When we are in a consultation about writing blogs, one of the first questions which we ask is “who is going to read it?” Having a blog has little value, even as a search tool, if the people who come to your website do not read it. When someone comes to your site, doesn’t see something which interests them, and leaves quickly to go somewhere else, it counts against you. So it is important to know who you want to attract to your blog and website, and write with them in mind.
How to write a blog rule number one: know your audience
When deciding how to write a blog post, the people who will be reading it will play a big part in how you write it. Different types of companies are generally going to attract different types of people who have different goals in mind and personalities. Therefore, they will read the blog differently.
In general, people who visit blogs on the internet fall into a few categories:
- Online “community builders”
- Casual readers
There are exceptions, and often, one can find overlap within the groups. It is up to you, the person creating the content, to keep an eye on who is coming in by watching the interactions and comments which you receive. This way, you can adjust your writing style accordingly.
An online community is a group of people who hang out and have discussions on websites. These websites foster conversation of some sort, and nature of their blog posts incites people to participate by commenting on their posts. These comments can take a life of their own, becoming conversations and heated debates.
On the down side, they need to be monitored often to make sure that conversations don’t get out of hand and make people uncomfortable with being on your website. You will also need to watch often to keep out spam, scammers, and other people who will try to prey on your readers or business. When a place on the internet gets covered with these, people stop coming back because they can’t find what they are looking for.
Some common examples of online communities are blogs which discuss hobbies, sports, or politics. Groups who frequent these types of articles tend to congregate around their common interest. They may belong to a Facebook group
This group of people often visit one post on your blog and then go back to where they found you, unless they really like what you have on your blog, and see something else they want to look at. Their searches often include “how to…” in them.
They are looking for very specific piece of information, and if you can provide it to them, then they are likely to come to you again if they see your results in search traffic. If they really like you, they may even bookmark your page for future visits.
The best blogs which attract researchers have posts which are well researched, cited, and backed up. The more credible the information is, the more likely the researcher will take it seriously. If it is informative enough, it can become a place where they return to for other subjects.
In our experience, many of the blogs on the internet fit into this category. Our data shows that several of our own visitors are in this group, especially the do-it-yourself crowd who are doing research for building their own websites and strategy.
This group of people are usually not as much of a fan of the blog as they are of the content – unless the blog’s content is consistently good and keeps their attention (often entertaining in some way). Then the blog becomes a destination in their eyes.
Unlike researchers, casual readers are not usually searching for content like yours (but do from time to time). They will often run across it while they are online. Social media posts tend to do well in attracting their eyes (the same can be fairly said for most of these categories).
This group of people has usually done one of a couple of things: One, they have probably done a search with the intent to buy. Two, they have sought information which will lead to a purchase (from somebody…). A third group is people who were looking for something similar or related to your product and service and saw your blog online.
Blog posts for this group need to have a way for the visitors to buy right then and there, preferably with one click. The more clicks a shopper has to make, the more likely they are to become “not a buyer.”