Connecting with Your Blog Readers
When you set out to create a blog, you probably had an idea of who exactly you hoped to speak to. Whether it was potential customers or experts in the field you’re writing about, your audience is a major factor that should drive the topics you write about and the content you produce. Making a concentrated effort to connect with the people reading your blog can yield significant increases in engagement and social sharing – which can help you expand the audience for your blog.
The first step to connecting with your readers is finding out exactly who they are. It’s difficult to engage with people when they’re a blank canvas to you. Discovering who’s reading your content can give you a better idea of who is interested and whether your content is on target. You should be using programs that track your audience so you can see who they are, where they’re from, and what led them to you. Once you have that information, you can start to write to that audience if you choose, or adjust your content for your preferred audience.
Of course your blog’s theme and intent should drive the content you produce, but there’s no reason not to target posts to interest your readers too. Once you know what audience you want to target, you can decide what you want to produce. For example, if you’re looking for an audience that has a deep understanding of a technical topic, you might want to shy away from basic explanatory posts or posts that only give a cursory overview of a topic. In order to establish yourself as an expert, you’d want to write posts targeted to people who already have that information.
You can also target content by reading the feedback left in your comments or sent to your email. Opinions aren’t always right, but you can use them as a guide to drive future posts. If someone is interested in a topic, for example, you might be able to explore it more deeply or write about a related topic that would also engage that person.
Choose a Tone
It’s better to pick a tone from the beginning and stick with it. In most cases, a conversational tone can make your blog approachable and personable. When you’re learning how to make a blog, it’s easy to get caught up in things like topic generation and search engine optimization – but the smaller things like selecting a tone matter just as much. Your tone is the way the reader hears you. It’s the person behind the blog.
If your topic is more professional, it’s okay to be more direct and less friendly. But for most types of blogs, think of your posts as a conversation and write accordingly. Adding your personality to your posts might help you keep visitors coming back for more.
Being on target with your topics is important, but if you aren’t communicating clearly, even the best ideas won’t make the impression they should. Don’t go out of your way to make your writing simpler, but do use everyday language that the average reader will understand. If someone has to use a dictionary to decipher your posts, they’re less likely to come back and read another time.
If your posts answer questions that a reader might have, you’re already addressing a need and making a connection. To get started, ask yourself what questions you would have if you were visiting your blog for the first time. Make a list of those questions and then determine how you might be able to turn them into blog posts.
You don’t have to limit yourself in the post. Feel free to expand on the question or go into other, related topics. But having that answer in the text is a good way to start building a rapport with a reader. You’re giving them something they need and establishing yourself as a knowledgeable expert at the same time.
Depending on your audience, using images, infographics, and videos can help you make an impact. Position them in your text to further illustrate or explain your points and keep a reader’s attention. If you’re writing about a product, images of the product in use are a good way to help a visitor understand exactly what you’re describing. If your blog is more personally focused, personal images or fun images from around the office can help make you seem more human. These personal touches go a long way toward making a connection with your readers.
Connecting with readers either through your private or corporate social media is another way to reach out and influence them. There are billions of pages on the Internet and the chances of someone coming back to yours increases if they see a reminder of its existence on their Facebook wall. It’s also a way to engage readers who have questions or want to comment on your posts and have discussions with other followers.
Using your social media accounts to connect with your blog’s readers can also help you find new people to read your blog. Many friends and associates share common interests that may relate to your blog. Social shares are also more likely when you’re already posting on the social network and the person can easily share your posts with friends.
Always pay attention to your comments, because it’s common for people to give compliments or ask questions in that area. It’s another direct way to talk to your readers and show them that you’re interested in and knowledgeable about the topic you write about. If someone comments and has a blog that interests you, you can also visit it and leave a comment on their blog. Doing so might help you build relationships in your blogging community and even lead to guest blogging opportunities.
Connecting with your blog readers will help make your posts more interesting for new and returning visitors. It should also improve the overall quality of your blog. It helps to think of your writing as a conversation with the people you’re reaching out to, and then decide whether you’re giving the impression you want to give. Once you are presenting yourself as you desire, your posts will make a real impact on your readers.