Blogging is highly competitive. If you are going to get a successful following, then you will need to find a way of grabbing a reader’s attention and keeping it. However, that is easier said than done. One way to attract a larger audience is to look outside your home country. By targeting readers around the world, you can reach thousands more people who are interested in your theme. It can make the difference between a thriving blog, and one that fades into obscurity.
Here are five tips for creating a blog with global appeal.
1. Use simple language
One of the first things you should look into is the language you are using in your posts. If it is full of colloquialisms that will possibly alienate international readers, then you should change it. For example, a Scottish blogger using words such as ‘wheesht’ instead of ‘be quiet’ or ‘pieces’ instead of ‘sandwiches’, runs the risk of putting off readers that are unfamiliar with your dialect. You do not need to completely edit out all the local color, but make sure your language is accessible to a wider audience.
2. Research your markets
The next thing to think about is research. If you want to appeal to an international audience, research is going to be crucial. If you skip doing any research, thinking you know what appeals to a specific foreign country, then you will more than likely make a mistake. However, if you do your research, you will be able to identify unknown opportunities that could prove successful.
You might find that a particular country already has a particular interest in your chosen topic, and could be ideal to focus on. For example, graphic novel bloggers will find that Donald Duck comics are very popular in Finland and Norway, meaning that the Nordic countries could be ideal to target. If you blog about sports, you might know that baseball is hugely popular in Japan, while English soccer has followers around the world.
3. Translate your blog
After you have identified a particular international audience, it is a good idea to translate your content into their local language. By having a multilingual version of your blog, you can attract readers who are interested in reading in their own language, rather than English. Google Translate is usually one of the first translation devices people flock to, but the problem with machine translators is that they only give a basic direct translation, which will not always be correct.
A recent example which highlights the flaws in Google Translate comes from the TV comedy, Episodes, starring Matt LeBlanc. This attracted plenty of publicity for the wrong reasons when Hebrew speakers spotted an error on a gravestone in a funeral scene. Instead of reading “dearly missed” the inscription read “pickled at great expense”! It appeared no-one had checked Google’s translation with a native speaker.
For the best results, you are going to have to avoid free online translators, as they are prone to contextual and cultural errors. A local, professional translator, who is a native speaker of your chosen foreign country’s language, is the best way to ensure fluent writing and avoid any embarrassing mistakes.
4. Research the most relevant keywords
Keywords are an important in order for people to be directed to your blog from a search engine. You should therefore adjust your keywords so that your blog will be found by international readers. Just as you would have done for your home market, identify the keywords that will work best in a particular foreign country.
After you have identified your keywords, you should put them in the best places on your blog, which includes in your first paragraph, headings, picture name files and in alt text with pictures.
5. Make the most of your content
Finally, make sure that your content is the best it can be. This might seem like an obvious point to make, but too many bloggers rush out their posts and their content suffers as a consequence. Take your time to produce well written, in-depth posts – as they are good indicators to your readers that you know your topic and your blog is worth re-visiting. Remember to always post on a regular basis and reply to any comments. If you do not post regularly, it will not matter one bit if you have a well written blog that has a far-reaching appeal; interest will dwindle, and all your hard work will be for nothing.