Be honest. You spend a lot more time on your WordPress Dashboard than you should. And most of that time is spent wondering why those stats are so low, why aren’t readers flocking to your blog, and why aren’t people liking, commenting, and sharing your content.
The truth is that the art of blogging is hard drudgery, but what should you do when your time and energy don’t seem to pay off?
Should you just keep punching those keys and hope for the best?
You need a proper strategy, not wishful thinking.
When your blog isn’t doing as well as you’d like, take a step back and analyze what you’ve done so far.
If you are in need of a plan that will help you win more readers, you first need to understand one reader. Just one.
Let’s start with getting to know this reader.
1. Who is your one fan?
Here’s the thing: when you think about large numbers of readers, actual human beings tend to dissolve into this faceless crowd. And when you write for a something as vague as a hundred thousand followers, your blogging becomes colorless, lukewarm, and boring.
Quick question. Do you think Stephen King focuses on his millions of avid fans when writing his novels?
Actually the King himself admitted to writing for one reader only — his wife.
When you write for one reader, your blog becomes more engaging, personal, and persuasive. Your posts will receive more comments, which will inspire you to write more and better content.
Do you know who this reader is?
It does help if you can find an actual human who you’d like to write for, but if such a person cannot be found, you can always imagine them into existence.
Who is that one person who’d love your writing? Your number one fan? What kind of person would care most about your content? What are their dreams and aspirations, what do they fear? What problems do they face, and which of those problems can you help them solve?
2. Why would this one fan read your blog?
Whenever someone clicks on your blog, they ask themselves this question. They want to know what’s in it for them. They do not know you personally, so you are not socially relevant to them, which gives them permission to be quite selfish.
So…why would your ideal reader want to spent their time on your blog?
If you have trouble answering this question, try completing the following sentence: my number one fan reads my blog because I help him …
Your purpose defines how you help your readers and keeps you focused on engaging and inspiring them.
That’s how your blog becomes a must-read in your niche.
3. Does each blog post help your fan?
Unless you understand who this ideal reader is, unless you can empathize deeply with this person, you will forever feel like walking on tightrope. Torn between selfish writing that is supposed to meet your needs and selfless content that helps your reader, you will never feel like what you are writing makes much sense.
Think about your ideal reader.
- What does this person dream about?
- What are their struggles?
- Which resources could educate them? How? Why?
- What could you teach them?
- What questions doe they badly want answered?
Stop writing blog posts for the sake of posting something.
4. Does this reader know you exist?
This is the question 99% of bloggers never bother to ask, let alone try to answer.
Promoting content feels like a giant time-suck — and how can you promote your content without going crazy?
Guest blogging is the one of the best ways to make sure your reader knows you exist.
Also, try being active on the social media platforms where this reader might be.
Sorry, but being social is an integral part of being successful both offline and online.
5. Is this ideal reader a friend of yours?
“What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it.” ― J.D. Salinger
Why do we read stories and blogs and articles and magazines and newspapers?
I’d say that we do so because we wish to feel less lonely. Actually, I think that we read because we want to know for sure we are not alone.
There’s someone else who feels and thinks and wants the same things we do. Someone like us, someone who’s everything we wish we were, someone who’s the exact opposite.
This ideal reader, do you want them to be your friend? Would they?
Be honest for a second. Did you ever ask yourself if you’d like your readers to be your friends? Would you like to meet with them for a cup of coffee and talk for a few hours about what interests you all?
It’s easy to forget that those stats in your dashboard represent actual human beings. People like you, people who live and breathe and love and cry and laugh and dream and want to read the stories of other people who do the same things.
Are you the kind of blogger your ideal reader would want to be friends with?
Give yourself the permission to write with personality, to sell your soul, so to speak. Write from the heart. Do your best to be insanely helpful, be consistent — whether you blog on a weekly, daily, or monthly basis, make sure your reader knows what to expect and when.
One of the most crucial (and underrated) aspects of blogging is that in order to become a popular blogger, you have to stop treating your readers like some numbers.
I’d like you to spend actual time thinking of who this ideal reader might be. Write down at least 10 topics that this reader would love to read. And next, think of how you can make sure that your reader finds out about this awesome content that they’d absolutely love to read.
So, what do you think? Do you know who your ideal reader is? Do you care? And does your content help readers know, like, and trust you?
I’d appreciate honest answers.