Note: This blog post is graphic-intensive. If you can not see images below, you may want to visit the blog directly.
The most important aspect to consider when writing blog posts is you.
I’d be lying if I wrote anything different.
When I write blog content, I keep of a mental log of who you are, what keeps you busy, where you live, what kind of computer you own, how fast your internet connection is, how many children you have, and other technical and demographic aspects you’ve already shared with me.
No, not the chocolate chip kind but the cookies that run behind the scene and identify who you are every time you visit this site, whether for the first time or the hundredth. Data is written from these visits into applications, shared below, that help me provide you a fuller experience because you would be reading something you enjoy reading.
For purposes of data collection, you are an aggregate of many people.
Looking at the data in piecemeal, I first turn to Google Analytics — a subject I introduced 12 months ago, and again when I explained how one post quintupled my blog visitors. If you’re a long-term reader, you may remember that one.
Over the past six months — between May 21, 2009 and November 16, 2009 — I can see much textual and visual data about you…
What you use to get here…
How long you stay here…
How loyal you are to return here…
Whether you have a fast or slow connection to ascertain whether graphics like this blog post are OK or detrimental to your browsing experience. Add a comment below if you’re using a dial-up connection?…
How you got here (out of 1,144 traffic sources)…
Your top 10 (out of 19) favorite search engines…
…and so forth.
Once I’ve exhausted the data perspectives on Google Analytics, I then turn to Quantcast for a different set of benchmarks.
While GA is predominantly about your computer, your browser, search engines, and referring sites, Quantcast follows you around the web to see where else you go and what you do to guesstimate your age, ethnicity, age of your children, and more. Everything is an aggregate; no personal information is tracked and I, for one, don’t have access to anything other than what you, too, can see from this link.
Quantcast tells me the average version of you is a college-educated, middle-aged Caucasian male with teenage kids living in the house and earning an annual salary under $60,000.
Does that sound about right?
Here’s a demographic snapshot:
…and here’s a snapshot of your geography:
Third, comparative sites like Compete.com enable to me to gauge who’s visiting my blog in relation to other blogs to ascertain what I might want to write about to “steal” their readers to come here, whether via intelligent comments on their blog posts or flat-out writing about topics that search engines will eventually index.
If you head over to compete.com yourself, you can cut and paste different domains. The free version allows up to three domains to be compared together.
Fourth and definitely not least, I browse through my blog archive and draw upon categories and past months to see what I feel like writing about again that you may have liked.
That’s the beginning of how to write blog content for your readers, anyway. Can you think of a better metric to gauge content creation than who reads your content in the first place? Do you understand why I focused this on me and my readers to give you an idea how to focus it on you and your readers?
There are other ways to learn who your readers are and why they may return and what to write to bring them back, but those are subjects for other articles. Thoughts? What am I missing? What would you like to learn in more detail?