If you are a blogger, then I’m going to assume you feel the way most of us bloggers do when it comes to your readers; your predominant focus is on what your reader can do for you. You gear your writing to get a response out of your reader, especially if you blog for any type of business related purpose, which is what most of us do. Even if we aren’t selling a “product” through our blogging, most of us are looking to make money from blogging one way or another (ads, adsense, etc.). Thus, we want to direct our readers somewhere or we want to get more from them in order to build up our traffic and therefore charge more for our adspace. Bottom line: we’re generally after our readers for a purpose and we want them to convert to sales. But instead of looking at it in this way, one way to improve your blog quite easily is to change your frame of mind completely. Start thinking about your reader in terms of what your readers actually want from you, the blogger.
Why It Matters
Why should you put your readers first? I say, why not? Your blog would cease to exist without those readers, and after all, they loyally trek to your domain and read your writing on a consistent basis, never knowing if it will be brilliant or dull today. So, it might be time to thank them a little bit by putting their needs first. Secondly, by putting your readers interests above your own, your readers will eventually catch on. They’ll start finding what they need, and you’ll likely not only boost loyalty from those on the edge, but I’d be willing to bet that you’ll gain more readers as well (and not that I’m saying that’s the end goal in this post, but well, you know….). So, here’s to showing your readers you appreciate them, that it’s not just all about you and that you actually do care that they benefit.
What A Reader Wants
If you’re not sure where to start, here are some of the top things your readers would most likely like to see from you and what they want or hope for in their blogger.
1) A Blogger That Prioritizes Their Interests
Readers are savvy. They know when you’re writing for their benefit and when you’re writing for your own (even if on the surface it looks like it’s for them). You can sample a period where you don’t write with the main goal of getting traffic or making a sale. Focus on the highest quality of content in the areas where you feel it will most benefit them. You can even go a step further: take extra time to ask readers what they want. Do they need more information on a particular field? What struggles are they encountering? Answering the questions that they are honestly asking will go a long ways in turning you into the blogger after your readers heart.
2) A Blogger That Takes An Interest Back
This might involve stepping out of your comfort zone and trying to get to know your readers on a deeper level. Take an interest in who comments and what they have to say. Respond to all comments. Answer the questions that do get asked, regardless of how basic you think they seem. If you can, see which of your readers have their own blogs and go read their blogs. Comment on their blogs. Send out personal notes to those who frequent your site most often and thank them. See what they think the blog needs or could benefit from most. Find freebies, giveways of any sorts (even Whitepaper counts) that might be beneficial for your readers. Helping make your readers lives easier, better, happier, more productive, etc. is going to make you the blogger that readers want.
3) A Blogger That Never Settles
We’ve all seen the bloggers who start to settle. Posts become routine. They’re the same length every day. They cover some basic topic and they call it a day. The enthusiasm dies out, the inspiration fades and a readers desire to come back and read more dies right along with the fading blogger. Don’t settle for putting out the bare minimum. Don’t just “hit” your three posts a week and then put it on the back burner for the rest of the week. If you aren’t digging into your niche and getting excited about it on a regular basis, you’re settling. Go further. Find out what more is happening under the surface. Are there new developments happening that few know about? Keeping yourself excited will keep your posts inspired. Throw in a surprise “just cause” post because you want to share something you just discovered. Mix things up, keep your writing and your content alive and your readers will keep you afloat. Don’t settle, don’t get bored.
Overall, becoming the blogger your readers are really looking for will take time and some practice. But a little inspiration, a little care and a genuine interest to help your readers is going to go a long long way. You can do it, with a smile on your face!