If you’ve ever watched the hit TV show “Mad Men” then you know that advertisers spend big bucks analyzing the thought processes of their customers to determine what makes them buy a particular product. Your blog is essentially an online advertisement for whatever it is you’re promoting. Like those big Wall Street advertisers, if you could get inside your blog reader’s mind you, think of the sales you could make.
Why It’s Crucial To Understand Your Readers
Everyday hundreds of new blogs are started, so regardless of what you’re blogging about you’re going to have competition. It’s just a fact of life now. Choose any single product or service on the market and you’ll find at least a dozen blogs or websites promoting it.
What makes readers choose one blog over another? They choose the blog that best addresses their own personal needs. They may prefer a witty blogger over someone who delivers “just the facts, ma’am.” They may prefer a colorful, whimsical theme over a magazine theme. Some people prefer videos over text, or vice versa. All of these little differences play a role, but the one thing that really sets your blog apart is the value you provide for your readers and this is the biggest variable from blog to blog.
Let’s say two bloggers are both promoting Arm & Hammer Baking Soda. One blogger tells her readers how to use it in cakes and cookies and the other blogger tells her readers how to use it as a household cleaner.
The bloggers each have their own audience but neither audience would be interested in visiting the other blog. The baking blog would provide no value to the readers who are looking for chemical-free cleaning solutions, and the cleaning blog would offer no value to the readers looking for cookie recipes.
The cookie blogger might assume that her readers would want to know about alternative uses for baking soda, but if she were to get inside the minds of her readers she’d see that they’d probably be more interested in learning about baking powder, cocoa, mixers and bakeware. After all, they’re visiting her blog because they want to learn how to bake cookies, not clean their bathrooms.
Therefore, the cookie blogger would be wasting her time blogging about baking soda cleaning solutions. A few new readers may come to her blog but they won’t stick around because they’re not interested in baking. Not only that, she’d probably run off a few of her regular readers because they’re just not interested in cleaning products. However, if she continues to focus on one “need” baking ingredients and recipes, she’ll continue to attract more traffic.
How To Get Inside The Minds Of Your Readers
To get inside your blog readers’ minds you have to put yourself in their shoes, every time you write a new post. For example, pretend you’ve never baked cookies before and you land on a chocolate chip cookie recipe on that cookie blog we’ve been talking about. What would go through your mind?
- If you’re a beginner, you might wonder why the recipe calls for unsalted butter. Can you use sweet butter? What’s the difference and where can you buy it?
- What about baking soda? Can you use baking powder instead? What’s the difference, which do you recommend, and where do you buy it?
- What about cookie sheets? Can you use a pizza pan instead? If not, what kind of cookie sheets are recommended… and where do you buy them?
When you get inside your blog reader’s mind and anticipate the questions, they read your post and they literally think, “Man! It’s like she’s reading my mind. She’s answered every single question I have!” And that’s what makes your blog sticky!