The Insider’s Guide to Blogging: Are you doing it right?

image credit: justdo1thing.com

image credit: justdo1thing.com

Why do you need to be particular about your blog content? For starters, if you decide to blog, naturally, you want to gain followers. If you want to grow your fan base, then your content must cater to your readers’ needs. You must identify your target audience so you will know how to approach them.

For example, if your target audience involves cooking mamas or papas, what information do you think they will need? Well, you can always teach them your recipes. Don’t forget to include photographs that showcase how delectable your food is. With those beautiful snaps, your audience will be motivated to create the same dishes and, of course, your recipes will be there to guide them every step of the way.

Everything that you do must be crafted to gain your audience’s attention. Being particular about your blog content will allow you to reach a specific audience. Once your content becomes relevant information to a specific audience, then you can get them to frequent your blog.

Here’s what you need to contemplate on when you’re establishing your blog:

  1. Who is your target audience?

Knowing your target audience is like setting a goal. Once you’ve identified it, all your efforts will be focused on reaching it.

If you’re starting with a zero readership, heed this advice. Targeting an audience makes things way easier for you compared to blindly trying your luck with random trendy posts. Talking about popular topics or trends won’t immediately boost your content’s visibility, nor will it increase your readership. If you want to be successful with your blogging, then let’s start with identifying your audience.

Who do you think will read your blog? Is it the suburban stay-at-home mom, the tech-savvy teen, the health-crazed foodie, or the daring dad? Once you know who your reader is, everything that follows will be a breeze. You can easily identify the writing style and tone that will appeal to your audience. Moreover, you will know how to deal with your blog layout and content.

  1. Stay true to your brand’s identity.

Your brand is what gains your audience’s trust. It assures them that you are this and not that. Readers are rather picky. If you stray from what they were used to, you could lose some of them. Everything that you do in your blog establishes your brand. So, you must always be careful with your content. Just to be safe, before creating your content, identify your brand. Alastaire Allday’s writing exercise in Think like a Copywriter will help you a lot. Ask yourself,

“If your brand was a person, who would they be?”

Let’s use the previous example and assume that your target audience involves cooking mamas or papas. What identity must you assume to captivate your target audience? Should your brand be an Anthony Bourdain or a Nigella Lawson?

Anthony Bourdain is well-traveled, thus he is well-versed in indigenous cooking. So, if your blog is Anthony Bourdain, your content will be filled with bizarre-looking, yet surprisingly appetizing, recipes.

A Nigella Lawson blog would scream sophistication. From your photos to your blog design, everything is eye candy. Content would be more of your classic home-cooked recipes with a personal twist.

Now which blog identity will get you to reach your target audience?

Yes, it’s the Nigella Lawson blog. Your target audience is definitely cooking for their families. They might need some recipes for their kids, for family dinners, or for barbecues with friends. Assuming an Anthony Bourdain persona for your blog might be too extreme for your desired audience and, in turn, you will attract a different type of audience.

  1. Content must contain a pinch of ‘You’.

What do you have that other blogs don’t? Think about that. You must give your audience a reason to follow you. So, be creative with your content. Bring something new to the table. For instance, let’s say you’re a self-published author of illustrated children’s books. For a relevant blog post, you can teach your audience how to DIY illustrated books. You can recommend services or tools that you personally tried and liked.

  1. Follow the trends.

Evolve with the times. Your readers’ preferences are continuously evolving, so you better keep up with them. Find out what attracts your readers most, and then use that!

The following blog ideas are difficult to resist. You can maintain your readership and attract more with these:

  • Guides and Catchy Headlines.
    • How-To articles are classic attention grabbers.

Here are some examples of How-To topics:

  • How to Create Infographics in Less than an Hour
  • How to Approach High-Profile Bloggers for Book Reviews
  • How to Write Great Children’s Books in 5 Easy Steps
  • Readers get excited by lists!
    • Use digits.
    • Use catchy adjectives.
    • Make promises…
      • To get things done within a period of time.
      • To make things effective/efficient.

Examples:

  • 27 Insane (But True) Things About Tips
  • 13 Facts About Designs That Will Keep You Up at Night
  • 16 Fail-Safe Ways to Stimulate Creativity and to Stay Motivated
  • Book recommendations. Readers want to know where you got the latest buzz.
  • Give your readers an idea of your preferences – what works for you and what doesn’t.
  • Infographics: A fast and fun way to learn new things.
  • High-quality photographs. Pixelated images are a major turn-off.

If we missed a couple of points that need to be highlighted, share it with us!

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