What’s In It For Me?

whatsinitformeWhat’s in it for me? A pretty selfish statement, don’t you think? Well I caught myself saying this when I read a reply post on Facebook the other day.


The reply post was short, simple and really had nothing to do with the conversation taking place in the thread.

It said, “Please invite me to like this page” and I thought to myself, “Why, what’s in it for me?” Ouch, did I really think that or say it out loud to myself?

Usually I am trying very hard to answer that question for the readers who come to visit my blog or my Facebook profile or fan page. I never really thought about the question applying to me when I visit and read posts, pages or profiles.

Think about it; the question applies to each and every one of us at some time when we are online looking for information, looking for ideas, researching for an article you are writing or just trying to find a new recipe or find something new to buy, just because.

My point is that we probably all have this mindset when we are looking for something and we don’t even realize it. When you do realize this, you can see how important it is for YOU to provide the answer or solve that problem for a reader who may come to you for help.

Your posts or articles should be directed to that person whose problem you are going to solve for them. They don’t want to hear about little Jimmy or little Annie getting their first tooth unless that is what your blog or pages are all about, say for example parenting.

Most people are online to learn and earn so they can start their own businesses online and they will bypass you in a heartbeat if they do not quickly see that you can provide a “fix” for their problem.

If you are doing a product review, then that is a situation where the reader absolutely wants to hear what your honest opinion is of the product or service you are writing about. Even in a product review, be ever so careful to keep your review centered on the pro’s, the con’s and evaluation of the product or program, not the people associated with it.

Take your time with a product review. Don’t put out a great review on something until you are sure that the product does what it says it will and be aware of the difference in the product and the people who sell a product; they are two completely different animals.

Remember there is a great difference in testing the actual product for review purposes and then there are people with a hidden agenda who are pushing the product to meet a quota or an intended goal for themselves.

One final thought and it comes from Zig Ziglar and I know I have mentioned it at times before but I truly believe it is one of the best quotes and advice anyone can give or receive.


So we come to the end of my post; “What’s In It For Me?” and hopefully you can say and believe that you did receive from me some valuable information and a unique look at your future marketing efforts online.


arrow5-aSharing with your friends and associates is greatly appreciated and wishing you the success you deserve.






What’s In It For Me?



About Monna Ellithorpe

Writer, Published Author, Teacher, Blogger, Marketer. I have written most all of my life: journals, diaries and short stories. When faced with a life decision, writing kept presenting itself to me at every turn. I then started to seriously pursue a career in writing.
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40 Responses to What’s In It For Me?

  1. Great perspective on the what’s in it for me attitude which in my own opinion is the biggest problem in today’s’ society. The masses are so focused on what pleasure of financial gain am I going to get out of every action that the other people you meet are floored when you actually help them for the sake of helping them. It has been said that being kind to a stranger these days is a sign of flirting. I think the same is becoming true for being helpful.

    Thank you for your insights and it is always good to be reminded of the wisdom of Zig Ziglar
    Lawrence Bousquet recently posted…What is Fear?My Profile

  2. Aid says:

    I think that whenever someone asks you to do something like that, in the case that you are nice, or want to do the right thing, it takes a little more time than just doing what they ask you to do. You have a responsibility no matter how you look at it, and if you are going to give your opinion, well you have to know for sure what it is and really see what your opinion is, and then act.
    Aid recently posted…Heartburn Nausea AromatherapyMy Profile

    • Hi Collin and thanks for visiting and commenting. You are right, you have to do what “you” feel is right and what can walk away from without another thought; then you will know you did the right thing.

  3. Monna,
    GREAT post and fantastic tips… you are absolutely right.. you really have to think of your potential reader and what they can get out of your content.. and “What’s in it for me …” such a natural response for everyone. But when writing content you really have to switch it too :What’s in it for my readers … ”
    Lesly Federici recently posted…Clear Your Blog of Spam CommentsMy Profile

    • Hi Lesly, Thank you. Like I told you on Friday in our PAC 5% Meeting, I have been having a lot of “aha” moments lately. I think the rule is 80/20 and 80 is what’s in it for your readers and 20% of what’s in it for me.

  4. Hi Monna,

    Great headline!! It definitely caught my attention because yes, I’ve said “what’s in it for me” on the past….
    But if we ask- others definitely are. It’s so important to make sure we are letting the reader know what our post is about and what we are offering the reader.

    Thanks for sharing this very insightful post!
    Monisha Kapur recently posted…What to Wear to a Summer EventMy Profile

    • Hi Monisha, I was hoping the headline would catch attention and keep it through the post. I hate to see a title like that and then the post has nothing to do with it. Thanks for reading and sharing.

  5. Sue Bride says:

    It’s often hard to get an honest review of a product or program, especially when there’s affiliate income concerned. It’s also quicker to churn out ad copy you are given. When we’re advertising of course we think about ourselves (and our families) because we have to earn a living. Unless you’ve developed a whole lot of trust you’re not going to get anywhere by not stating disadvantages as well as advantages. It’s not right pushing people to join you in something where you know they’ll very likely not succeed. So even if you are thinking whats in it for yourself you have to think about what’s in it for others too.

