Blogging boomed in the 1990s as a way for average Joes to get their thoughts, feelings, knowledge and opinions out into the World Wide Web. Nowadays, rather than targeting one specific audience, bloggers can influence a whole host of internet users with their posts, as well as using blogging as a way to generate profits, promote their businesses and reach otherwise distant audiences – as long as they have the know-how. Gaining a blog following of international readers will significantly enrich your messages as you will have people reading and sharing your information globally and contributing to the discussion with their own cultural perspectives. So follow these tips for valuable insight on blogging to audiences around the globe.
A little research on popular blog sites or micro-blogging sites such as Twitter will show you the hot topics that people from different countries like to follow. Once you have decided on your target country, then see what subjects are most followed, liked, shared and retweeted. If you already have a blog, then try googling different countries with common keywords from your blog to see which cultures already follow your topic. For example, if you blog about baseball, which is hugely popular in Japan, then tune in to Japan as a target country. Of course, there may be several existing blogs on your chosen topic that already exists for that market, so ensure you give your messages a unique twist on your blog. Also, stay in the know on current affairs in that country so that you then become a valuable, insightful and interesting go-to source for your audience.
In order for your blog to be considered a respected source of knowledge and information, it is vital that any cultural faux pas are avoided. What may be funny, politically correct, sensitive or taboo in one country can be wildly different in the opinion of another culture. What is classed as humor can be taken differently by different cultures. Whereas in the Balkans, slapstick and ‘potty’ humor is seen as funny, Asian countries would find this kind of humor crass and disrespectful. Alternately, American humor is rather observational, and British humor tends to be dry and sarcastic.
Just as topics should be considered carefully, so should the tone and language of your blog. Using the wrong words, phrases or idioms could lead to a loss of followers who don’t understand – or worse still take offence to – your messages. Take for example the face saving culture in China, whereby honor and prestige must be respected and none of the tongue-in-cheek jibes and banter found in western parts of the world would be appreciated in a blog post. Translating your phrases and messages correctly is the key to making an audience ‘click’ with your content. Therefore, ensure you use a professional translator to make sure your words aren’t lost in translation.
Once you have decided on your target market, keep their interest piqued by blogging only on the most current and relevant topics. Be proactive in sourcing your blog material. Don’t use old news and try not to go off topic too much. If you see that a certain topic got a lot of reads or shares, then stay close to that area of discussion on your next post without duplicating content, and you are guaranteed to have a loyal and growing set of followers.
One of the most important ways to establish a widely-read blog is to incorporate the right keywords into your posts in a natural, unstilted way so that new readers can find you without too much bother. Use a service such as Google AdWords to compare the demand for keywords in different countries. Ensuring you get the right keywords that are relevant to your international audience will bump your blog up to the top of the results rankings, therefore boosting your readership.