Being a good writer is more than just following the rules of grammar and punctuation, it’s about understanding how and why the audience reads your work. This allows you to create a work that is engaging to your readers and encourages them to finish every article you’ve written or at least read as much as can be done.
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However, doing this is not simple and it requires keeping several different factors in mind as you write a post or other work. First, you need to understand who your audience is and what they hope to gain. Second, you need to know how to write for the eye and, finally, you need to understand how to write for the ear.
If you can connect with your audience and give them something that is both visually appealing and easy to read, an otherwise impatient reader will spend a great deal of time on your site and, more importantly, will come back for more later.
So how do you make this connection? Here’s three (relatively) simple steps to help you make it happen.
Step 1: Understand Your Audience
Before you put word one into your blog post, you need to understand either who your audience is or who you want your audience to be. Specifically, you are looking for the following variables:
- Education/Reading Level: Determine the education level of your audience is crucial as talking above them can cause them to get lost and confused and talking beneath them is an insult. You want to provide an article that is challenging enough to be interesting while still being very easy to read.
- Desires: What does the audience want from you? Do they want to be educated, entertained or both? What information do they expect to walk away with and what do they not need? Do they expect in-depth analysis or just quick summaries? If you can understand this, you’ll know what to write about and how to structure it.
- What “New” Can You Give Them: Finally, you need to understand how you relate to your audience and what you can give them that they haven’t had before. This is the hardest part, but this newness is what drives traffic and repeat visitors.
If you understand your audience and what you need to reach them with, you’ve already won about half of the battle to writing engaging content, next though, you need to make your work as visually appealing to them as possible so they won’t hesitate to jump right in.
Step 2: Writing for the Eye
Last year, I wrote a full post on how to make posts easier to read than they are, this is the key to writing for the eye, making a work, even a long one, look unthreatening.
For example, if your post is just a swath of gray text with few breaks, most people will hesitate before reading it, assuming it’s going to be difficult and take a long time, even if the word count is relatively short.
However, by adding subheads with longer posts, ensuring your paragraphs are only a few sentences long, adding lists/blockquotes and using images well, you can make even the longest of posts feel like it could be read on a short coffee break.
The easiest way to check this is to preview the post and see if it looks good and looks like it could be a relatively light read. Though you can afford some visual “weight” if your audience is expecting in-depth coverage, usually the lighter the better.
When a post “feels” shorter and easier, readers feel more rewarded for what they gained and they are more likely to start reading. In short, if your post looks good, you’ll grow your audience almost instantly and encourage others to dive in.
Writing for the Ear
However, in addition to writing for the eye, a post must also be written for the ear. The reason for this is that most people, subconsciously, read the post “aloud” in their own mind as they are going through it. Though this process is faster than actually reading the post verbally, it sounds much the same in the mind of the reader.
The only way to test this is to move your lips as you put words down. Don’t be afraid to talk to yourself while writing, though you may want to do it quietly as so not to bother/scare those around you.
If something doesn’t sound good when you say it out loud, it probably won’t sound good to your reader either.
Though you can’t guarantee that everything you think sounds good will translate well to your readers, you can rest assured anything you think is bad won’t. After all, what’s good is a matter of personal taste, but what’s bad rarely is.
Take a moment, as you’re editing, and read your posts aloud to yourself, the mistakes you’ll catch will be plentiful and, eventually, you’ll get good enough at it you won’t have to talk to yourself as much.
If you know your audience, invite them to read with a visually appealing post and then make it flow well once they dig in, you may be surprised how many of your readers reach the bottom.
Sure, many will still bail at some point, but a visually appealing post is also easily skimmed so the crux of the article will still come through.
Though you can’t force everyone to read everything you write, you can maximize the number who start and who finish. With a few simple tweaks and a bit of understanding, almost anyone can write an article readers are eager to finish.
Who Do You Surround Yourself with in Your Blogger Network?
Some bloggers cannot see the forest for the trees, like the beautiful, lush, thriving national park I visited in New Jersey recently.
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The masses tend to be caught up in fear, pain and struggle because they cannot see the big picture.
Birds of a feather flock together.
You have heard that one, right?
