To be successful as a blogger, we need to know our audience. We need to know who we want on our website and why. Without knowing this, we can’t write. We are left stumbling around in the dark and wondering why no one is reading our blog.
We need to know their pain points and their struggles.
We need to know what they are searching for.
We need to know the kind of language that they understand most.
We need to know the reason that they come to our blog and not someone else’s.
We need to know them inside out.
Sometimes we need help defining our ideal blog reader. Most of the time, we are our ideal reader. By that I mean, we were once in their shoes. We once held the same beliefs, the same struggles, the same thoughts as they do now. We are writing about what we have learned to move us past those points in our life.
We understand them because we were them.
Allowing ourselves to understand our readers means that we can connect with them on a deeper level. It means that we can speak their language. This process doesn’t end but it does continually evolve.
There are deeper ways for us to understand our readers and as a blogger, that is what we want. We are blogging as a way to connect with people. We are blogging to share our stories and our passions.
Engage with your readers. This will allow you to open up communication with those who are reading your blog. It also means that you give them permission to ask questions and to know that they will be answered. If you aren’t clear on something that a reader says or asks, ask them to clarify it. This will show them that you truly want to have a discussion.
Listen to your readers. Most of the time, listening is more important than your writing. Listen to their concerns. Listen to their questions. Listen to the comments that they are leaving you. Listen without the intent to reply right away. We think that writing is the most important blogging skill but it truly is listening to your readers. What is it that they want? What is it that they are craving? What is it that they are searching for?
Listen to how your writing sounds. I seem to say a similar phrase to my kids often. “It isn’t what you said but how you said it.” The same goes for your blog writing. You want to make your blog posts conversational. You don’t want to make it sound like you are talking down to your readers. You want to invite discussion and invoke thinking. You want to engage with your readers on a human level.
We have all had moments when someone sent us a message through text or email and you have no context with how to take it. Avoid this when writing your blog post. This doesn’t mean that you can’t be controversial. It means to do so with respect to your readers.
Share your vulnerability. This will help your reader know where you are coming from and why you are blogging about what you are blogging about. If your ideal reader is who you used to be, this means that you are connecting to them through this shared vulnerability. When they are currently feeling what you used to feel, writing in an emotion that they understand will bring you closer to your reader. Vulnerability connects people. We all want to know we are not alone in any of our journeys.
Fear takes over and has a way of talking us out of sharing our story. If you are looking for inspiration to move past the fear of sharing your words, I shared it in a blog post. Once we look fear in the face, nothing can stop us.
Be interested in what they have to say. This comes back to the tip above, listen to your readers but takes it a step further. Be interested in what they are telling you. Don’t just respond to comments to respond. Take the time and effort to give a thoughtful response to their question, concern or comment. Show them that you appreciate them taking the time to comment when life is busy. Truly thank them for showing up. Without them, you wouldn’t have readers.
Blogging is about your audience. At the end of the day, that truly is what blogging is about. You can write for yourself but you need to do that with your readers in mind. Without readers, you are just taking up space on the internet. You have amazing things to share. You have stories that need to be heard.
We get caught up in pageviews and followers. I know because there are days that I do. Those are the days that I begin to question myself. Those are the days that I allow my head to take over and I forget about those that are showing up every day on my website.
Once I remember to bring my audience into my blog, my journey and thoughts change. I strive to do better and be better for them. I take the time to thank them. I take the time to learn about who they are.
To stand out in the crowd of bloggers, you must love your audience. You must learn to engage with your audience. You must learn to listen to your audience. Understanding your blogging audience is the best way to gain true readership and as a blogger that is what we want. We want dedicated readers that will come back to our website every day. In order for that to happen, you need to be dedicated to them.