Could You Write A Blog Post That Changes People’s Lives?

Carol Tice

Words Matter WeekMost writers I know have two needs:

First, we need to eat.

I spend most of my time on this blog helping writers meet this goal.

But most writers also have another goal, that sometimes keeps us at our desks until late at night:

We are driven to write something meaningful.

How we define that may be different. But that’s really why we sit down and sweat it out day after day.

We’re hoping somewhere, in the grind of landing clients and getting better-paying assignments and keeping a roof over our family’s heads, we’ll also get that rare opportunity to write something transformative.

Something that makes a difference.

We’re hoping to get good enough to write something that will create a change.

Maybe it will help lead to reform of drunk-driving laws and save some innocent lives.

Maybe it will motivate people to donate to a worthy cause, like one Freelance Writers Den member who recently wrote me that her article about a charity caused people to donate 300 turkeys for the hungry…and that she still is so moved she cries whenever she thinks about it.

Or maybe, it will help uplift people, make them feel less alone, help them make sense of their journey, or lighten their load.

I was reminded of this recently when I had Copyblogger editor Jon Morrow as a guest on my podcast.

He related that after writing one of his most popular blog posts, he heard from people who said they were contemplating suicide before they read it.

Jon’s inspiring story changed their minds.

Words have so much power.

When the Arab Spring was at its height, Egypt shut off the Internet. That wasn’t because they wanted to restrict game-playing. It was to stop the flow of empowering words that were arriving from Twitter and Facebook.

Words have the power to topple governments and free people.

Why does this all come up? Well, Words Matter Week begins Monday. It’s sponsored by the National Association of Independent Writers & Editors (NAIWE), of which I am a proud member.

Next week, you’ll be seeing daily writing prompts bouncing around social media, stimulating new ideas. It’s a great opportunity to reflect and ask yourself where your writing passion truly lies, and to commit to devoting at least some of your time to that goal.

What do you want to write most?

What is the most important writing you could do?

How will it change people?

Will they make more money? Keep more of their money? Be happier, freer, or more uplifted?

I’m proud of many feature articles I’ve written, but probably my most important writing of my career has happened here on this blog.

When writers tell me they took my advice and now they’re able to earn more, or able to live where they want and be their own boss, I am over the moon.

I’ve changed a life. It doesn’t get any better.

Today, I’d love to learn more about the change you are striving to make with your writing.

Why don’t you leave me a comment and tell me —

What have you written that was the most meaningful to you, and why? Leave us a link to it if you like.


  1. Johanna

    I totally agree Carol. You have so captured an underlying need that bubbles beneath the surface of most writers. Much of the time freelancers are writers for hire, penning words for editors or companies who have given us a brief. Sometimes though, especially with blogs, we can branch out and make a difference writing something straight from the heart. I watched the Invisible Children, Koney2012 film last night and wrote a piece on my blog, tears streaming down my face, humbled by what’s happening to children in Uganda, but also moved by the power of social media. That post was fairly meaningful for me because I am standing up for a cause, and also because I think the sentiment behind it might herald the shape of the future.

  2. Terri Huggins

    I couldn’t agree with more with this post. In fact, the whole reason why I became a writer is so I can make a difference. For many many years, all I wanted to do was change the world. I figured using my talent of writing was one of the best ways I can do it. The problem is in this stage, I am stuck writing about what pays the bills as opposed to what actually makes a difference the way I would like. Until, one day it dawned on me that I don’t have to be paid to make a difference. Nobody is stopping me from doing what I want but me.

    I’ve decided it’s time that I work towards getting that column I’ve always dreamed of and create a blog about opening the minds of people when it comes to higher education. I’m sure you know all too well that higher education is not always synonymous with college. I want to encourage the minds of young people and society to pursue the education route that makes most sense to them whether or not that path leads to college. It will be rough, but I am convinced that I can make a difference because I CAN do the impossible.

    • Carol Tice

      Exactly! Your paid writing gives you the space to write that meaningful blog post or volunteer to write that grant that funds your favorite charity. And because you do it all the time, you’re good at it and you can make a difference, because you’re learned how to write something compelling.

