What’s Your “Reason Why?” (If you don’t have one, you’re toast)

by Derek Halpern · 39 comments

Why Should People Read Your Site?

I’ve got some brutal advice for you today:

Just because you have a blog (or a business) doesn’t mean you’re entitled to readers (or customers)…

…You’ve got to earn them.

You’ve got to give these people a “reason why” they should read your site or do business with your company.

That said, I have a question for you:

What’s Your “Reason Why?”

Take a hard look at your blog or business.

Why should people do business with you instead of your competitor?

What do you offer that your competitors don’t?

What can people get from you that they can’t get anywhere else? What’s your “reason why?”

If you don’t have one, you’re doomed.

Before you focus on WordPress SEO, split testing, or anything like that, you’ve got to find your “reason why.” It’s STEP ONE.

Heck, I’d even go so far as to saying that you need your “reason why” before you even have a WordPress installation.

What Happens When You Have A “Reason Why?”

Good things…

Actually, make that great things!

I can only speak from my experience, so I want to share three stories with you:

1. The Entertainment World

By now, you’ve likely heard that I got started with blogging by running an entertainment site. The site was huge, and in one year, the blog generated around 30 million hits.

How did I grow that site?

Part of it was that I was in the right place at the right time, but what really helped me stand out was this:

Back then, I was the only entertainment site (celebrity gossip) that targeted college aged men—most gossip sites targeted women.

What was my “reason why?”

Men read my site because I gave them the gossip they wanted to read about.

2. DIYthemes Blog

You’re a loyal reader of the DIYthemes blog, so now I’d like to let you in on a little secret:

Loads of people read the DIYthemes blog because we offer practical information. Information that people can read, and go use on their websites today.

Yes, we traffic in “theory” once in a while—you need to—but mainly we focus in on practicality.

That was no accident.

I’ve heard complaints from people that blogs don’t offer any actionable information. So, when we launched the DIYthemes blog our main goal was to give people actionable information.

So what’s our “reason why?”

You read DIYthemes because you get actionable information that helps you build a successful blog.

3. Social Triggers

Earlier this year, I noticed some other complaints going on in the blog world…

People were sick and tired of reading fluff blogs (blogs that are all opinion with no data facts).

So, when I launched Social Triggers, my goal was to always present the data AND opinion. I focused in on psychology research, conversion optimization, and various other personal experiments I’ve ran on my own sites.

Or, in short, my “reason why” people should read my site was because I presented them with what they wanted: data.

Now I Pass It To You…

What’s YOUR “reason why?”

And if you don’t have one, find one.

If you don’t have one, people will go to competitors who do.

To get you started, here are some quick tips for creating your “reason why”:

  1. Keep it concise (the shorter the better)
  2. Keep it concrete (the more tangible the better)
  3. Keep it clear (if you’re the only one who understands your “reason why,” you failed)

And that’s it.

Now I’d love to hear about your “reason why.”

Share it in the comments.

About the Author: Derek Halpern ran marketing at DIYthemes, and is the founder of Social Triggers. To get more tips on how to be confident, sign up to his list here.

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Rob @ Atlanta Real Estate

Good post, but my reasons why are clear and obvious.

Way beyond that, just trying to climb the ranking ladder at this point.


My Reason Why: Because Pro Photographers forget what it’s like to start a part-time photo business on a budget and with a bucket full of fear.

I am using the “I’m just like you” approach to my blog. I teach to learn. I share cause I care.

So far, so good.



My reason why:

To help DSLR beginners take better photos!

Calum Garvey

Teaching people how to build a Marketing Persona so that they can one day become the desired persona of their niche. Just like Social Triggers, its all about building a relationship with your list.

Ryan Rose


Finding my reason “why” is something I’ve gone round and round with. It’s actually been a very liberating experience narrowing down what I’m actually interested in instead of duplicating or parroting someone else.

thanks for the post,


Because how we remember our collective past matters.


Really great post Derek and a really great and important question.

I would say my “reason why” people should visit and read my blog is to get honest opinion based on case studies about SEO and the various SEO tools.

Bruce E. Simmons (BruSimm)

My Why’s:

1) I like yakking, engaging and sharing.

2) To weed through the online noise and marketing and talk about the real product. Too many websites use tricks to get readers. I try to use facts for headlines.

(Thanks for making me think that one through. It’s a good trigger to look back at on those days when it doesn’t seem to matter at all because that blog next door is black-hatting you yet again! LOL.)


My reason why?

1.Most certainly to help people with guides and tutorials on what they want to accomplish.

2.Definitely to assist authors in getting more exposure for their publications.

3.Reviews: To assist prospective buyers in making informed decisions before they buy any specific publication.

Thanks for a great post, I think it’s the same as a “mision statement” or tagline for any business, you need to know “why” or you’ll get side-tracked.

Steve Siegwalt

Why is always a great question to ask, along with who, what, where, when and how! The answer to why should always be to bring your intention into reality. Thanks for asking!

Mark Cherney

My reason why is because I am one of the few full time mobile wedding DJs around and I want to help as many people as possible understand that not all wedding DJs are alike and help educate them on how to find and hire a great wedding DJ.

John Falchetto

My why is simple,

I believe happy, healthy entrepreneurs are a force for good in this world.
I inspire them to live healthy, productive and successful lives.

Mike Van Horn

My reason why? To help you grow your business without driving yourself crazy!