I circle the globe and change time zones like most folks breathe. Would I be wise to surround myself with people who tremble at leaving their home town or home neighborhood? Nope. Such people would teach me the world makes for a scary, dangerous place. I would get advice like play it safe, be comfortable, get a job, buy a home and take it easy, from such folks. Such folks also live a bland life because if you rarely or never leave your comfort zone, you cannot:
- face your fears
- serve humanity
- be a bright light for people to follow
- live your deepest, wildest dreams
Obviously, I chose to surround myself with bloggers who happily circled the globe as successful bloggers. I also surrounded myself with happy, successful, home body bloggers too; to learn the basics of building a rocking blog effectively. I learned how to succeed from my blogger friend network, sponging up their knowledge, inspiration and insight.
Meanwhile, if you surround yourself with new, struggling or failing bloggers you will get advice on how to struggle, fail, or flounder through your blogging day.
Do bloggers around you complain about losing $50 on blogging? Lose these zero’s immediately and surround yourself with bloggers who invest thousands of dollars on their blogs. High rollers teach you to succeed. Broke jokes teach you how to fail.
Do bloggers around you see making $25 as being a huge amount of money? You better lose the low-aiming crowd to surround yourself with bloggers who see $1000 and $10,000 and more as making coin.
Do bloggers around you circle the globe as swash buckling travelers? Check out this photo from my trip to Vietnam. Kong: Skull Island was filmed here.
Time to ditch the comfort zone crowd to hang with adventurous types.
Don’t get me wrong; I celebrate every cent I make online. But if you think I’m placing a sponsored post for less than $1000, you are insane. Like a famous super model who said she didn’t get out of bed for anything less than $10,000 a day, you need to develop a prosperity consciousness that demands big money and ignores appearance of poverty, lack, limitation and fear.
Who Do You Hang With?
Who do you count as blogging buddies? Happy, highly successful, prospering bloggers? You better, to increase your success.
For example, observe my blogging paperback on profiting. The aftermarket price is $45 USD. If most or all bloggers in your network would feel uncomfortable receiving $45 in royalties for a paperback, you better lose that network and surround yourself with bloggers who believe in abundance. I know John Chow feels comfortable receiving $45 for anything he offers online. Who cares? It is just money. It is only money.
Surround yourself only with bloggers who:
- have posture
- have authority
- charge top dollar
- profit freely
- prosper freely
- exude confidence
- have a highly developed prosperity consciousness
You learn from the best, gain inspiration from the best and become the best by surrounding yourself with the best bloggers on earth.
But you need to be honest in who you choose to hang with in your blogging circles. Be clear. Be truthful with yourself. Maybe you feel comfortable trading comments with struggling bloggers you befriended 10 years ago but nothing spectacular happens for you if you surround yourself with struggling bloggers, being firmly fixed in your comfort zone.
Release all bloggers who are not happy and prospering.
Fill your blogger friend network with empowered, inspired, happy, successful, prospering bloggers.
Just your blogging success at stake.
Are You Chasing the Flavor of the Month?
My first fundamental of successful blogging focuses you on being present.
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All of our power resides in the moment.
None of our power resides in the future or past because neither exists.
Time is illusion.
Only Now is real.
Look at that brilliant featured image. I snapped it from the front porch during our trip to Fiji. Sweet things happen when you are in the moment, focusing all power on the present.
This marks my 796th blog post on Blogging Tips. I feel grateful to Zac for the opportunity to serve you. Plus I feel grateful for all success that flowed to me through these guest posts.
How in the heck did I write and publish nearly 800 guest posts on one blog?
I am in the moment, mostly. I am present. Plus I never, never, ever chase the flavor of the month.
Bruce Lee and Blogging
Being patient, persistent and present helps you tap into immense powers, including the power of being creative *and* prolific. See my 800 blog posts on Blogging Tips as evidence of such power. Toss in my 2,008 articles (between posts and pages) on Blogging From Paradise and you understand: focusing on one core task, or core purpose, in the present, leads to amazing things.
Bruce Lee spoke of fearing not the man who practiced 10,000 kicks once, but he did fear the man who practiced one kick 10,000 times. He embodied this mindset in his genius, Renaissance Man type ways.
Lee’s wisdom and physical prowess are both timeless because he understood and lived this great truth: do 1 thing so frequently, with a focused energy, being in the moment, that you do it incredibly well. He understood the truth of how I live my life: where your attention and energy goes, grows.