  3. Lori

    Carol, while I always appreciate what you do with this blog and Writers’ Den, this post hits deep. I loved it as I loved hearing Jon Morrow a couple weeks ago–something I could not have done without you. I finished taxes yesterday and the reality that I just barely made more than I did last year struck me down very hard. Enough time on the floor, it’s time to pick myself up and make this work and make more money. It’s posts like this that get under my skin and settle into my mind, hopefully triggering that change.
    Sincerest thanks,

  4. Tea Silvestre

    I couldn’t agree more, Carol. In fact, the power of words is something I write about as well in “Be a Chef: an Entrepreneur’s Manifesto” ( Words are potent, magical ingredients with power beyond other forms of communication. They can be used both for good or evil, so we need to use them responsibly. Especially in our marketing. Too often advertisers or politicians twist the truth and use words to manipulate people into saying or doing things they wouldn’t normally dream of doing. Stay vigilant!

  5. Rosa Lee Jude

    Many, many years ago when I was a newspaper reporter, I had to cover a murder on my birthday. Needless to say, it was the worst birthday I have ever had. But the story was about a Vietnamese man who had been an informant for the US who afterwards was brought to America for refuge. He lived in my small town and was raising a wonderful family full of hardworking young people, very serious about their educations. But his work in Vietnam followed him and, although I do not think the murder was ever solved, it was thought that it was someone who knew he had been a spy. It was a horrendous story to write, because he was also very visible in our community as he worked in a grocery store. Everyone knew him. After it came out, his oldest daughter, perhaps a high school senior or college freshman, called me. She indentified herself and then said one sentence. “You have honored my father, thank you.” I think I touched their lives and I sure do know that they touched mine.

    • Carol Tice

      I had a similar experience writing an obituary that I knew would be THE one the family cut out and saved, for his industry trade publication. Huge responsibility, and they were very grateful with the care I took with it.

  6. Dianne at

    I have had the honor & pleasure of motivating and inspiring a lot lately…I’m in the process of a weight loss journey to lose 219 pounds.

    It started with this post on my blog when I shared a unique method of visual motivation with glass marbles:

    It continued as I lamented about the clothing ghosts in my closet:

    And it’s still going strong…here’s the post I just shared on how I’m able to face the task of losing over 200 lbs without being intimidated by it:

    I am still finding my way with this blog, but I find that I have a true knack for reaching people. Words do have amazing power. Thank you so much for your blog today. 🙂

    • Carol Tice

      Wow! Since I can never lose even 10 pounds I am definitely inspired, Dianne.

  7. Vicky

    I enjoyed this post. The world needs more people to write things that inspire. I am currently conducting what I call an experiment in human kindness as a cancer survivor traveling the world on a bicycle. I do my best to inspire with my blog posts and with the guest posts I do for others.

  8. Joy

    The most powerful thing I have ever written is a complimentary ebook I launched yesterday :
    I created this ebook–my first ever–in one week, wishing for it to be a collaborative book about celebrating voice as a gift for International Women’s Day. In the moments that I felt overwhelmed at the enormity of the project, I would read one of the articles within and keep creating. Most powerful, though are the messages I received already from the women who participated and also from many who read it. Messages about how inspirational the story of creating it was as well as the story within it. I didn’t follow marketing techniques (no subscription necessary) and I didn’t charge, but I know already, the message has spoken loud and clear. We have a unique voice and there is great peace when we allow it full creative expression.

  9. Mellissa Thomas

    So true, Carol. It’s pretty safe to say that most people start their blogs for that purpose; and we writers become professional freelancers for that reason as well – even if only for marketing/copywriting, writing copy does change lives, even if only indirectly. We’re using what we’re good at to help others.

    My personal example: this past Tuesday, I composed an informative Keynote presentation (CommentLuv already has the article link below) on the Twitter app Buffer, signed up to use the service myself, and left a comment on the company blog, authored by its co-founder Leo Widrich, requesting his feedback about my presentation.

    He enjoyed my article/presentation so much, he now uses it as a reference for people who want to know more about the app. Traffic for that article skyrocketed as a result – and continues to increase. I was honored to provide something of such value, and help the company market a product that also provides tremendous value.

  10. Diana

    I’ve been fortunate enough to write for three large newspapers–about people in the community making a difference. Through the articles I’ve contributed, families with autistic children, underpriviledged young men and a homeless family have all been helped by other people just doing what they loved.
    I am humbled and honored by their sharing.

