That's right I said it! I think that when you start out blogging one of the worst things you can do is decide off the hop what you are going to post about for the entire year.
No, matter how many times you've tried to guess what your target audience wants, chances are you are wrong.
sorry, for the tough love but that's not how it works. It takes time to get to know your readers. Blogging is all about pivoting and adjusting to what your true readers want. Then you can adjust your content to adjust who you want in your audience.
So in that first year of blogging, you will be looking outside for ideas on what to post. Looking for what has worked for others in your niche. This will help you get your blog off the ground but you are doing yourself a disservice if you do this forever.
Get, my top traffic driving post freebie:
After you start your blog up and you have a couple of post on the go. You really need to hone in on who your target audience is. I'm not talking about trying to picture some random person in your head and make assumptions about their wants.
I'm talking about learning about your readers through the data on your site.
Trust the numbers, the numbers don't lie.
As someone who is bad at math that sentence can sound scary to me BUT the lucky thing is there is already a program setup that will do all the math for you and it's TOTALLY FREE!
This is magic, Jess is this magic? Are you trying to sell me magic?
Don't worry, I'm not pitching you "the next big thing" or "the it product".
I'm talking about Google Analytics. The staple program for nearly everyone's website analytics.
Wait! don't worry! I know Google Analytics is super overwhelming, underwhelming, infuriating and nerve racking.
Did you know that you can create your own custom dashboards that present to you all the important information about your blog at the click of a button? AND THAT YOU CAN SHARE IT WITH OTHER PEOPLE!
See, I did NOT know that. I was wasting time clicking away in GA. Getting more overwhelmed than actually learning from the little readers I had.
I think pretty much everyone has heard the saying:
"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."
Well here is your fishing rod:
Once you've downloaded my GA Custom Dashboard Template you will have all the information you need at your fingertips.
I want you to treat it like a magic 8 ball, or better yet Ouija board that you are subconsciously moving on your own.
ASK IT QUESTIONS:
What posts do my readers like best?
What post do they read the longest?
What post do they bounce off of? (this is referring to bounce rate when someone only looks at one page and then leaves your site.)
Then ask WHY, over and over again until you start to see patterns in it all. WHY do they bounce from this page, but not that page? WHY do they like this post so much?
Then ask HOW: How can I add these elements to my other post? How can I get rid of the stuff making my readers flee my site. How can I darn near copy the stuff that's working and get more eyes on my blog.
Use this information to determine what you do with your site and what post you make.
Yes, of course 1 year content calendars are helpful, but they won't help you learn your audience and that's what you should be concentrating on at the beginning of your blogging journey. Making constant adjustments and tweaks to get it right for your readers. That's how you build loyalty, listen to them, study them and give them what they want.
Tell me in the comments what you've learned about your readers?