    Helping others comes with it’s own rewards. It feels good.

    I often take a long time researching for my blog posts because I have to work out if the resources I talk about do what they say they will and there’s always something new to try.
    Sue Bride recently posted…Free Tools to Check Competitors WebsitesMy Profile

    • Hey Sue, You are absolutely right. I know I do like to think the better of everyone but in reality, I know that’s not true. I agree, I like the feeling when I have helped someone work through a problem. Have a great day.

  6. Hi Monna,

    Great headline! Yes, that’s the question isn’t it? Everybody does that and it doesn’t matter if it’s online or offline. Everyone wants something. If it’s free, people will go out of the way to get it.

    I love your example of a product review. Never endorse anything that doesn’t reflect your views and branding.

    Thanks for sharing,
    Lillian De Jesus recently posted…Creating A Blog Title Image Using Canva With 6 Easy Steps (For YOUR Brand)My Profile

  7. Hi Monna ,
    it seem a question many ask and it is good to
    provide like in case of an review , the truth ,both sites the pro and con’s.
    I like always to know both and I think visitors feel if it is only to sell them
    something .
    Interesting thoughts here
    Thank you
    Erika Mohssen-Beyk recently posted…A Story – From Poor Boy to Dream ManMy Profile

  8. Adrienne says:

    Hey Monna,

    Oh my goodness, I’ve said this myself many times and felt really bad about it too but it’s the truth. I read so much content and then you wouldn’t believe the ones I pass up mainly for this same reason. Not as much what’s in it for me but I don’t need to know that, I already know that or it doesn’t pertain to anything I need right now. I love to help others but we all only have so many hours in the day.

    I agree about product reviews and I’m approached all the time to write a review for someone. The only way I’ll do that is if I’ve personally used the product or I know the person and they have shared with me what it’s about and how it can benefit others. For the most past they’ll give me access so I can use it myself which I definitely prefer.

    We all have to remember that we are all here to accomplish something. When we waste our time on things that don’t benefit us then we learn to really only pay attention to what will. So we have to make sure that we’re providing that for our own readers.

    Wonderful share and message Monna, thanks so much and will be sure to share this as well. You have a wonderful week now.

    Adrienne recently posted…Magical Monday: Snip.ly, How To, Bloggers, Cool Tools, InterviewMy Profile

    • Hi Adrienne, Thank you for visiting and commenting. You have a good point too that I hadn’t thought of. We do have to say “What’s in it for me?” in order to see if the product is right for us and/or our readers. I am the same way, I just cannot recommend anything I haven’t tried myself.

  9. Jenni Ryan says:

    That is actually what most people think “What’s in it for me?” Most people don’t really care about what you have to say or share unless it helps them in some way. It is human nature and how the world is.
    Jenni Ryan recently posted…Tall Poppy Syndrome ExposedMy Profile

    • Hi Jenni, Unfortunately, you are right. Another reason why I try so hard to be different in my way of thinking. I’m not perfect, far from it but I would like people to think of me as caring and giving over anything else when I’m no longer around.

  10. Loved your post on this subject Monna.
    That Zig Ziglar quote is my most favorite quote. I use it often. I like people who also use it.
    I base my business and personal life around it. Helping others to get what they want, and
    need for their families. If you help enough people you will get what you want, -the great feeling you get when you give, when you are appreciated when you are admired. These things are what you want to base your life on. Positive, honest and open. Not the negative and selfish what is in it for me attitude.
    I really hate that. Mr Ziglar was so right. Help others.
    Kathryn Maclean recently posted…There’s a Better Way to Use Social Media in Your Business!My Profile

  11. Hi Monna,
    Loved your post on this subject. That quote by Zig Ziglar is my very favorite quote.
    This is what I have based my business on. Not the attitude of ” what’s in it for me”, so negative and so selfish. I want to help others to get what they want. What they need for their families. I can help them do that with over 10 years in sales and marketing. In turn they will be helping me by giving me a wonderful feeling of accomplishment. How good do you feel when you have helped someone?
    Kathryn Maclean recently posted…There’s a Better Way to Use Social Media in Your Business!My Profile

    • Hi Kathryn, It seems like every quote I pick turns out to be one by Zig Ziglar. I also do not base my business on “what’s in it for me?” For some reason, it just hit me like that. Maybe it was the way the post was worded or who knows? I do like the feeling after I have helped someone.

  12. Providing reviews is a valuable service for people, Monna.
    Finding a negative review about a product is very rare, though, because what motivates most “reviewers” to post up about it is to sell it through their affiliate link.
    The only thing that would motivate negative reviews is if someone just wants to vent about not liking the product.
    I do some reviews and I try very hard to be objective. Just about any product you can find is good for some people and not others. A good review should point out who it might be good for and why; who it might not be good for and why. Be clear that you are an affiliate, and be clear that you’ve purchased and used the product yourself.
    Interesting article, Monna, and words of good advice for affiliates.
    David Merrill 101 recently posted…Keep It Short StupidMy Profile

    • Hi David, Thanks for you comments. Good point; I do believe in giving both sides of a review; good or bad but as you said also making clear if I am or not an affiliate. Either way I do my best to be fair and not blame people or programs if it’s not right for me.

