We’ve all written them. Blog posts that suck!
They tick all the right boxes but that’s not enough. Knowing how to write good blog posts requires more than just technical expertise.
If you’re anything like me when you’re about to hit the publish button and you know that what you’ve written is dull, flat and ordinary, you’d do anything to improve it. Something is missing, but what?
I’ll tell you ….
While relevant keywords, captivating titles, intriguing first sentences and interesting subtitles are all important, I discovered there’s a far more important question you must answer first.
Who are you writing for?
It’s only when you know who you are writing for that you can connect with them.
You might be thinking, oh that’s easy, I already know who my target audience is. That’s exaclty what I always used to say when this question came up.
But I was wrong!
What I realized, eventually, was that it’s not enough to identify a general niche audience.
You must write to connect with one person! Let me explain.
Why You Must Write For One Ideal Reader
I know this may sound counter-intuitive. After all you’re dreaming of having hundreds, maybe even thousands of people read your blog.
A reader however wants to feel like you’re speaking directly to them. They want to know that you understand and empathize with them, that you relate to their dreams, fears and struggles, and they want to know that you can help them.
You can’t do this unless you’ve spent enough time getting super clear about who your ideal reader is.
If you only write for a target audience you end up writing for a faceless crowd. Writing for an audience is very different from writing one-to-one.
When you try target everybody you don’t really know who anybody is or what their needs are. This means you can’t help but write content which is more generalized and safe since you’re trying to appeal to everybody. For the same reason, your writing will tend to be more formal, technically correct, stiff and bland.
Ironically, when you attempt to connect with everybody, you connect with nobody.
The way we relate to each other one on one is via our emotions but you can’t do this with a crowd since there’s no such thing as a crowd emotion.
When you write to an audience, instead of commuinicating from one feeling human being to another, you can easily end up coming across as though you are lecturing or preaching to them. This just makes the disconnect even stronger.
On the other hand, when you have a clear picture in your head of one reader, you’re able to write more personally, as if you’re having a conversation with the other person. Almost magically your writing will become more sensory and vivid.
Doing this will also help you to come up with blog post ideas since you’ll know more clearly what challenges and struggles the person is facing and how you can help them.
It does not mean that only one person will read your posts. Rather, you will attract whoever closely matches your ideal reader archetype. These people will all feel that you wrote specifically for them.
By including the human element you’ll find yourself naturally being more engaging, using conversational language, like the word “you” instead of “we” and “one”.
How do you know who your ideal reader is? By creating an ideal reader profile.
How to Create an Ideal Reader Profile
In the commercial world, companies often write what is known as a customer profile as part of their customer relationship management system. This is so that they have a better idea of who their ideal customer is, so they can connect with them more effectively to increase sales.
You’re going to do something similar, although for our purposes we’re creating an ideal reader profile.
This is the fun part. It’s like creating a character in a novel you’re writing. In fact, this imaginary person needs to be just as real in your head. They must actively live in your imagination.
You already have a starting point, your target niche audience.
Now you’re going to do some visualizing. Imagine that your niche audience is sitting in front of you. Choose somebody from that audience to sit down beside you.
Instead of focusing on the audience, keep your eyes on the person you chose. They are going to become your ideal reader.
Take a good look at the person. See them siting there. You’re also going to interview them.
Write down their answers to these 25 questions, after which you will have your ideal reader profile.
- Are you a man or woman?
- What is your name?
- Describe their physical appearance, including what clothes they’re wearing.
- How old are they?
- What do they do for living?
- How much money do they earn?
- What sort of education do they have?
- Are they married or single?
- Do they have children?
- What family do they have?
- Where do they live?
- Who do they live with?
- What car do they drive?
- What books do they like reading?
- What social media sites do they use?
- What are their favorite websites?
- What are their favorite movies and TV programs?
- What hobbies and interests do they have?
- What are the biggest dreams?
- What do they worry about at night when they should be sleeping?
- What are the most afraid of losing?
- How do they make decisions?
- Who do they trust and confide in?
- What’s important to them in life?
- What are their biggest fears?
In addition to the above, you can write down anything else about them that you like or that they share with you.
What you want is a complete picture of them so that you can imagine them while writing and editing your blog posts.
You might be wondering why you need to know all the above information. Some of it may feel like it has nothing to do with your niche. That’s not the point, getting to know who they are is.
Finally find a picture that best represents them or make a drawing yourself. Keep the picture nearby to where you write so you’re always reminded of who you’re writing for.
When you write your posts, imagine you’re chatting to them and you’ll find that your writing will naturally become more interesting and engaging.
Make sure that the person you describe is somebody that you like and never imagine them as being stupid because you may find yourself talking down to them. Always think about what you like about them and decide how you can help them.
How to Write Good Blog Posts That Connect With Your Readers
When you write with one person in mind, you’ll automatically connect with them and that’s how to write god blog posts.
Have you created an ideal reader profile for your blog? If so, what other tips can you add? If you haven’t, will this post help you to create one?
Got Questions? Something to say? Leave a comment. Let’s chat
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