Four tips for improving the conversation on your blog

Blogging is a one-to-many medium, but smart bloggers know who to turn it into an active group conversation between the readers and themselves. This requires the ability to communicate effectively – and it’s something that us bloggers can train ourselves to do better.

Here are four simple tips to help you improve your communication skills – this will not only help you in blogging but also in your networking efforts and life in general.

1. Simplify Your Message
Quite often what you say gets drowned out in how you say it. This happens because we tend to add extra, unnecessary information to our message.

Forget about impressing people with big words or complex sentences. They can make you look smart for a while but at the end of the day if you’re not getting the results (as a blogger this could be subscriptions, comments, product sales, etc), then all your efforts are meaningless.

Omit needless words. Keep things simple and focus on one thing at a time. Each blog post of yours has a particular purpose (that could be search engine traffic, comments, subscriptions, links, etc). Keep that purpose in mind and write accordingly.

Getting your message across means that you have to make what you’re saying absolutely clear to the other person. Don’t attach your feelings, second thoughts or justifications to your message – just be clear, be clear, be clear.

2. Talk To The Person
As bloggers we tend to have this annoying tendency to ramble on – it’s as if we like hearing ourselves talk (or reading our own words). The trouble with this approach is that when you write like this you have the wrong audience in mind. Who is your audience – your own ego or the guy sitting at home on a Thursday night looking for the banned Alicia Silverstone ad?

It is super-important to get the right picture in your mind about your intended audience BEFORE you start writing. Ask yourself who your audience is, what their needs are, how you can fulfill them and how much time you have to do this (time can be limited by a number of factors – attention span (can’t write too long a post), competition (be first with the news), etc.).

When blogging, remember that you’re talking to your audience and they have specific needs, motivations and preferences. If you don’t respect that, they won’t respect you.

3. Be Credible
People won’t believe you / trust what you say if they doubt your credibility.

There are two ways to convey credibility to your audience: First, show conviction – if you are confident and believe in what you say, it shows through your writing and attracts readers to you.

Second, back up what you say with your actions. If you are preaching a certain SEO technique or are giving weight loss tips, it makes a world of difference if your audience can see that you follow what you preach. For each blogger it will be a different story – celebrity bloggers can’t practice what they’re preaching (primarily because there’s not much preaching going on)- but in many cases you’ll have situations where you can boost your credibility and if you get the chance, make it count.

4. Seek a Response
As you blog, remember that the goal of all your blog posts is action. If you dump a bunch of information on people without leading them to the next step, you’re not doing your job. Every time you blog, give your audience something to feel (the need to improve their blogging skills), something to remember (how to be a better communicator) and something to do (the formula to become a better communicator).

If you’re successful in doing that, your blogging will improve and your audience will become more responsive to what you are asking them to do.

Takeaway
If you want to engage your readers and improve the conversation on your blog, you have to a) be clear, b) refocus your attention towards the audience and c) become credible.

Anyone can ask their readers for action (although it’s surprising how many people forget to do so) – but no one is going to listen to your subtle or obvious suggestions unless they have a reason to do so. And unless your audience understands and can relate to your message, they won’t feel inclined to respond.

This article was originally written on 21 Sep 2007 for Performancing.com.

Leave a Reply