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Most of us who write do so because we think we have something to say. If we write a blog, we do so with the idea that we want someone to read what we think, even react to what we think. Early on, then, we’re looking for ways to let people know we exist and that we have posted something for them to see.
Usually, we let our friends, family and acquaintances know we’ve put stuff out there and invite them to take a look. Perhaps we do that by email or social media. Soon after we wonder how we can get even more to stop by and see what we’ve done. We begin to do searches of our blog on Google or Bing to see if we show up, and how high up, if we show.
The reality is that we may not show up on these searches and we’re a bit perplexed. We assume that Google finds everyone on the web. There’s no place to hide, so we wonder how we managed to do so.
Well, it’s not all that simple. Let’s highlight a few things we need to consider in our pursuit of readers.
It is one thing to say I have something to say and that is why I’m writing, it is another thing to be able to specify to whom I am writing. More specifically, who would be interested in what I am writing?
The answer is not “everybody”.
While it may not be clear to you at the outset, soon you will want to have a pretty clear sense of what your blog is all about. If it is product focused, then stay on task. Gardening, art, politics, travel, lifestyle? Doesn’t matter. Lock onto it and develop it.
This will allow you to define the typical person who would appreciate what you write about. Gardening, is good. You might say that you write for amateur or hobby gardeners. Or, is it really urban gardeners? Wait. Is it vegetable gardens for urban dwellers?
The clearer you are as to the profile of the person you wish to speak to, the more directed and specific your writing to that potential reader can be. You know who you’re talking to.
We write because we have something to say. Getting people to listen to us is part of challenge for any blogger. As noted earlier, we probably hit up our friends, family and acquaintances to get the ball rolling. That’s perhaps the low-hanging fruit in the process of building readership.
Let’s drill a little deeper by talking about some things you can do to keep growing this readership.
Who Are You?
Spending time specifying our audience is time well spent, but it is only part of the mystery that creates a connection between you and your audience. It is very likely that you are writing on a subject that is written on by many, many people before you showed up.
So, why read yours?
You. You haven’t written on the topic yet. So, who are you? The person… that comes through your writing. Perhaps it’s your wit or humor. Maybe it is your academic or authoritative perspective on the topic.
Write with personality – probably yours would be good.
Titles that Draw People In
In a world with a constant stream of headlines filling our computer or phone screens, we become harder and harder to excite, or to get curious. We see too many headlines we’ve learned are just irritating gimmicks to get us to click the link.
You know what I mean. Headlines that read something like these: “Shocking Truth about ….” or “Never before Seen….” Or “You Won’t Be Able to Stop Laughing after You See This…” I’m not laughing.
I don’t click these headlines. They are annoying.
Without having to go that far, we can and must become more creative. So, using the gardening theme again, I could title my article in a factually accurate way, such as “Preparing to Hoe Weeds in My Garden with a Hoe” (yawn). Accurate, without hyperbole. That’s also pretty much death on the scale of refreshing to you’re-killing-me-here.
You could be a bit more interesting: “A ‘Hoe’ Down: Me, My Hoe and Them Weeds”. Well, you get the idea.