It’s very easy get stuck into your writing and forget who you are supposed to be writing for. Especially if you write for yourself as therapy or to get things off your chest.
However, it is important to rise to the surface now and again to think properly about your ideal reader. After all, they are the reason your blog exists. Without them everything would soon shrivel into nothing.
So I’ve put together this Infographic to show you what you could do to your blog to make it better your ideal reader:
And here’s some code you could paste into your own posts (via the text mode) if you want to share this Infographic with your readers.
Who are you writing for?
When did you last do any research on your ideal reader? Note that ‘reader’ is singular, because you ought to be writing only for one person. This is a lot easier than trying to satisfy several different kinds of readers.
Find out what is your reader’s favourite subject matter, what topics interest them, and what kind of writing style they prefer. This is so you can write the kind of posts they will actually want to read.
You could ask your ideal reader directly what they want, or which other blogs they read. Take the time to work out what it is about those other blogs that makes them so attractive.
But never reproduce anything. Not only is plagiarism bad, it destroys your own style and personality. And the blogosphere and search engines do not tolerate copycats.
How clear is your niche?
It’s so important to make your blog’s subject really clear to your ideal reader, so they know exactly what it is about. This will prevent any misunderstandings later.
This also contributes towards attracting the right kind of ideal reader. You don’t want to disappoint potential readers arriving on your blog thinking they’re going to get something else. This will drive them away in disgust, and your bounce rates will rocket!
This is also important to enable you to deliver the right kind of posts your ideal reader expects to read. And this will help your blog to become something more relevant and interesting rather than the usual humdrum blogs you see everywhere.
What is that special something you can offer your ideal reader that will set your blog apart from the others?
What is your message?
If you are mindful of your ideal reader, your blog will be successful in broadcasting its message to them. Which, of course, should be exactly what they are looking for.
The content of your message should answer their questions, solve their problems and use the same language. Your ideal reader needs to feel they are on the same level as you. They need to be able to relate to what you are saying.
You will know all this from the research you did earlier. Because you are able to entirely focus on your ideal reader, you can deliver precisely what they want. If you pitch it correctly, your blog’s content will become a one-stop-shop for solutions, a go-to for answers, and a must-have for reading material.
How readable is your blog?
Believe it or not, this is important. I can remember coming across blogs that were so badly designed, they put me off reading the contents. It may have been absolutely fantastic, but I never found out, because I was discouraged by the confusing layout, illegible font and terrible appearance.
The very purpose of your blog could be undermined if its design is below par. An inappropriately put together blog may distract your ideal reader from what you want them to do. Which is to read what you’ve written and respond accordingly, such as sharing or commenting.
Is your font the correct size for reading? Is there enough white space to guide your reader’s eyes in the right direction? Do you write shorter paragraphs and sentences that make reading easier and quicker?
Remember, if you make it too difficult for your ideal reader to understand what you write, they won’t bother staying around to find out.
Are your posts skimmable?
We all know that readers don’t sit down to read a blog properly from its beginning. There are usually too many examples to choose from. So a selective process is required to find out if the post is worth reading for not. This is usually accomplished through skim-reading.
Each post needs to be adapted to encourage skim readers and make it easier for them. Your post should be laid out to help your ideal reader realise the content is worth taking the time to stop and read it properly.
This is where short paragraphs carved up with subheadings come into play. Use bulleted lists to offer quickly-absorbed information. Present important sections displayed in coloured boxes.
Nobody appreciates being confronted with a dense wall of text with nothing to break it up. This is certainly enough to put off a skim reader.
Do your headlines deliver their promises?
Ever been infuriated by a blog post that didn’t live up to its headline? This is because bloggers need to work really hard on their headlines to make them attractive and attention grabbing.
But it is important to fulfil the promises you offer in those headlines within the contents, otherwise this could be detriment to your blog’s reputation.
You need to deliver the same standard or provide the appropriate solution offered by your blog post’s title. If not, your ideal reader will not be impressed and may vote with their feet.
Avoid getting your blog seen as a fraud. Otherwise you will have failed their trust and lost their approval. And this may stop your ideal reader from returning if your blog cannot match their demands.
How’s the quality of your writing?
Bad writing will not encourage your ideal reader. You may have written the most amazing post with a totally fantastic story, but if it is littered with grammatical mistakes and unnecessary typos, it will not be easy or exciting to read.
Poor spelling, confusing sentences and lack of flow in your language can mask a good post. OK, we may not all be world-class writers, but we should make an effort to be sufficiently literate so that our posts are worth while reading.
Make a considered attempt to produce the best quality you can in your posts. Your ideal reader will soon show their appreciation by commenting, sharing and returning for more.
Are your comments open?
There is a lot of discussion banding about whether to close comments on your blog. However, I see this as denying your ideal reader the chance to have their say, express what they felt about the post’s subject, and make contact with you as the blog’s author.
Closing your comments means you’re taking way the chance to form a readers’ community associated with your blog’s niche. Realistically this doesn’t happen on social media, even if you think it does. Blog commenting is a more personal, intimate and reader focused, showing appreciation, disagreeing or sharing information that is relevant to what has been written.
Blogs were the first platform that allowed readers to leave comments on a post. Take away this facility and your blog turns into a dysfunctional website with no connecting heart. No ideal reader will react favourably to an unresponsive blog that only preaches and doesn’t accept feedback.
A blog that is truly adapted for its ideal reader will have opened its communication channels to allow comments. And remember the importance of replying to each comment to acknowledge your readers’ efforts.
Have you a personal story to tell?
Ever since the beginning of time people have loved stories. And blogs that are successful have taken this concept and used it expertly. It is another way of communicating with your ideal reader.
Instantly readable posts are very similar to written conversations. They are like transcriptions complete with the peculiarities of speech and the inflections of vocabulary.
Make sure your stories are something your ideal reader can relate to. Is the subject understandable, content gripping, moral suitable, and ending actionable? Ask your ideal reader to share your post on social media, to make it reach a lot more potential readers.
What do your readers find entertaining? What makes them laugh, cry, angry, happy, sad or frustrated? Sometimes relaying your own personal experiences helps your readers to relate to what you write about, thus making your writing more friendly and approachable.
Is your blog devoid of clutter?
When did you last properly analyse your blog in relation to your ideal reader? Would they immediately get its subject? Are your images relevant? How readable are your posts? Are your words legible?
How cluttered are the sidebars? Do they contain conflicting content that would distract readers away from your posts? Do you have any unnecessary real-time feeds from social media platforms that could be making your blog slow to download?
Is the navigation clear? Can your readers easily find what they want? Are your call to actions prominent? Do you have conflicting pop-ups and slide-ons that could annoy your readers and turn them away?
It’s worth making an effort to really focus on the user experience of your ideal reader. Make your blog exciting, useful, relevant, helpful and enjoyable. Your aim is to make it possible for them to read what they want and be suitably satisfied to return for more.
And what about you?
Now’s your chance to let me know what you think about this post in the comments below. It’s good to share your thoughts with others so everyone can benefit from them.
Also, if you would like to adapt your blog to make it more attractive for your ideal reader, check out my complimentary blog review. It might make all the difference!