Know your audience. It’s the first, and arguably, the most important tip writers receive when they kick off their professional freelancing career. The other popular tips include adding rich visuals, optimizing blogs for search engines with the help of keywords and sticking to a word count.
But blogs are more than keywords, word counts, and visuals.
Blogs are conversations that an author has with a reader. Businesses don’t pay writers to be boring, lifeless and robotic. They pay them to engage an audience, become their friend and provide information using simple words.
These conversations finally lead to a trusting relationship between the writer and his or her readers. And this relationship is what will jumpstart your writing career and give it wings to soar to new heights.
So, how can you engage the right audience? How can you create a long-lasting relationship with the right target market? Here are six tips:
Send Consistent Messages
What is your brand? What does it stand for? You need to know what niche you’re writing in. Even if you’re catering to a broad audience, it’s essential that your blogs excel in one aspect of a category. If you’re confused with your brand, you’re going to attract all kinds of readers – not specifically your target audience.
Besides being clear what your brand stands for, blog consistently. You could publish blogs two-three times a week, once a week, once in two weeks or even monthly. It doesn’t matter. Just be consistent.
Okay, you write amazing content consistently. But does your target audience know you’re an expert in a particular niche? Establishing credibility in the online sphere is crucial to propelling your articles to the top of a search engine’s results page and reaching the right audience. Join social media groups, forums and popular blogs dedicated to your niche. Get your name out there by participating in discussions, genuinely helping people and taking an active interest in their issues.
A word of caution, though: Don’t slap your blog’s link on their faces. It’s off-putting and it’ll destroy all the credibility you worked so hard to establish.
Speak their Language
Scour social media to know how your audience speaks, interacts and thinks. What kind of words do they use often? What is their tone of voice? Do they use slang? Are they more likely to use words like ‘bae’ and ‘on fleek’ than ‘zero chill’ and ‘slay’? Or are they a sophisticated bunch who like to keep their words crisp and clean? Pen blogs in their language, not yours.
Have a Rhythm
Songs and poem aren’t the only creative pieces that have a rhythm. Blogs have them too. In fact, a great piece has a natural flow and rhythm. How can you achieve this natural rhythm? By varying sentence lengths. Club a large sentence with a smaller one to create a natural ebb and flow. It keeps readers interested, hooked and attentive.
Add Pop Culture References, Emotions, Stories and Metaphors
One sure-shot way to engage your target audience is by adding pop culture references that are relevant. It keeps your blog fresh, current and cool. It shows that you’re in touch with the real world and aren’t afraid to add a little fun to an informative article. For example, referencing how Bruno Mars won several Grammy Awards recently to an audience that loves listening to music is a good way to connect with your readers.
Furthermore, don’t be afraid to show some emotions, tell stories or relate to your audience using metaphors. Sometimes implied meaning can be more powerful than merely stating facts.
People tend to put their guard down after laughing or smiling. They tend to instantly like the person cracking jokes. Most women list sense of humor as a desirable quality while seeking a partner. So, if you possess wit, why not use it to your advantage? You don’t have to be a standup comedian but eliciting a smile or two won’t hurt. It also shows readers that you have a unique personality and gives you an edge over competitors.
Of course, these tips will just help you get started on connecting with your audience. You should also use your unique personality to stand out amongst the vast ocean of bloggers vying for readers’ attention. Find what makes you special as a writer and use it to your advantage. Writing is, after all, a form of self-expression.
That being said, attracting the right audience takes time, effort and determination. Send consistent messages, publish blogs regularly, establish credibility on social media and relevant forums, speak like your readers, make sure your blog flows well and add a dash of humor, pop culture references, emotions and stories to your blogs and watch your readership swell with time.