There’s nothing worse than having your expectations crushed—when you come to expect a certain quality of service or product or blog and then find something else instead, it’s such a let-down. And as a blogger, you can use this fact to your advantage: meeting readers’ expectations is one of the surest ways to win them.
Do you know what your readers want in your next post? Here are a few keys:
Your Unique Voice
When a visitor becomes a reader, it’s because there’s something about your site that resonates, something about your style and tone that clicks. So when they come back to read a new post, they want to hear that same familiar voice that defines your brand. Are you formal and informative or casual and witty? Do you write lyrically, like a poet, or are you more full sentences and paragraphs? Whatever the case, identify the key characteristics that make up your voice and be faithful to them in your blog posting.
Some Real Value or Benefit
Before you hit publish on your next post, ask yourself: what’s in it for my reader? Maybe you write a food blog filled with recipes; maybe you provide tips on social media; maybe it’s your personal stories and sense of humor that keep readers coming back. Whatever the case, every one of your blog posts ought to offer your readers something in return for reading, some kind of value or benefit. Consistently deliver this, and you’ll win a loyal audience.
Here’s the truth: not everyone subscribes to your blog in an RSS reader or via email, and that means checking your site for new content depends on their remembering to click through. If your new posts are sporadic, sometimes on Mondays and Wednesdays, sometimes only Fridays, sometimes every day of the week, you confuse these would-be readers and discourage them from coming back. That’s why it makes sense to stick to a consistent blogging schedule, whatever that looks like for you, and give readers a sense that they know when you’ll be posting.
Readers want you to make it easy for them to understand what you’re saying—so unless it’s part of your unique voice to do otherwise, you want to write with good grammar, correct spelling, headings and subheadings and clear organizational structure. In most cases, readers will appreciate content that is scannable, easy to be skimmed and gleaned from.
Whether you blog about planning weddings or starting new businesses, one thing’s the same: your blog gives you a way to build connections with readers. Is your site open to comments? And if so, when someone responds to a post, do you take the time to write back? Every time someone leaves a comment on one of your blog posts, he or she is reaching and giving you time that ought to be rewarded. Your readers want responses—so use these opportunities to strengthen relationships and form deeper online friendships.
So looking at these qualities, how does your blog stack up? Are you giving readers what they want? How could implementing a few of these strategies help you satisfy your readers’ expectations and grow your audience?
By Guest Author -Shanna Mallon is a writer for Straight North, a Chicago Web design company specializing in B2B industries. She writes for diverse clients, including the providers of credit card processing small business solutions.
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