Look at the image.
I snapped this photo during my month long trip to Doha, Qatar. I preserved this image outside of a store. I have absolutely no idea what the sign said – anybody who speaks Arabic can step in and translate – because Arabic characters look nothing like English letters. I learned a few Arabic words in Qatar, Oman and at my old security guard job. I worked with over 100 Coptic Christian Egyptians in New Jersey.
My confusion increased in Qatar. But goodness did I love the different, fascinating, fun feel to the place. I learned about Muslim cultures and customs in Doha and 2 years later, in Oman.
We lived in Muslim neighborhoods. My wife covered her hair, arms and legs, wearing a shawl, long-sleeved shirt and long skirts. I wore long pants and a long-sleeved shirt in Qatar and Oman to respect the conservative Muslim culture. As for as culture, I learned, respected and honored their culture. I did not hold my wife’s hand in Qatar in public; public displays of affection are frowned upon as a custom there.
I enjoyed spending time in Qatar because I learned how locals lived, respected their culture and played a different role than I play in more liberal United States. But I had to learn about the norms of living in a Muslim land to better honor their customs.
As a blogger, do you learn about your readers, their wants and their goals? Or do you NOT speak their language at all? Look at the Arabic lettering in the image. If you speak English doesn’t that sign confuse you? Imagine if you are confusing your readers in similar fashion?
Perhaps you are writing in English but you are covering topics that they care less about? Imagine if I wrote posts about tips for puppy care on Blogging From Paradise. You would feel incredibly confused because you follow this blog to get blogging tips. Puppy tips fall well outside of the blogging tips niche.
Drilling deeper; do you listen closely to the needs of your readers? I may cover blogging tips but if you readers could care less about the blogging tips that I publish I simply lose you.
Listen closely to your readers. Observe their problems. Pay close attention to their struggles. Listen to their dreams. Ask them questions. Wait for honest answers. Build all of your content on solutions to their problems and struggles. Speak their language. Serve them. Respect their voice. This is the simple way to become a successful blogger.
The tough way to blog is to wing it or to blog about ONLY what you want to blog about. Readers care less about you winging it or what you want to blog about because they are there to get their problems solved. You need to speak in their language to solve their blogging problems.
Speak your reader’s language. Listen to their needs. Solve their problems with your blog posts. Get out of your head. Stop doing what you want to do. Begin doing what readers want for you to do as far as publishing content.
Publish easy to understand content. Make sure that your readers can easily read, understand and use your practical tips to connect with your audience. Be clear. Make your blog simple. In a world of complex blogging failure the simple successes stand out in an eye-catching way.