The Flavor of the Month
Most bloggers struggle because they practice 10,000 kicks once, chasing hot niches, running after trends, and choosing to blog today, and podcast tomorrow, because everybody runs a podcast these days. Wait a second; live video reigns supreme? Time to become a live video expert. Meanwhile, as you jump from niche to niche, and from blogging to podcasting to live videos, I just wrote and published 800 posts on Blogging Tips alone. Plus I wrote and published 1,000 more guest posts on other blogs.
While most bloggers chase hot trends, profitable niches and the latest game changing opportunity, guys like Alonzo and I thrive by doing one thing alone so we do it incredibly well.
Success is yours, but success is not an overnight or week-long endeavor.
Stop chasing hot niches. Visualize your dreams in detail. Focus on your blogging wins. Invest in coaching and courses from top bloggers. Surround yourself with positive vibes and positive people.
Write, publish and connect with top bloggers by helping top bloggers.
Success Finds Specialists
I took a nap this afternoon. A calm, peaceful breeze kisses my face right now as I write and enjoy the day.
Imagine if you could work from home every day? Visualize that fun and freedom.
Specialists are the only folks who work from home full time. People who do 1 thing persistently, practicing this skill, so they become super skilled in a single, specialized niche.
I gave all of my professional energy to being a blogger for the past 10 years. I became really skilled at blogging because I never chased the flavor of the month.
Avoid program hopping, niche hopping and all forms of flavor-chasing.
Do one thing. Do it well.
What Is the Incredibly Easiest Way to Drive Blog Traffic?
Drive traffic to other blogs.
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Give what you want.
Help people get what they want and people help you get what you want.
I have found this to be the easiest way to drive traffic to my blog because friends I made through cross-promotion promote me around the clock, 24-7, 365. Easy peasy.
I checked my Twitter a few moments ago. During the past 3 hours I noticed 11 mentions, engagements and retweets collectively. 3 hours, 11 engagements, more blog traffic.
I drive a heavy amount of traffic to my blog by driving a heavy amount of traffic to fellow bloggers who drive a heavy amount of traffic to Blogging From Paradise every day, all day long.
The more you give, the more you get.
The hardest way to drive blog traffic is to try to do it solo. Imagine publishing one post and hitting social share buttons. Even if I do a fine job writing the post, gaining traction solo is tough because successful bloggers know: 1000 is better than 1. 1000 blogging buddies promoting you 24-7, 365 beats you promoting yourself or you trying to write and publish 5 to 10 or more posts daily.
I used to publish 60 posts daily between 2 blogs. Short videos and short posts created the bulk of the content. I had a difficult time succeeding because you can only do so much solo. I published 60 posts in a cyber cave. Nobody listened to me because I did not listen to anybody. But making friends by driving traffic to other blogs made blogging easier and easier for me.
My blogging buddies – who appreciate me promoting them – freely:
- link to me on their blogs
- retweet my posts
- share my posts on Facebook
- share my posts on LinkedIn
- send my blog posts to their email list
That my friends is a lot of traffic flowing to my blog easily, freely and exponentially.
Every time a blogging buddy promotes you to their tribe you gain exposure to one more large, targeted audience. Imagine when you gain exposure in front of 10, 50, 100 and 1,000 or more audiences daily? This is serious traffic! Plus it is easy traffic because your prime duties of reading posts and tapping social share buttons, or, linking to fellow bloggers on your blog, are quite easy.
How to Drive Traffic to other Blogs
I spent a fair chunk of today driving traffic to other blogs.
I promoted some of my blog posts linking to my blogging buddies. I also retweeted and Facebook shared posts from other bloggers.
Each share lays the foundation for new blogging friendships and fortifies old blogging friendships. Every time I promote Donna Merrill or Alonzo Pichardo, we bond more deeply. Easy way to keep friendships strong and to grow your blog traffic exponentially.
You Will Run out of Time Solo But You Never Run out of Friends
Eventually, I ran out of time each day trying to do it all by myself. No human is super human. No human can be in a billion places at once, by their own steam.
But you never run out of friends if you are generous. During a reasonable lifetime, no blogger will befriend all 7 billion humans. You will however keep meeting friends every day if you drive traffic to other blogs every day.
As more folks befriend you, more folks promote you. What an easy way to increase traffic to your blog. Your ever expanding friend network does much of the legwork for you and also drives traffic to your blog:
- when you sleep
- when you travel
- when you spend time offline with family and friends
Sounds sweet, right?
Drive traffic to your blog easily.
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