How To Adapt Your Blog To Make It More Reader Focused
How many blogs and posts have you read recently are reader focused enough to reflect the readers’ point of view?
Blogging can be quite egotistical. It’s very easy to blurb on about yourself and forget who your readers are.
And there are many bloggers who write purely for themselves as part of their therapy for whatever predicament they find themselves in.
However, if the main reason why you blog is to get things off your chest, then do this with your readers in mind. After all, they are the reason you blog exists. Without readers your blog would soon fizzle out and die.
Here’s an Infographic I concocted to show you how to adapt your blog to make it more reader focused:
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 your readers?
If you haven’t bothered to do sufficient research into your ideal readers: what they want to read, how they think, what are their preferences, then the quality of your blog posts will suffer.
Successful blogs are just that because they deliver exactly what their readers want. This could be the right subject, the most appropriate method of communication, the style of writing that appeals the most.
It’s definitely worth doing a bit of research, either by asking the readers themselves, or taking on a bit of sleuthing to see what other blogs they like to read, and working out what makes them so attractive.
Remember if you do find another blog you would like to emulate, you still need to focus on your own style and personality. The blogging world does not tolerate copycats.
Know your niche
Is your blog’s subject popular amongst your readers? Have you made it clear enough to attract the right kind of readers? Are you delivering what your readers expect from your niche?
If your niche is so obscure that only a handful of readers appreciate it, perhaps it’s time to abandon your blog and think of something else.
A unique niche will work if it delivers exactly what your readers want. They are more likely to welcome something that is interesting rather then run-of-the-mill, and not like the usual humdrum blogs you see everywhere.
What is that special something you can offer your readers that will set your blog apart from the others?
Mind your message
If you are mindful of your readers, your blog will be successful in broadcasting its message to all who read it.
And to not sound like a broken record, this message should be what your readers are looking for.
It should also answer their questions, solve their problems, speak the same language as your readers. They need to feel they are on the same level as you. They need to be able to relate to what you are saying.
This stems from all that research you did on your ideal readers, and how you are delivering what they want to read. Make your blog a go-to for answers, a one-stop-shop for solutions, a must-have for reading material.
Have you ever come across a blog that put you off reading its contents? A bad design can result in a confusing layout, which contributes to illegible content. None of this will be conducive to your readers reading your blog.
An unreadable theme doesn’t need to be old fashioned. Nor does it have to be ultra-pink or fantastically flowery. Your blog’s purpose could be undermined if its design has too much going on, especially if it unnecessarily distracts your readers.
This is an occasion when simplicity rules. A reader focused blog gets its readers to do what you want them to do, which is to read your content and respond to what you have written.
Is the size of your font easy to read? Do you have enough white space to guide your readers’ eyes in the right direction? Are your paragraphs and sentences not too long or difficult to read? If your blog makes your readers work too hard, they won’t bother staying to the end.
Cater for busy readers
Hardly any readers immediately sit down to read a blog properly from the start. We have too many examples offered to us, so we usually skim read a post first to see if it’s worth bothering with.
Therefore you need to compose your post to not only encourage skim readers to notice it and do their stuff, but to make them realise it is worth taking the time to stop and read it properly.
This is why you need to have short paragraphs carved up with subheadings, bulleted lists offering information in a quickly-absorbed format, and important sections presented in coloured boxes.
Skim readers don’t appreciate being confronted with a dense wall of text with a minimum of paragraph returns, and not enough images and no subheadings to break it up.
A clever blogger will draw in readers by writing extremely attractive and attention-grabbing headlines.
However, if you are unable to fulfil the promises you offer in those headlines within the contents, this could be detriment to your blog’s reputation.
Your readers will not be impressed if you are unable to deliver the same standards or provide the appropriate solutions offered from the title of your blog post.
They will consider your blog a fraud, and will vote with their feet. You will have failed their trust and lost their approval. You won’t have many readers returning if your blog cannot match their demands.
Correct your copywriting
Poor writing is not a reader draw. You may have written the most amazing post with a totally fantastic story, but if it is littered with grammatical mistakes and typos, it will not be easy or exciting to read.
Bad spelling, confusing sentence construction and a lack of understanding how language flows, can belie a good post. Only the other day I had to extensively edit a guest blogger’s contribution to find out its true quality.
We may not all be fantastic writers sporting a well-turned-out phrase, but we should be sufficiently literate to make our posts count and be worthy of reading.
Make a real effort to produce the best quality you can in your posts, and your readers will show their appreciation by commenting, sharing and returning for more.
Opening up comments
I feel sorry for those bloggers who feel the need to close comments on their blog. This is like denying their readers the chance to have their say, express what they felt about the post’s subject, and make contact with the blog’s author.
It’s also destroying the chance of creating a readers’ community associated with the blog’s niche. You may think this could happen on social media, but realistically it’s not the same. Commenting on a blog is a more personal, intimate and reader focused way of showing appreciation, confirming, disagreeing or sharing information relevant to what has been written.
Blogs were first created to allow people to leave comments on a post. Taking away this facility turns a blog into a faceless, dysfunctional website. Your readers won’t react favourably to an unresponsive blog that only preaches and doesn’t accept feedback.
If you want your blog to be successful and more reader focused, you need to open up the communication channels and allow readers to leave comments. And this also includes replying to acknowledge their efforts.
Time to get personal
Successful blogs with lots of readers have become experts at communicating with them. An instantly readable post is very similar to a written conversation, complete with the peculiarities of speech and the inflections of vocabulary.
One of the most popular forms of communication is gossip. Which is essentially telling a story. People have always loved reading stories, so why not continue this pleasure on your blog?
Make sure your stories are something your readers can relate to. Is the subject, content, moral and ending gripping, relatable, understandable and actionable? If your readers share your post with their friends on social media, it could reach a lot more potential readers.
Find out what entertains your readers. What makes them laugh, cry, angry, happy, sad or frustrated? And don’t be afraid to relay some of your own personal experiences. If your readers are able relate to what you write about, your blog will become more successful.
Remove all obstructions
Take a good look at your blog to see which areas might not be reader focused enough. Is its subject immediately obvious? Can your readers read your posts with ease? Do the sidebars contain cluttered and conflicting content that could distract your readers away from your posts?
Is the layout easy on the eye? Are the colours suitable? Are the images relevant? Is the font big enough? Is it suitably legible? Are the headings readable?
Can your readers find what they want easily? Is the navigation clear? Are your call to actions prominent? Are there not too many conflicting pop-ups and slide-on newsletter sign-ups that could annoy your readers and turn them away?
A thoroughly reader focused blog isn’t just about the writing, it’s about the total user experience as well. Make your readers’ time on your blog exciting, useful, relevant, helpful and enjoyable. The result is they are able to read what they want and are suitably satisfied to return for more.
And now it’s over to you
Let me know what you think about this post in the comments below. It’s good to share your thoughts with others. Especially if we can benefit from them.
Also, if you would like to make your blog more reader focused, check out my complimentary blog review. It might make all the difference to your readership.
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