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Effective Communication: Know Your Audience

Sometimes, having a great idea to write about can give your blog posts a boots, but most time it’s not enough. In order to establish a good, effective level of communication with your readers you should consider a few essential factors that could improve your writings and clear their path to your readers’ minds.

When blogging on a certain topic, you’ll be automatically considered either a specialist, or an enthusiast. While enthusiasts have more premises to write using a natural tone, specialists tend to overuse industry specific language which could make it hard to spread ideas through a general audience.

In terms of communication, William Butler Yeats – Irish poet and dramatist – said it best:

“Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people.”
William Butler Yeats (1865 – 1939)

We’re talking about your blog, which means it’s about your thoughts, your advice, your skills, but if you don’t manage to get your ideas past the screen, they can be totally brilliant and still won’t get you anywhere.

Get to Know Your Audience

Spend some time learning more about your audience. Read the comments, visit their blogs, and ask questions. By getting to know your readers, you will find it easier to talk to them as they would expect you to.

These days, you have no excuse to say that you don’t know who your readers are, what they think and what the want. With so many free tools waiting to be used, you only have to want to communicate better.

The Value of Website Statistics

Take a look at your statistics:

  1. Check out the entrance and exit paths.
  2. Analyze the search terms that got your visitors on your blog and see which ones offered a better conversion from visitor to reader.
  3. Check your referrers and study their content and audience.
  4. Find out which posts are your most popular and most commented.
  5. If you’re using Google Analytics, make sure you check you Navigation Summary (on the right side of the page under the “Content” tab)

Statistics can provide a lot of useful information about your readers and their activity on your blog.

One Way Communication Tools

Consider running polls one your blog. Readers love to feel involved, it what makes a group become a community.
WP-Polls is a wonderful and easily customizable WordPress plugin, that you can either include in your sidebar as a widget, or in the content of you blog posts. It’s the one I’m currently using on Blogsessive’s sidebar.

Two Way Communication Tools

Are you using Skribit? Skribit is a great online application that can ease the blogger-reader communication. As they call it, it’s a “social-suggestion” tool that goes in your sidebar just like a widget, allowing your readers to suggest future topics for you to blog about. Of course, you can add your own suggestions and let the readers cast their vote on them.

Alternatively, you can create a series of “Questions and Answers” posts, insuring not only a good communication level between you and your readers, but also gaining a bit of traffic through having people submitting questions by commenting.

Keep You Readers Close and Your Visitors Even Closer

If you’re looking to grow your community, learn how to talk to everyone, including your newcomers. Don’t complicate things, let your ideas speak for themselves, and on this thought, I’ll close with another great quote from the Greek philosopher Epictetus:

“Be concise in your writing and talking, especially when giving instructions to others.”
Epictetus (50-120)

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