10 Steps to Creating Reader-Oriented Blog Content

This is a guest post by Kimberly Nelson.

Reader-oriented blog content writing is simple once you are familiar with the basic building blocks required to draw the reader in and keep them reading. Here are 10 basic steps that will lead any blogger down the desired path to creating compelling content.

1) Know Your Reader

You can get to know your readers by creating surveys and polls designed to gather data. Structure your questions as unobtrusively as possible. Instead of interrogating the reader, ask for their opinion. Be creative. A subtle approach is less likely to offend readers and elicits responsiveness.

2) Know Your Niche

If your blog is about the latest business trends in fine dining, talk to local restaurant owners. Get their perspectives. One brief interview may give you enough ideas to last a month. Additionally, read print journals and online publications relevant to your niche. Set up RSS feeds for Google Search Results for terms that are relevant. You can also set up Google News RSS feeds in the same way.

3) Writing According to the Reader’s Needs

Bing, Google and Yahoo provide analytical tools that can help you track metrics and demographics. Google’s Adwords page provides a critical Keyword Tool that shows you the keywords Google users are searching. For example, the keyword “restaurant” returned 1,220,000 monthly searches for “Italian restaurants.” The 1,220,000 searches demonstrate a need. These potential visitors are searching the web for information about Italian restaurants. Targeting content that includes the keywords will land a portion of them on your site.

4) Use Good Search Engine Optimization Practices

Keywords should occupy only about 2-4% of the post’s total word count. Be sure to include the keyword phrase in your title and in at least one heading. Keywords are most effective when placed as close as possible to the beginning and the end of the post. Good SEO practices result in higher authority for your content and that translates into more traffic.

5) Use the Inverted Pyramid Model Post

Begin with your conclusion; place your supporting statements in the middle, and end with a summary. Readers instantly know if the post interests them. Putting your supporting statements on the front end increases the chance of losing readers who may not feel the post is of value to them.

6) Convert Scanners into Readers

Most people scan websites looking for something that captures their interest. You can be reader-oriented by including headlines, breakouts, sidebars, bullet point segments and images. These elements grab attention; they draw the scanner into your post and keep them reading. While these elements are search engine and reader-friendly, don’t overuse them in your writing.

7) Use Reader-Friendly Graphic Design

Use a good balance between text and white space (background). This keeps the page looking neat and uncluttered. Also, avoid unsightly text gimmicks that detract from readability. Stay away from fonts that are difficult to read. Use bold, italics and underlined text sparingly. Use a text/background color scheme that is easy on the reader’s eyes. Research graphic design and steer clear of anything that negatively impacts readability as it will only drive traffic away.

8) Mix Up The Types of Content Created

You can best serve the needs of your readership base with a wide selection of content. Sprinkle your blog with a variety of posts that include illustrative stories, how-to articles, product reviews, interviews, personal anecdotes and tips. Further increase the mix by inviting guest writers and readers to contribute their own perspectives. Use of relevant videos, images, surveys, polls, games, and other content types also helps boost your site’s overall authority and value.

9) Do the Right Thing

Plagiarism is wrong. In fact, the very definition of the word is “wrongful appropriation” Search engines run algorithms to determine if content is unique. Once they detect that you are scraping (copying and posting content that is not your own) you will lose authority, ranking and traffic. This penalty is imposed to discourage plagiarism. Moreover, if your readers and other bloggers identify you as a plagiarist, all your efforts will be for naught. You will lose all standing and be relegated to writing for an audience of one.

10) Always Be Thinking Content – Tips You Can Use

  • Be diligent with your research and create up-to-date, factual posts.
  • Provide relevant substance, not obvious generalities.
  • Be informative, authoritative, educational and entertaining.
  • Be honest, consistent, credible, compelling and unique.
  • Be the reader’s friend: give them what they want, delivered with passion and courage.
  • Ask them what they like and what they dislike about your blog, and then act on the answers.
  • Provide helpful, relevant links when appropriate. Spell check, grammar check, and proofread your posts.

Readers are the sole reason you write. Without them, nothing else matters. Reader’s drive content. Give them the reader-oriented writing they expect and deserve.

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  1. says

    How about these:
    11. Making an attempt to connect with your readers and audience.
    12. Giving your readers something extra.
    13. Breaking content down into more digestible chunks (instead of text, why not put the same information up as an infographic?).

    Good stuff though, liked the article!
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  2. says

    Number 5 – inverted model – is the first time I have read about this technique but when I look back at it, most of the posts I decide to read are written in this manner. Thanks for the insight, it may take a while before I get these tips down but definitely something to work on.

  3. says

    Excellent stuff and basic tips that a new blogger needs to learn.

    One amazing new aspect that I learned about the online world is the timing of sharing my content.

    Especially on social media.

    Timing is very good :)
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  4. says

    Thanks Kimberly for this guest post.

    Well, I definitely agree with number 5 too. There are so many content on the Web, so you don’t want to waste your time reading an article that is no interest for you at the end. A quick teaser (or even short summary) is the best way to arouse curiosity and push the visitor to read.

    Thanks again for the insight.

  5. says

    Awesome advices. From the things I learn from my blogging I could say that the one thing that could make your blog a successful one is through finding out what your target readers look for. Studying your target is the best way to do first so that you can come up with the contents that will not just benefit you but as well help your readers to learn something new.
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  6. says

    I noticed you talked about surveys. I want to start a survey on my blog because I think it would be fun, give me some information about my readers. I just wonder how many people you need to have coming to your blog in order to do get people to answer the survey. It wouldn’t look good if I added a public survey and only 1 person answered. Do you have any rule of thumbs as to how many visitors a month I should have before starting one?
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  7. says

    Hi Kimberly,
    Very practical points! Knowing your readers is crucial because when you understand what they are looking for, you can create content that addresses that need. Also, presenting content in a way which attracts readers and enhances their reading experience is equally important. Thanks for sharing!
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  8. says

    Thanks Kimberly for this guest post.

    Well, I definitely agree with number 5 too. There are so many content on the Web, so you don’t want to waste your time reading an article that is no interest for you at the end. A quick teaser (or even short summary) is the best way to arouse curiosity and push the visitor to read.

    Thanks again for the insight.

  9. says

    Monitoring your social network activity is another good way to get a feel for what your readers are interest in. Track trends across your social networks, encourage discussions in Facebook and Twitter. Social interactions with your followers can be great insight as you have the opportunity to directly ask someone, “what interests you?”

  10. says

    Nice Tips Kimberly,
    All points which you mention are noticeable when we writing a blog, generally new or inexperienced blogger create most of the mistakes, I do appreciate for this post which helps us to understand where we are lacking. I like too much one of your point “Convert Scanners into Readers”, yes this is basically
    attract to new visitors and convert as a permanent visitors.
    Thanks for sharing blogging experience.
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