You have a blog, you have a potential audience, and now you need to connect the two, but you’re not sure how.
Making things even more difficult is the possibility that your audience isn’t even aware of you yet. But, that’s okay, because by creating a solid blog strategy, you can find your audience. And you’ll be able to connect with and convert that audience into happy customers.
Understand Your Audience
You’ve heard it before: Speaking to everyone is speaking to no one.
The first thing you’ll need to do is define your audience. Who are you speaking to? Why are they listening to you? What do they want to gain from you?
Your audience isn’t all people. It’s a specific person who’s attracted to your brand message and the way that you articulate that message.
Your audience can be defined by gender, age group, location, education, pain point, behavior and more. Creating a very specific image of your audience can help you develop a blog that speaks directly to them.
Your Audience Is Probably Your Customer
That sounds pretty obvious, but it’s not. Far too many brands make the mistake of speaking to their peers in their blogs, and not their customers. I’ve come across a lot of well-meaning blogs where the brand focuses its attention on building influence and authority with its peers.
That’s perfectly fine if your peers are your customers, too. But, it’s not ideal when your customers stumble on your blog, hoping to learn why they should choose your business only to be met with uninspired blog posts filled with industry-related terms that they don’t understand.
Come to think of your blog as an ongoing conversation with your audience. You’ll need to present content in a way that makes sense to the reader, which is almost always your customer.
Create a Clear Reason for Your Blog
What’s the purpose of having a blog?
I can’t think of one business that wouldn’t benefit from having a blog, but that’s not enough of a reason for you to create one. You need to have a clear purpose behind your blog.
Why do you you write your blog? Who does it help and how?
If more brands asked and answered this question honestly, they’d be a lot less “company updates” and a lot more valuable customer-relevant information on their blogs.
Before you pen every blog post, ask yourself, “Does this post help my audience and how?” If the post you’re getting ready to write doesn’t meet that requirement, scrap it and start again. The only posts that should make it to your blog are those that empower the reader in some way.
Use a Human Voice
Conversational tone for the win!
You’re writing for the web, which means that it’s okay to be relaxed, conversational and even funny, if you can pull it off!
You’re not writing for a college professor or a medical journal– you’re writing a blog for an audience who probably doesn’t know as much as you do about your topic and they’re coming to you for answers. But they don’t want a lecture. They don’t want to refer to a dictionary. They don’t want to think too hard. They just want you to speak in a language that’s easy to digest.
That’s why it’s always a good idea to write like you talk– at least when it comes to blog posts. Your blog should sound like a conversation you’d have with a friend because you’re treating your customer as a friend.
You’ll use the language your audience speaks. That includes slangs, phrases and metaphors that they can grasp.
Of course, to be able to do this effectively, you’ll need to know who your audience is.
The most important takeaway here is to adopt a more relaxed tone in your blog. This means use an active voice, write smaller sentences, always opt for the smaller word, and insert “I” or “me” to make your blog feel like a more personal interaction with your audience.
Words are beautiful and amazing, but they can only take you so far. You need to include imagery. This means photos, infographics and other graphic elements that break up large chunks of text.
Imagery adds greater context and clarity to your words. A well placed image can illustrate a point better, especially for those of us who respond better to visual cues.
Imagery can also pause and cause scroll-happy site visitors to actually read your post.
Finally, imagery can emphasize your brand’s voice. A funny meme or gif can show off your unique sense of humor, and an inspirational quote can amplify your thoughtfulness.
End a Post with a Thought-Provoking Question
Encourage conversation by reaching out to your audience at the end of each blog post. By asking a question, you’re starting a conversation with your audience.
Remember that blog posts should be treated as conversations between friends. A question is a powerful way to include your audience and reaffirm the message that you care about your audience and what they have to say.
Respond to Comments
A lot of blogs don’t do this, but it’s an unpardonable mistake. If your audience takes a moment out of their day to leave a comment on your blog– respond. Even if it’s a “thanks for leaving a comment”, it shows that you’re in touch with your audience and you care about their feedback.
Dare to Dissent
Some of the best blogs are contrarian. They offer a point of view that’s completely different than popular opinion.
Perhaps you can make a connection with your audience by being one of those voices. It’s okay to voice an opinion that no one else in your industry shares. But it’s crucial that you have a reason for believing it. That way, you can build an authentic audience around an authentic belief.
This doesn’t mean that you must always reject popular opinion. It simply means that every now and then, you have a voice that doesn’t agree with the majority.
It can also mean that your blog features content that your audience can’t find anywhere else.
Direct Your Social Media Audiences to Your Blog
You own your blog, making it crucial to draw your followers back to your blog. You can tease your content on a social media post, and then link back your blog.
This way, you’ll start to build your community where it counts: on your blog.
Diversify Your Blog Content
Blogs don’t have to be filled with just one type of content. While the cornerstone of your blog post will be written content, you can also sprinkle in different types of content to educate and entertain your audience.
For example, you can add:
- Behind the Scenes
- Contests and Giveaways
Over to You
What is your favorite way to connect with your audience on your blog?