HOW TO WRITE EXACTLY WHAT YOUR READERS ARE LOOKING FOR [GUEST POST]
In this article I want to explain you how you can stand out from your competitors and write exactly what your readers are looking for.
First of all, let me say I’m super happy to collaborate with Holly in her blog. I can’t wait to share with you my experience and advice to make your blog stand out and be found by your ideal readers.
I’m Claudia from Heartmade.es, a graphic & web designer specialising in helping online entrepreneurs get the best branding to attract their ideal clients.
I actually don’t like to use the word “clients”, so if that’s fine for you, from now on I’m gonna refer them as “butterflies”. I like to think about you and your brand as a plant who has wonderful flowers (products, services, a blog…) ready to bloom and attract butterflies.
So with all that said, let’s get started with how you can stand out from your competitors and write exactly what your reader are looking for, shall we?
Question 1: Why do you need to write what your readers are looking for?
Do you know when you receive an email or find a pin in Pinterest, and you think “they totally read my mind”? That’s what I want to help you achieve with this strategy.
So if you want to WOW your butterflies and leave them thinking “this blog post is exactly what I needed”, keep reading because you are on the right path :)
Before moving to the practical part, I think it’s important to take a moment to analyse the concept “what your readers are looking for”. This can be understood from two perspectives:
#1 | What are your readers looking for in search engines like Google, Youtube or Pinterest
This means being found, appearing on the search results when they literally type a question on those websites. In order to achieve that we will need to work hard on SEO, and I’m gonna explain how in the 5th section of this blog post.
#2 | What are your readers looking for to solve their problems
That’s the second interpretation of this concept, and that’s the one that many people is forgetting nowadays.
Everyone is talking about SEO and ranking higher in Google, but what if you do all the work and appear on the first page of a topic that no one needs or wants? I will explain you how to avoid this mistake and how to really write exactly what your readers need, even if they don’t know it yet.
So with this we arrive to the next question:
Question 2: How do I do it?
Let’s deep into how to really write exactly what your readers are looking for.
It’s all about reading their minds, but in order to do it well, you need to know them better than they know themselves.
I’m sure you’ve heart and even done some customer avatar before, but today you are gonna discover a new way to do it.
I want you to forget about the avatar concept. It’s fine if you want to have a vague idea of who are you talking to, but you need much more if you want to attract them like butterflies.
What we are gonna do is create a butterfly profile, a real and specific guide with true data.
No guessing, no imagining. Just facts.
I’ve prepared a workbook ready to fill with all the steps I’ll cover on the next lines. If you want to follow my step by step, I recommend you to download now the file and come back to start reading the exercises. You can download it for free here and print it or just fill it digitally
Done? Ok, great! Then let’s start completing your ideal butterfly profile.
Step 1: Define your butterflies
The first thing you need to do is to be specific in what defines a great butterfly. I want you to open the workbook and start answering the questions.
Try to be as specific as possible. “People who loves cooking” is not specific enough. “New moms who want to learn how to cook” it is.
You have many questions on the workbook with tips and examples, so if you haven’t downloaded it yet, you can find it here.
Question 3: Who should you use as example?
The short answer is: Use real people.
The long one:
As I said, we are not using our imagination to complete this data sheet. The first thing you need to do is to think about people who represents your perfect reader.
It can be a current reader or maybe a friend, someone who you have worked with before… It doesn’t matter if you don’t know a lot this person, all that matters at this point is to know that it fits as your ideal butterfly definition.
NOTE: If you are starting or you can’t find anyone who fits, then try with this:
Take some people who are close to being your ideal butterflies and take notes of why they are not ideal. What is missing to become the perfect reader of your blog?
Question 4: How do I know the answers?
There are many ways to complete your workbook questions. You can be as creative as you want, but I’m gonna give you some ideas:
#1 | Invite them for a coffee chat and enjoy a nice time while going through the questionnaire. It’s a great way to engage with that person (or just keep in touch if it’s someone close to your life like a friend or family).
#2 | If you can’t meet in person, what about a Skype or phone call? Don’t be shy to ask, you will be surprised of how many people will agree to help you!
#3 | Send a survey digitally. I like to use SurveyMonkey or Typeform. Both are great to capture answers and they have free plans, so you can skip the technicals and go straight to getting results.
If you have an email list or an audience in social media, I recommend you to use this last option. I did it last year by sending DM in IG to my top followers and I got amazing results.
