Are You Excluding Beginners From Your Blog?
Take a look at your last 10 or 12 blog posts and chances are you’ll find they’re written for an intermediate or experienced audience. We tend to write at our own comfort level and as we grow in knowledge and expertise, our blog content reflects that growth. If you’ve been blogging for a while then you’re not a “beginner” anymore and you’re probably not writing content for “beginners.” But everybody has to start somewhere and if you’re not writing for beginners then you’re excluding an traffic group from your blog.
In the beginning you probably did write plenty of content for beginners, but by now, it’s settled into your archives where nobody sees it anymore. And now you’re using lots of industry-specific jargon, assuming that your readers understand what you’re talking about. You’re showing them detailed information assuming they already understand the basics.
It’s great that you’ve grown in knowledge and expertise and using industry jargon is good for your SEO. But, at one time, you wanted to learn the basics about your topic, right? There’s an entire traffic segment out there that wants to learn about your topic, from the ground up. By not addressing their needs you’re excluding them from your blog. Here’s how you can bring those newbies into the fold:
- Visit your archives: Many bloggers don’t even realize they’ve progressed beyond that beginner stage because it’s a gradual process. But take a look at some of your earliest blog posts, the posts where you actually explained what the jargon means.
- Create a beginners’ category: Put those earlier posts into a beginner’s category. Better yet, use an image in the sidebar to draw attention and create html links to specific articles.
- Build internal links: Use a WordPress plug in to automatically create anchor text links. Now, when you use those industry-specific terms, they’ll automatically link back to a relevant post that explains those terms for beginners.
- Write separate posts for beginners: You don’t want to ignore your more experienced readers, either, and you don’t want to bore them to death rehashing the basics. Instead, write your posts for your advanced readers and write side posts with detailed explanations for your beginners. Then link to those side posts at strategic points in your more advanced article.
- Pay attention to comments: A lot of your beginner readers will ask questions in the comments, so pay attention. As soon as you see questions pop up either jump in and give them a link to the information they’re looking for or write a new post that answers the question for beginners.
- Invite beginners to ask questions: Sometimes beginners are too intimidated to ask questions. Let them know you’re listening. Put a special email form in your sidebar inviting beginners to submit questions and answer them with a blog post, mentioning their name. This builds a little closer relationship between you and the questioner and it let’s you know where you need to start filling in the blanks.