog and her overall brand are prime examples of effectively communicating a “Why” focused on personal development, entrepreneurship, and creating a life you love. Her content, from inspiring interviews to actionable tips, all serve her mission of helping people become the person they most want to be, underscored by a design that’s both elegant and accessible.
Denise Duffield-Thomas: Denise’s blog focuses on financial empowerment for women, and every aspect of it supports this Why. Her practical advice on money management and entrepreneurial spirit is woven into her content, with a design that’s both inviting and empowering, encouraging women to embrace their financial journey. Denise often refers to her ‘Virgo brain’ and the balance between ‘woo-woo’ practices like the Law of Attraction and the need for actionable steps that can be taken to achieve a clear goal. She uses her own personal star sign and personality traits to attract like-minded people, who like the concept of attracting wealth, but also understand the need to make that happen through strategic action.
Simon Sinek: Simon Sinek’s blog and his broader communication strategy exemplify the effective conveyance of a Why centred around inspiring people to do what inspires them. His content, ranging from insightful articles to motivational talks, all serve his core belief in the power of starting with why. The design of his platforms, characterised by simplicity and clarity, mirrors this message, making it easy for visitors to engage with his ideas. Through his consistent emphasis on leadership, innovation, and the importance of understanding one’s purpose, Simon Sinek’s online presence is a direct reflection of his mission to inspire action and change in individuals and organisations around the world.
Tips For Storytelling And Creating Content That Reflects Your Purpose
Share Your Journey: Personal stories and experiences related to your Why can significantly enhance the relatability and impact of your blog. These stories help illustrate your messages in a way that pure data cannot.
Leverage Visuals: Use images, videos, and infographics that align with your Why to supplement your text. Visual storytelling can powerfully convey emotions and ideas, deepening your audience’s connection to your content.
Foster Interaction: Create interactive content that encourages your readers to share their own stories and opinions related to your Why. This not only builds a sense of community but also reinforces the shared values that underpin your blog.
Ensure Consistency: Keeping a consistent theme in terms of messaging and content is crucial. Each blog post, social update, and newsletter should reflect your core mission, further embedding your Why into the fabric of your blog.
By weaving your Why into every component of your blog, you transform it from a mere platform for sharing ideas into a mission-driven community. This approach does more than attract followers—it cultivates a dedicated audience that shares your values and vision, making your blog a powerful conduit for change, connection, and inspiration.
Want To Be A Better Blogger? Start With Why
Understanding and articulating your core purpose—not just what you blog about, but why you do it—can significantly enhance your blogging journey. By embedding your Why into every aspect of your blog, from content creation to design and messaging, you not only differentiate your blog in a saturated market but also forge deeper connections with your audience.
It’s about going beyond surface-level motivations and uncovering the deeper reasons behind your blogging endeavours. This process is not just beneficial but essential for creating content that resonates and stands the test of time.
As a blogger, diving into your Why can be a transformative experience. It challenges you to reflect on your motivations, aspirations, and the impact you wish to have through your blog. This exploration is a crucial step towards not just being a better blogger, but also making a meaningful contribution to your readers’ lives.
If you’re struggling to action this, or resisting, don’t worry—this is a common form of self-sabotage as a blogger; denying or avoiding the true motivation for blogging. Once you’re aware of the fact you’re self-sabotaging in this way, you can work to overcome whatever is blocking you in this regard.
The ‘Start With Why’ method is more than a strategy; it’s a mindset that can revolutionise the way you approach blogging. By anchoring your work in a strong, purpose-driven foundation, you create content that is authentic, engaging, and impactful.
For those interested in diving deeper into the Start With Why philosophy, I highly recommend reading Simon Sinek’s book by the same name. And if you’re looking for a way to deep-dive into the psychological makeup of your audience and craft content from a place of serving their needs and wants, check out my own book, Divine Blogging – you can get the first chapter for free when you sign up below.
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Rebel Wolf Marketing is run by Hazel Butler, an award-winning writer and creative content marketer specialising in SEO. Hazel has over a decade of experience in all things wordy and digital. She’s worked with big names like The BBC, huge sites like The Huffington Post, marketing ninjas like Plann, and snazzy brands like BMW and Subaru. She’s also worked with countless small businesses and entrepreneurs to produce epic content, rock their SEO, and help them create passive income streams in their businesses. You can find her freelance copywriting services at The Write Copy Girl.
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