My message was something like this:
Hello!! I’m Claudia from Heartmade.es. We’ve been hanging around here in IG for a while, and since my word for this year is “Teaching” I was wondering if you could help me. I have a quick survey to know what can I create to help you with your business. If you could answer it here, I’ll be happy to send you a free gift! Thank you sooo much.
As a free gift I gave one of my watercolour paintings ready to use as phone background. It’s a freebie I had already created so it did not supposed extra work for me, but for them it was a nice reward in exchange of their time.
I can’t stress enough the importance of asking to real people for real answers. In that survey I got surprising results in terms of what people was most worried about. The top worry was about productivity and getting things done, and without that survey I would had never guessed that!
Thanks to it, I created my first digital program Productivity Boss and many tutorials and blog posts about that topic.
Question 5: How do I use the results to write exactly what my readers are looking for?
In the workbook you have the tactics to follow from each answer, but as I mentioned before, there’s another way to connect your blog with your readers: SEO.
So now that you know their struggles, their passions and what they desire, you are ready to choose wisely your blog post topics knowing that they will be attractive to them.
If these people who answered your questions fit your ideal butterfly profile, then we can easily assume that other butterflies out there have common interests and worries as the ones you asked.
We want to attract the new ones too, right?
So let’s talk about SEO:
#1 | Search the right keywords
From your survey you are getting so many valuable information. If you take note of the exact words that people are using to answer you, you will be getting amazing tips for your SEO.
Perhaps they are not saying “I want more engagement in social media” because that’s too technical for them, and their way to answer would be “Nobody comments my IG photos”.
This is the first tip I want to give you: start from what you have, don’t invent new words or ways to express the same. When it comes to SEO keywords, don’t be creative!
#2 | Tools
There are many tools helping you get the best keywords. One of my favourites is the Google Adwords Keyword Planner. Although it’s part of Google Adwords, you can use it for free without needing to create any advertising.
I recommend you to select the option “Search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category” and get inspired.
#3 | It depends on your own numbers
If you have tons of visitors every month, then you can totally rank for the most searched keywords, but chances are that you are not one of the big ones…
So if you are starting or don’t have many visitors yet, instead of using the results with High competition and many monthly visits, try to pick a word combination that has around 5000 searches and between Low and Medium competition.
#4 | Use long tail keywords
Long tail keywords are a combination of multiple words. So instead of ranking for “productivity” you would use “productivity tools” or “how to improve productivity”.
#5 | Repeat your selected keyword here
You need to use the exact long tail keyword in these areas:
- Blog post title
- First paragraph or subtitle
- One or two times more around the text of the blog post
- In your images (I’ll explain in depth in the next point)
- In your blog post URL
- In your meta tags
Question 6: How to take your SEO to the next level
As I just told you, you need to use your keywords in multiple places, and one of the most forgotten places are images.
As you may already know, Google does not read images yet. They are working on it, but for now we need to help them as much as we can.
Because at the end we want them to help us attract our ideal butterflies, right? So let’s help them help us!
Here you have the most important tips:
#1 | Save images for the web
Google hates huge images because they make your site load slow, and time is gold in terms of SEO. I always use Photoshop and there’s a very easy option to save the images for web, which reduces the size without loosing quality.
#2 | Save your images with the selected keywords in their file name
It’s crucial that you change the names before uploading them to your website.
#3 | Add the keywords in your image meta tags
If you use Wordpress (my favourite) you will notice that when you upload a new image you have some fields where you can write extra information.
For now, the most important ones for your are the Description and the Alt Text. Specially the second one, since it’s the one that Pinterest takes as default when sharing that image.
So if you use there your keywords in a nice sentence (not a list of words, something readable that makes sense!), then you are optimising your image for Pinterest too, which is another top search engine and one of the most used for bloggers.
Finally, let me recommend you to read one of the latests blog posts from Holly in this same blog, where she shares amazing tips on how to research for social media. You can use most of the same strategies to research for your blog posts SEO.
With this we arrive to the end of my tips to write exactly what your readers are looking for.
I hope you found many interesting points and remember that if you want to follow my steps you can download my workbook here.
In the workbook you get:
- List of specific questions to ask
- What to do with each answer
- How to use your results to connect with your butterflies
- How to improve your SEO using your survey results
If you have any questions or want to share your discoveries with Holly and me, I’ll be super happy to read them down here on the comments section :)
Wish you have a nice day!
Claudia - www.heartmade.es