The Say It For You Magazine Challenge Revisited

It all started two years ago in the Minneapolis airport during a two hour layover. I decided to challenge myself to find at least a week's worth of ideas for Say It For You blog posts in a single magazine issue (after all, what else is a freelance blog writer to do when she’s bored?). Long story short, that diversion sparked a challenge I issued to other blog writers, who came up with a host of interesting ideas relating to their own businesses.

Fellow blogger Serina Kelly of Relevate, for example, chose articles from Whole Living, to urge business owners to apply energy to make their business grow, avoid getting stuck in their daily routine, and to let people know you appreciate them.  

The basic idea behind my magazine challenge exercise is to combat “writer’s block” (you know, that time when, inevitably, blog content writers get stuck thinking up new ideas to keep their posts engaging), and to offer new ways to help business owners or professionals explain what they do and how and why they do it.

Now, two years after the original challenge, I happened to pick up the People Magazine Style and Beauty Extra (OK, It was the headline “Gorgeous at Any Age” that lured me on a personal level…) But on a business note, I found, this very publication screams “blogger magazine challenge”, because it suggests so many new ways of presenting familiar information.

First to catch my blog trainer’s eye was a one-page write-up of an interview with Jessica Alba, revealing the author’s beauty secrets, which has the interviewee completing sentences such as:

  • I can’t leave the house without….
  • I’m really good at….
  • I learned to love….
  • My beauty trick is….
  • I first wore makeup when…

What’s effective about that particular format?  First and foremost, it’s personal.  A real person is filling in real details about “I” and “my”. As a reader, I immediately started asking myself the same questions:  What can’t I leave the house without? What did I learn to love?

“‘Often personal examples go hand in hand with the use of the personal pronoun “I”,” explains Brandon Royal in The Little Red Writing Book. “Do not be afraid to use this pronoun; it’s personal and specific. Readers appreciate knowing how a situation relates to the writer in terms of his or her personal experience.”

Blog writers, take heed.  What can’t your business owners “leave the house without?”

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