When I was a college sorority girl, I led my chapter’s recruitment for a year. I led tons of workshops about how we could be better at getting the girls we loved to really want to join our house and not one of the 11 others.
And I realized this week that trying to get blog readers isn’t so different from sorority recruitment! And it made me think of one workshop in particular that I designed that might really be able to help you improve your blog and get readers.
During this workshop, I printed off a big version of the “woman” symbol and gave it to the girls in small groups with a box of markers and told them to have at it. I wanted to know everything about their perfect potential new member. Then we discussed these qualities and traits as a group so we could be sure we were all on the same page.
Why should you apply this to your blog? Because you can’t seek out “readers” if you use “readers” as some vague, meaningless word! You need to seek out YOUR “perfect reader.” This is is the reader who is perfect to YOU — and once you know who that is, you can write specifically to that reader, and get more readers like them.
So click here for a version of the picture to print. (I only included the female since I know most of you write to a female audience; I try to write to guys too, so print the dude too if that’s your thang!) And then get out your markers and start drawing on her!
- Start with her brain. What does she think about? What does she know? More important, what doesn’t she know?? That’s what you can tell her!
- Do her face and her mouth. What does she like to talk about? Do you want her to leave you lots of comments? If so, you’re going to write your blog differently.
- Her heart. Who is she emotionally? If you’re writing your blog to people recovering from disordered eating it’s different than writing a blog to people who have a significant amount of weight to lose.
- Her hands. This is her network. She’s going to be creating buzz about your blog. Is she a Tweeter? A Facebooker? This is important because it’s about how you’ll connect with her and how she’ll connect with you. If you decide she’s a Tweeter, then now you know that you need to use Twitter to find new readers.
- Her skirt. How big is she? This may seem shallow, but it’s important. If you write a weight-loss blog, where are your readers on their journey? Like Kendra said, there are fat blogs and fit blogs. You need to know where your readers fall.
- Her legs. If you’re writing a blog relating to fitness, what kind of fitness is she into? Does she want reviews of super intense workouts? Is she a yogi? Would she rather you post DVD reviews or give her new workouts to try on her own?
- Her shoes. It may seem silly, but how pricey are her shoes? Are your readers low-maintenance? Do they care about “materialistic” things? Are they wearing gym clothes all the time because they don’t give a damn about clothes? Or — be honest — are they working out to be skinny and get guys? It matters. And think about your perfect reader’s bank account. Is she wearing $500 designer shoes or $20 shoes? It’s OK if you choose to write your blog to a monied reader…but you have to own that or you’re going to piss people off and get negative comments.
So make your perfect reader and then go find her and write to her and let the love-fest begin! (And maybe then you can get into inventing your perfect man and hope it works just as well.)