  11. Jawad Akhtar

    Hi Carol,
    Thanks for another highly inspiring post this time!
    The first time I visited your blog was to gain insight into making some extra money, while not compromising on the rates or the quality of work that I wish to deliver to my clients.
    However after becoming a ‘regular’ visitor/reader of your blog, what has started to change is now I am far more pro-active in helping all those who are in need of my expertise and that also free-of-cost, although it is more technology-oriented. I have now ‘liberally’ given my contact details as well as offer to help anyone who needs it on the website for which I am the country ambassador (
    Perhaps, all this has stemmed from the fact that your blog has inspired me to help and support people in more ways possible than the immediate financial gratification.
    It will not be too long when I’d like to see myself diverifing and broadening my writing horizon and be able to (hopefully) find avenues which are more in line with my desire to help people, be a better human being as well as contribute to making this world a little better!
    Thanks for being a source of inspiration and… do feel free to let me know if there is anything I can do to help! 🙂

  12. Kim

    To matter. To know that we have changed a life. Those are very powerful goals, indeed.
    I believe that when we learn and embrace that flash point where our passion meets our strengths, we can write in a much more compelling fashion, and change lives because we are doing what we love.

    I think one of my favorite posts is one in which I recount a story of a mom and a young adult daughter. Their relationship was quickly going downhill due to financial stress, and I helped provide the template for a conversation that brought them together again. Knowing that a mom and her daughter are close again because of something I was able to offer just makes my heart sing!

    The BIG Conversation You’ve Been Avoiding About Money:

    I look forward to seeing your prompts next week.

    • Carol Tice

      I’m not doing the prompts…got other great stuff for you next week, which is why I wanted to post today. But go on Twitter and search on #NAIWE and I’m sure you’ll find lots of great stuff everywhere.

  13. Aisha

    Hi Carol, you hit the nail on the head with this post. I am constantly torn between the desire to write something that changes lives and “makes a difference” and the despair that my voice is just one of millions and will never be distinguished from the uproar!
    I tell myself to shoot for the stars but to keep my feet on the ground and appreciate what I do have, because there was a time when I never expected to have a husband, children, even a driving licence!

    I have Borderline Personality Disorder and lived over ten years of lifeless, joyless and painful existence before I was diagnosed. I escaped an abusive upbringing, experienced homelessness and desperation before I finally got the treatment and support I needed.

    On my blog I run a series called Breaking the Code of Silence I write about my experiences to educate people about mental illness and to lift the stigma surrounding it. I hope I can show others that no matter how bleak your life seems, you can never know what’s around the corner. Maybe, in this way, I can make a difference.

  14. Joyce

    This was an awesome post! I needed to be reminded of why I want to write in the first place. Sometimes it is easy to forget when we are focused on writing for money that there are things that matter even more. My dream in writing is to help children, either by writing for them or about them. They are the hope of the future and so often, they are mistreated and hurt or forgotten. As a foster parent, I have a strong empathy for children with no home. The best thing I’ve ever written was an article about how my adopted daughter has changed my life for the better. It’s called “Lessons I Learned from my Daughter” and it brought tears to my eyes while I wrote it.

    • Carol Tice

      I have 2 adopted kids, so I’m going to have to save this one until after work or I’m sure I won’t be able to work on my assignments today!

      Thanks to everyone who are leaving their most-inspiring links. Think we’re creating a teasure-trove I’m thrilled to host on my blog, for others writers to find in months to come.

  15. Mikalee Byerman

    I’ve been a writer and editor throughout my career — mostly for client pieces and regional publications.

    But after a blindsiding, devastating divorce in 2008, I started a blog a few years later. That was when my voice was born — sarcastic and dark, but funny and hopeful nonetheless. And that is when my desire to help people others through my writing crystallized.

    I realized that in order to de-stigmatize divorce, we who’ve “been there, done that” need to write about it, share our stories and build a community of support. And that’s what I’ve started to do on my blog. A little more than a year later, I have an active, vocal group that laughs, vents and shares.

    My first post from the blog, the lynchpin of it all, tells the story of how my marriage ended with a brick — a literal brick. The oddly poetic symbol inspired this post: The blog itself has evolved from its original focus on divorce and healing, but the fun-loving, amazing community remains.

    Carol, thank you for allowing us all to tap into our inspiration and remind ourselves of our transformative goals. Words, indeed, have great power. And often, those words are inspired by personal setbacks. While my obstacle may be minor in the scheme of things — I know people have experienced far worse in life than the tragedy of divorce — it is our ability to work through these setbacks and focus on the future that invites true healing.