I target owners who need to upgrade the way they run their business to keep up with their company’s growth.
Many focus on start ups and solopreneurs. I work with those with a handful or employees or more.

Adam J. Blust

My reason why:

To offer practical advice to job hunters on resumes and cover letters, from someone in the trenches who has also struggled to find work in this challenging economy.


My reason why….to give people easy to understand nutrition and health advice from someone who IS NOT PERFECT, to connect with them.

Melanie Lundheim

To save my readers’ money and time with quick communications tips.

J Blake

My luv4mom.com is in concept phase only & currently just points to another fledgling blog. Still, I DO have my reason why: to honor mothers.

I have a niche network in my social media contacts of good mothers who have lost custody of their children (and their advocates). Having also witnessed many women murdered when pregnant or attempting to leave with children, as well as the financial devistation of many single mothers trying to do it all on their own, I have begun to envision a space which honors mothers for the struggles, risks, and sacrifices they face daily. My intention is to create a living archive of what is right in motherhood & a platform for the improvement of what is still wrong.

Sue Enge

My reason…straight talk and no sugar coating.

Richard Jones

So true.

I hope I know my reason why…

Szymon Kubanski

Hello I’m from Poland and my reason is to help people how they can find work in Internet.

Andy Moore

Derek, do you know what? You’ve left me flummoxed now. I really have to think hard for a reason why people should read my blog. I can’t think of one.

I suppose I can excuse myself to some extent by saying that it’s purely for training purposes. But actually I am only training myself in how to use WordPress. There aren’t many actual Blog Followers – I think there may be four; hang on I’ll take a look…..4 including me! Whoopee Doo! Someone else signed up yesterday. I’m flying – or falling in style?

Ok you made your point. I’ve got to find a point to my site to point people at it.

Cheers, mate. Good post. I shall dwell upon this as I seek the title of my next pointless post…hmmmm.



where the heck do I contact support?????? for Thesis themes??? I see the BUY NOW button but NO EMAIL OR PHONE? is this a scam, what kind of business is this?

Derek Halpern

You contact support in our support forums here:


Silia J. Hatzi

My reason why: Demystify online marketing for auto dealers so they can sell & service more cars easier & in a timelier manner to happier customers.

PS: THANK YOU for including the whole article in the email. I would not have read it if I had to click to the site for it.


This post rocks! It’s the basics that people just can’t get right.

Thanks Derek, I’m going to read this to the team. It’s time we nailed our ‘reason why’!!!



You’re right – you need to be able to answer WHY??

I would take it one step further back. Instead of asking “Why should people READ this blog?”, we should be asking “Why do I want to WRITE this blog?”

I got the idea from a TED talk by Simon Sinek.

I’m still trying to answer that question!


My reason why is to teach people how to raise happy, healthy animals without spending a fortune on pet praphanlia and vet bills. Too many animals are being given up in today’s bad economy.

But, I have a question. You mentioned keeping the articles chort and consice. What about Panda. I was under the opinion they wanted in-depth, quality articles???

Thanks for all your hard work


I believe the word is short. Sorry


My reason why?

I believe that athletes can perform better by being happier.

So I give great tips and techniques on how they can be happier. I do this today through my books.


My reason why? I offer online casino bonuses that no other site offers. and guess what? most are free! no need to deposit try out the casinos slots with no risk to your personal funds. so far so good. also, what I do is look at my site from the perspective of the player. (which I am a player) so what catches my attention, what am I looking for, if I do that I’m pretty happy with my results : )


Why? Because I :
A.)Love/live to write. (working in a bakery is just a 25 year paycheck w/benefits) I’m also full of opinions on stuff and the blog makes an interesting outlet…
B.) Want to promote my E-book sales. (https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/91309)
I’m figuring all of this out as I go along. The writing is the easy part…


Your article really does provide food for thought. So often we loose sight of the basics because we are more focused on our own perceived needs rather than those of our reader or customer.
And that is why so many dubious ‘opportunities’ continue to be offered because we all fall for the ‘line’ if we are only self interested.
Thanks for open and honest advice. There are some out there in the ‘ether’ who genuinely and actively want to help. But many who don’t. We just have to filter them out.


My reason why is simple. That is it: simple. Everyone seems to want to complicate matters. Everything seems to be complicated these days. I just want simple. There may not be a whole lot of folks out there like me but there are some. Some is enough.

Jehan Tremback

To help people clearly communicate their message or story on the internet.


My reason why is changing. Before it was like others I’ve seen posted here – the “I want to help others/ teach the world to sing” plan. But, that’s not really setting anyone apart from other blogs/ sites in the same niche. I’m taking it deeper but I haven’t hammered out the new plan yet.



I am really struggling with whether to start a blog or not. And the reason is, just as you say “Why?”

As far as I know I am the only auto listing service (in start up mode) that offers a printable QR for sale sign when customers list their vehicles with us.

So, since that is my only focus the “why” is pretty much answered from the start. However I will continue to read through your articles and hopefully will find a action trigger that will assist me.

Thanks for the great articles.


Hi Derek,
Such a good reminder. I seem to have my why´s clear, but then again, there are days when I return to that question and wonder “do I”?
To sides to all coins. The hunt for an income and the why……..
Glad I stopped by today!
Have a wonderful thursday:)

Alison Bergblom Johnson

Mine is something like – because how we speak about our private lives and pasts matters.

I’ve been going around and around on what am I really trying to say on my website and this exercise was very helpful.



To turn intermediate knitters into Knitting Superstars.