Here's Day 3 of the 8-part series on better blogging for writers. The first day was aimed at creating a niche for your blog; the second day looked at crafting an editorial calendar for your blog; and today we're going to discuss putting blog readers first.
Put Blog Readers First
In some ways, today's focus sums up everything bloggers should be doing all the time; that is, they should be putting their readers' needs first. Don't confuse this with doing everything for everybody at all times, because your readers are not "everybody." Rather, your readers are your target audience, which is never going to be everybody.
That's why this post wasn't for the first day of this series. After all, you have to know who your audience is before you can set about pleasing them, right?
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How to Put Your Blog Readers First
First, you have to figure out who your blog readers are. You should have an idea of this based off your blog's niche. This will help guide your content, voice, and treatment of the content. For instance, you could have a sports blog and know that you're targeting people with an interest in sports.
Or you could have a baseball blog and know that your target audience is comprised of baseball enthusiasts. Or you could drill down even more and have a blog focused on just one baseball team (like the Cincinnati Reds), which would mean your readers are really interested in that team and its players.
Beyond this though, there are many other no-brainers for putting your blog readers first:
- Post consistently. How often you post sets expectations for your readers and helps them know when to "check in" for new content.
- Always put your best foot forward. Whether it's your first post or 300th post, make it the best post you can for that particular content.
- Make your blog easy to read. Use easy-to-read fonts and avoid using a black background (especially with red lettering).
- Help readers navigate your blog. Offer site searches, consistent categories that aid in site navigation, and links to helpful content.
A lot of it is common sense really, but...
Here's a good question to ask yourself, "Is this something I would like as a reader, or do I just think it's cool as a blogger?"
Follow your reader-self, and the rest will take care of itself.
Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community, which includes editing Writer’s Market and Poet’s Market. He regularly blogs at the Poetic Asides blog and writes a poetry column for Writer’s Digest magazine. He also leads online education, speaks on writing and publishing at events around the country, and does other fun writing-related stuff.
A published poet, he’s the author of Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53) and a former Poet Laureate of the Blogosphere.
Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.