    Onward! 🙂

  16. Mandy Harris

    Carol, I think God is nudging me through your blog post today. Just yesterday, I had a chance encounter with the homeless liaison for one of our elementary schools. A truly chance encounter since we were strangers at an unrelated event across town, far away from our little school district. I talked to her about how the community can rally to support the numerous homeless kids who are trying to do well in school despite moving from couch to couch. We talked about the possibility of me writing a piece for the local paper. I thought about her for a couple hours afterward, then life started moving at its usual quick pace. She and the homeless kids she serves didn’t cross my mind again until I read your post. I think I will start planning an article for the local newspaper. Thanks for the “Passion Reminder.”

  17. Tom Bentley

    Carol, I think it’s a profound truth that even if we write solely to make our daily bread, we want the writing to touch people in some way, even if it’s just for a moment. When I’ve written of the deeper things for me—my father’s death, the loss of a love—I’ve felt the greater resonance of the words, and others have too. (But then again, making people crack up is a noble writing pursuit too.)

    And I have you to thank for pushing me to redesign my home page, after you’d done the courtesy of giving me a website review. Still tinkering, but thanks for the nudge. And this post.

  18. Sandra / Always Well Within


    You really put your finger on the pulse of why I write! I hope that everything I write on my blog is meaningful and touches someone’s life in an uplifting or helpful way.

    Thanks for reminding us that Words Matter!

  19. Jennifer Ire

    Carol, Thanks for this post. It helps me not be so hard on myself. I have been working on a website, and about 4 weeks ago I stopped by an internal question. Who is this for? I realized that I was creating a site out of a sense of obligation to friends who have been asking. I stopped and have been sorting out in me, what is it I want to offer those who will come to the site. It has turned everything on its head and opened an entirely different window into the idea of the site.

    • Carol Tice

      I’ve been loving your micro-gratitude updates on Facebook! Checking out that post for sure, Linda.

  20. Doug Toft

    Carol, thanks for an inspiring post and a reminder that we “commercial” writers are also driven by a desire to contribute and leave a legacy.

    I write to help people think creatively and critically about self-help books—to access life-changing ideas while avoiding the scammers.

    I also want people to experience success at collaborative writing—a journey through the heart of darkness and back into the light.

  21. Jennifer Roland

    One of my most meaningful pieces of writing was also how I dealt with a personal loss during my pregnancy. As I was trying to cope with my conflicting emotions, I found absolutely nothing on grief during pregnancy. Tons on coping with the grief of losing a pregnancy, but nothing on the warring emotions you feel as your pregnancy progresses after you experience personal loss.

    The article is live on the Pregnancy magazine website:

  22. Cathy

    I really resonate with your article. I still make very little money from my writing. I write because I know that I have information that can change people’s lives. I write about beliefs: how they stop us from fulfilling our dreams, how to change them, how to even let them go. I’m trying to bring to the modern world ancient wisdom which was suppressed. And it is my dream that one day my words will make more than an occasional difference. Thank you for opening up this discussion.

  23. Danielle Navonne

    Carol! Thanks for tis post and for this platform to share!

    This is a recent piece of mine that has been, by far, my most popular. It took a life a of its own, and I received SO MUCH feedback from people who were touched by it and were considering taking steps to change their life after reading it. So although I didn’t anticipate it’s popularity, it felt really good to know that what I had to say was relevant and could touch others in that way:

    This post also has special meaning to me. It started off as something totally different, and I almost didnt post this week because I felt blocked – and had to start all over. But I was determined to work past my block and this came out. I guess it’s my favorite because it reminded me that if I just keep going, the words will find themselves to the page.

    Look forward to checking out other’s links!

  24. Carol Stratton

    Thanks for the great post. You have a writer’s heart!

    After 22 moves with husband and four children, I understand why moving is number three on the list of life stressors. An invisible spatula comes into your life, flips your entire household upside down and you are left in a new home, sorting out the mess. Children miss their friends and tell you how you’ve ruined their lives. Dog runs away, neighbor comes over to inform the moving van is parked too near to their driveway and you can’t use your debit card from the new bank. Welcome to relocation.

    As a reluctant relocation expert I’ve developed a passion to help newcomers. For four years I’ve written a blog about moving and adjusting to a new community (w. My new forty-day devotional, Changing Zip Codes: Finding Community Wherever You’re Transplanted is targeted to encourage families who need to change addresses. (Published by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas).

  25. Bella

    Hi Carol.

    First, I want to say thanks for another great post. I’m a fairly recent subscriber and now every time I open up one of your newsletters I know I’ll read something worthwhile. As for the topic at hand, I spend my days copywriting and lately have found that most of my heartfelt pieces do not make it past the notes stage. This is a good reminder that I should be putting the time in to reconnect with why I love writing in the first place.

