Both men were accomplished speakers. Both knew their topic inside-outside-and-upside-down, but only one connected. What was the difference? How much they kept their audience in mind and tailored their message to their audience.
If you study the big blogs—the ones with thousands of feed readers and followers, you'll notice something—those bloggers not only know who they're talking to, but they understand their readers. Your audience is a key ingredient in blogging. Knowing who they are and what you can do for them, is crucial.
Once you know your target audience, you can seek them out like a heat-seeking missile would. How?
- Post topics
- Visit similar blogs and comment
- Find Facebook groups that fit and interact
- Frequent forums of like-minded people and get involved
Remember the old slogan, “Do not ask what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”? Well, the same thing holds true in the blogging world. Decide what your blog can do for others and do it.
Take-away value. Make sure there is take-away value for your readers. A message, a tool, instruction, a chance to laugh, something cool to see or learn, or even just a smile. If there is consistently no take-away value for your readers, they'll quit visiting. Blogging may feel like a one way street, but it's not. Thinking otherwise will cut down the effectiveness of your blog.
Give your readers what they want. If your readers expect gourmet, don't serve them goulash. They trust you for the content they're looking for. So does that mean your only choice is a niche blog? Not at all, but if you don't deliver the goods often enough, they'll be less willing to trust you with their time. False advertising on blogs will dramatically drop your readership.
Visual appeal. Many of us would prefer it if content were king, but it's not always that simple. Yes, killer content is a must, but I've heard of many people who stop frequenting sites because the layout and colors are the equivalent of fingernails raking down a blackboard. Do all you can to make your blog not only reflect your personality and who you are, but also one that is attractive to your specific readers. You want to draw readers in and not repel them before they get to your content.
In the world of writing, you often have to give away a lot of work. It's one of those things, though, that if you stick around, the return-on-investment is tremendous.