    • I appreciate your comment, David. I find it hard to criticize something publicly, but that’s not necessarily a good thing. If we say only good things when reviewing a product or service, it won’t help someone who might be thinking of spending money on it — espeically if it won’t be good for that person.
      Willena Flewelling recently posted…A Baby for Mother’s DayMy Profile

  13. It can be selfish to ask that question, but there’s so much out there now that we HAVE to ask it. Hopefully when I ask it, my attitude is, “Will this help me to move forward at this time, or will it bog me down because it isn’t what I need right now?”

    I like your response to Chery, where you point out the difference between giving to get, and giving more because you know it will come back to you just because that’s how it works.
    Willena Flewelling recently posted…“What’s in the box, Mommy?”My Profile

  14. Hello Monna, Interesting title and article my friend! I do agree 100 % with your choice of Zigs quote””You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.”

    Loved This! Thanks for sharing… Chery :))
    Chery Schmidt recently posted…Warm Market VS Cold Market / Who Is Your Ideal Prospect?My Profile

    • Hi Chery, Thanks for visiting and commenting. If you think about it, it kind of sounds selfish to help people so you will get what you want but once you start helping people, you feel so good about it and yourself, good things come before you realize it.

  15. Hey Monna,

    What’s in it for me! it’s our human nature to think like this and when you make the situation where everyone benefits it’s makes this type of thinking even better. That includes doing product reviews. You want to give your honest opinion when it comes to this because with an honest review results in a great reputation. Thanks for sharing Monna! Have a great weekend!
    Sherman Smith recently posted…Attract More Targeted Traffic With Commentluv PremiumMy Profile

  16. Hi Monna 🙂

    What an awesome post! That is what it is all about lol people always ask WHATS IN IT FOR ME……and as marketers and bloggers we tend to ask that as well 🙂 Love this quote by Zig Ziglar! Great valuable content as always! Thanks for sharing!!
    Joan Harrington recently posted…Unfortunately, Too Many People Think You Have To Be Smart To Be A MarketerMy Profile

  17. Monna,

    This is really the question, spoken or unspoken, that each of us is asking all the time, especially online. We are inundated with people trying to sell us something, and often what they are selling has nothing to do with what we currently want or need.

    The other side of this issue is people who are not willing to spend the time to create the relationships first, always wanting to know immediately “What’s in it for me?” We can’t always know. Sometimes we create a powerful relationship and months or even years later, that person sends us a referral for a lucrative venture.

    We need to keep asking our self “What’s in it for them” when we are selling or promoting our own stuff. And then, we need to keep asking others “How can I help you?” when we are looking at their stuff. To me, that is the way to accomplish what Zig Ziglar so eloquently explains.


    Dr. Erica
    Dr. Erica Goodstone recently posted…Your Marketing Style – Could It Use A Tweak?My Profile

    • Hi Erica, Very good points you brought up. I probably should have titled my post; “What’s In It For Me and What’s In It For Them” to cover both views. And you are right, it all comes down to one simple question, “How can I help YOU?” Thank you so much for visiting and commenting.

  18. Jaye Carden says:

    I bet if people were more focused on what is in it for their reader’s, they would see much better results. I still see people who are asking people for help, but offering nothing of value to them. The more we learn, the more we understand and can change that. Even I in the start didn’t think with my reader in mind! Thanks for sharing, I got a lot of benefit from it!
    Jaye Carden recently posted…Social Media Tip: The HastagMy Profile

    • Hi Jaye, Thanks for visiting and leaving such a great comment. I do agree that we would see more success stories once people stopped thinking about themselves so much. Have a great weekend.

  19. BG Jenkins says:

    Hi Monna, We all tend to ask that at times… but I do understand the care that you have to take when responding to others. But, it’s also good to weed through everything so that when you are liking or commenting those things which you truly approve of. I also love the Zig Ziglar quote.
    BG Jenkins recently posted…All That is GoldMy Profile

    • Hi BG, I guess we all do ask that but I never really thought about it and I’m not sure what caused it this time but it gave me a different outlook on some things. I also love all of Ziglar’s quotes; smart man.

  20. Hi Monna,

    You sure have given great advice here. When doing a product review, we do have to at least tell people who the product is good for. It can be something that is the latest technology that a pro blogger needs and not a newbie for example. So say it plainly. People will always respect you for that.

    What’s in it for me? is a great question to bear in mind when we are doing just about anything online. We are doing things for others, not ourselves. Providing value in our blog, or introducing a product or service can be a great thing to do, as long as we clearly state it.

    Donna Merrill recently posted…Growing Your Online BusinessMy Profile

    • Hi Donna and thank you. I agree, too many times people are not informed if a product is good for someone new or best for someone more experienced (another pet peeve of mine). I really do like sharing my knowledge with people and see the excitement when “they get it.”

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