    My favourite piece I have posted so far is about my “Wanderlust” and a profile of a woman that inspired me long ago:

    Anyway, thanks again!

  26. Ken

    I agree with what you said about the power of words. I remember something when you mentioned about Egypt cancelling the Internet because of the spreading of the word. It is about the throwing out of the President of the Philippines, Joseph Estrada. One of the biggest tools to get the mass on the street to protest is the text message.

    Another proof of the power of words that changed the Philippine history is the writings of our National hero, Dr. Jose Rizal. He fought against Spanish colonial rule’s inhumane treatment in the 18th century not by leading the revolt, but by writing, especially his two famous books, Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo. His writings and death inspired the people and sparked the revolution.

    I hope I could also do some writings that could change something, whether it be the world, the nation, or even a single person’s life, for the better, or inspire someone to do something good… like buying my products or promotions, hehe. Just kidding.

  27. Theresa Mendoza

    This is a great article that my friend shared with me and I am so happy she did. I am just starting out in this whole writing thing and my dream (as most writers) is to make a career of it and to bring joy, inspiration, and/or whatever else it is that they need. Thank you so much for sharing. 🙂

  28. Terri Forehand

    This is so true, and so many times we write what pays rather than what is in our heart. As a nurse I have such a passion for parents who have children battling serious or terminal illness. I have a blog that didn’t seem to gather enough traffic and many who discouraged me because I didn’t have a child with cancer but a husband who survived and that it made me not an expert enough on the subject. You have encouraged me to go back to the center of my heart and revist writing the devotional I want to write for kids and the one for parents.
    All writers have the heart to help, it is unfortunate that we fall to the negativity and begin to believe we are not expert enough. And being a nurse may be just enough of being an expert that someone might need.

  29. Danielle Navonne

    I just realized my 2nd link didn’t go through from my previous comment, so here’s a repost of the description with the actual link this time. Sorry for the missing info before:

    “This post also has special meaning to me. It started off as something totally different, and I almost didn’t post this week because I felt blocked – and had to start all over. But I was determined to work past my block and this came out. I guess it’s my favorite because it reminded me that if I just keep going, the words will find themselves to the page”

  30. Lynette

    Thank you for voicing well what writers feel. I just started a blog for people like myself with ADD, bipolar depression and other mental illnesses. The world is full of people who need help in many ways. I want to make a small difference in this population if I can and wrote something tonight, before I read your post, that I hope will touch someone. The discouragement is there all the time. It’s the encouragement like yours we need more of. Thanks again.

  31. Magda

    I am glad I clicked on the link from twitter. You are an aspiring writer’s dream. You made me think. What on earth have I being trying to achieve with my blog? Show people how wonderful mosaic art is, thus, promoting the craft. I have never earned a penny from my blog but I know of a couple of people who were inspired by it and for one of them something has changed.

    I cannot be called a writer but I love writing and I love mosaics besides lots of other things.

    Thanks for the inspriring post.

  32. Clara Mathews

    I am not sure it is life-changing, but I think this is one of my most powerful blog posts. On my movie blog, Just Chick Flicks, I try to feature movies that empower women. One of these movies is a romantic comedy called Penelope, about a girl cursed with a pig nose. The curse would be lifted when she found someone who could love her for herself.

    The blog post is called: Chick Flicks: Only Pretty Girls Need Apply.

  33. Leslie

    Hey Carol, Your posts cumulatively are really having an effect on my life and career.

    I’ve given you the Versatile Blogger Award — please come onto my site to pick up your award!

    Click here to read more about this award:

    • Carol Tice


  34. Kathleen Cassen Mickelson

    This post came at a great time because this is one of those mornings when I wonder just what difference I’m making, if any. While I haven’t started any revolutions, I hope I’ve made a bit of a difference to people who are trying to figure out if they’re writers or not. One of the blog posts I wrote last year titled, Fifty Ways to Leave Your Writer’s Block, was my most popular and I hope it was because it inspired people:

    Occasionally, I also have a blog feature I call Do a Kind Thing in which I put links to opportunities to make a different in the world. I’ve done links for food shelves, shelters, book donations, suicide prevention sites, and other things. I’m a big believer in passing it on.

    • Carol Tice

      Thanks for the nice reminder that sometimes it doesn’t have to take literary brilliance…just a commitment to drawing attention to where people could help.

  35. Josh Sarz

    What I’d really love to write about aside from copy and blog posts, is fiction. I’ve always wanted to write a fiction novel when I was a kid.

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