Yesterday I posted about how it’s often the simple posts aimed at the basics that get most attention on a blog.
The challenge with this is that for those blogging on established blogs with longer term and more advanced readers suddenly posting a lot of posts at a beginner level can actually mean you run the risk of alienating your regular readers.
However if you don’t post entry level posts you run the risk of alienating newer readers who are just at an early stage of learning about your niche.
A real juggling act can be needed as a result. So what to do?
Here’s a little advice for longer term bloggers on how to get the balance right.
- Interlink to the basics – if your blog has a lot of content that is pitched at a beginner level in your archives – make it a regular practice to link to it in your current and more advanced posts (as it is relevant to do so). In this way newer readers will be driven deeper into your blog to be educated on the basics which will help them understand your more advanced work. This will also help you with search engine ranking for those basic posts that you’ve written.
- Beginners areas – assemble an area on your blog that is dedicated to the beginner or novice in your topic. In a sense this is what I did with my blogging for beginners series which I highlight in my menu here at ProBlogger. Alternatively you could start up a ‘beginners’ category for your blog which you direct first time readers to.
- Periodic beginner posts – while you might be a little fearful of turning off your more advanced readers by doing it too much, periodic posts that cover the basics of your topic is something you will want to consider doing. If every post was targeted at the novice you might get in trouble – but to integrate an occasional one (while keeping up your more advanced content also) probably will be OK with your loyal readers.
- Involve longer term readers – loyal readers giving you grief about too many basic posts? Why not invite them to participate in teaching the beginners. One way to show them the need for what you’re doing is to give them a job and help them feel that they’re doing something useful in helping those with less knowledge than themselves.
- Advanced areas - beginners areas work well – but you might also like to consider special areas for your longer term and more loyal readers to find content and interact with one another. Perhaps you could start a forum for them or start a category of posts directly for them to subscribe to with an RSS feed.
Listen to the comments that they leave, the questions that they’re asking, the comments that they write on their own blogs about you and even go out of your way with newer and longer term readers to see how satisfied they are by shooting them an email.
On Pleasing Everyone - The other tip that comes to mind is to make peace with the fact that you’ll never please everyone. The reality is that as your blog grows older you’ll win fans who find that what you’re writing is just where they are at but also come across readers who will critique you for being too advanced or too entry level.
While you can use some of the above strategies to attempt to cate for both groups – you can’t spend your whole life pandering to the needs of 100% of your audience. Don’t use this as an excuse not to keep improving what you do – but don’t fall into the trap of trying to keep every single reader happy – it’s a no win situation.