There’s plenty of posts out there on how to please the search engines. The problem is that if you’ve written to please the search engines without taking your audience into consideration, your website traffic isn’t going to stick around long.

Your Google Analytics bounce rate will skyrocket.

If you’re looking to convert on sales, you’re going to need to write for your audience, and show signs of actually being human in your marketing. Just remember that your customers are not robots.

Content Marketing Strategies and Blogging Tips Designed To Show Your Human Side:

  1. Interact with people on your social media accounts. This turns your platforms into more than just dumping grounds for your self promotion. I’ll admit I have to get better at this in places, but posting the things your audience is interested in will always help.
  2. Ask a question. This shows your audience that you’re genuinely interested in what they have to say.
  3. Add a photo of you on your website. Not your company logo. Not a fancy graphic, or a generic stock photo. You. This establishes trust, and shows your readers who you are.
  4. Speak conversationally. This means creating a friendly demeanor, and not speaking your heightened industry language in a way that people won’t understand.
  5. Develop an outside interest and share it with your readers. My Twitter followers know I love the Bears and Cubs . I read religiously, and will soon become a father. I’ve mentioned all of these things before through the course of my blogs, and people regularly bring them up to me. They’re all great starting points for conversation. It’s something to connect over.
  6. Stop automatic Twitter DMs. They’re spammy. If you want to reach out to a new follower, then mention them, and comment on something that shows you’ve actually taken the time to care.
  7. Go easy on the keywords. Don’t completely discard them, but don’t keyword bomb your readers, either. Keywords should be like red pepper flakes over pizza; lightly sprinkled to add flavor. Too much can kill the taste of the whole meal.
  8. Use common sense organization. Your website structure and page organization should be in a way that makes sense to your readers. It’s the best way to keep them interested for the long haul.
  9. Nudge your readers along. Remember it’s copy that will ultimately move people toward conversion. That means asking people to do what you want them to, and creating powerful calls to action that don’t necessarily make you sound like a used car salesman.
  10. Think like a journalist. Bloggers have a lot to learn from an industry that’s been writing for their audience for a long, long time. Journalists never wrote for the printer, they wrote for their reader. Your content marketing strategies should revolve around readers and not Google, Yahoo or Bing.
  11. Write for scanners. Long content is good as long as you’re providing value, but break it up a little bit. Utilize lists, subheads and frequent use of the bold button. Small paragraphs and short sentences also help people read more quickly.
  12. It’s not about you. So stop the broken tape recorder, giving the same message over and over. Listen to your audience. Get a sense for what they want to talk about. Don’t be afraid to have a real conversation.
  13. Tell stories. This goes for pretty much anywhere in your content marketing strategy. If it’s your about page, tell your own story. If it’s on your blog, any story that illustrates your point will do. Stories draw people in. Facts illustrate your point.
  14. Provide fresh content. Give your readers something they’re not finding anywhere else. Give them your take on the industry. They can find the same industry tips recycled over and over on the other industry blogs. Give them something new, from your perspective. Frequent, awesome content wins in this market.
  15. Provide a great experience. Your marketing is only the entry gate into your business. Doing business with you needs to be an awesome experience.
  16. Measure feedback. Do you have a particular post that resulted in more comments or business than the others? Maybe it simply drew more traffic, retweets or likes than your other posts. Figure out what works, rinse and repeat. It’s all part of getting to know your audience.

Conclusion

Make sure to keep your audience in mind as you work on your content. In a recent episode of the Big Bang Theory, Penny gives Sheldon some body language tips as he shoots his “Fun With Flags” episodes. The tips are intended to make his videos more inviting for the audience.

Writing for search engines, or remaining self-indulged is the equivalent of shutting your audience out of what you do. If you’re looking to turn content into sales, it has to be inviting, and that means showing off your human side.

What’s worked for you in expanding your platform?