05 Jan How to Make Your Blog Popular Abroad
So you’re looking forward to creating a blog that will attract a large international audience? Planning to launch a product on the global market? It’s not as simple as it seems. Considering how different cultures are, it’s often complicated to find the common denominator when it comes to content.
However, the great part is that the vast majority of the globe shares a set of common issues and problems, which they have to deal with on a daily basis. This is where bloggers find their way into the equation. In this article, we’ve compiled a set of things you need to consider, in order to attract an international audience.
What countries appeal to you most?
Although it may be rational to want users from as many countries as possible to visit your website and engage with your content, it is relatively complicated to achieve. You’ll need to tailor your material for some markets in particular. Brainstorm a list of countries that will resonate with your content more.
For instance, if you’re creating a travel blog that is focused mainly on roaming Asia, it would probably make sense to create blog posts that will resonate with American and European audiences. Not that citizens of Asian countries don’t travel, but the stereotype of the young European/American person “traveling through Asia” is so prolific, it deserves its own blog with valuable recommendations.
That is to say that by tailoring your content for a Western auditory, it doesn’t mean that you exclude readers from other parts of the world. You simply shift your focus towards a particular demographic.
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Be mindful of cultural differences
Before you start researching topics that your foreign audience may find interesting, it’s essential to take into account the cultural elements that make us different from one another. Let’s say you’ve decided to create blogs that cater to an Asia audience. This will imply that you’ll need to adapt the way you write to the cultural peculiarities of a specific country, or set of countries.
It is a great idea to slightly adjust the tone of your writing to the customary way of communication in your target countries. For instance, Asian countries are known to be somewhat restrained, when it comes to social interaction. Of course, this may as well be a stereotype, but it might be a good idea to take it into consideration.
Have a layout, with good UX
Indifferent of the cultural differences between you and your target countries, we all want a nice-looking website with a SEO optimized theme. This is an important feature for keeping your audience entertained and engaged with the content that you’re publishing.
The central idea behind having a well-designed site doesn’t just ensure an influx of new readers, it also keeps the existing ones from losing interest in it altogether.
Here are some things you need to take care of, in order to ensure an excellent user experience for your blog:
- Make your text easy to read, by making it slightly more prominent.
- Increase the margins on your text to increase readability.
- Provide enough space between your graphic and text elements to relieve the user from the need of concentrating excessively.
Translate your material
It is also a great idea to look into publishing your articles into a variety of languages that are specific to your target audience, especially if English isn’t very popular in those countries. You can easily research that. In case you’ve already produced a whole lot of content, it may be a reasonable idea to set up a separate website for the translated content.
Another interesting point is that you could localize your blog posts for different English-speaking countries.
“Despite speaking the same language, we often find ourselves slightly irritated when the text we read doesn’t suit our expectations, by featuring an “s” instead of a “z,” and vice versa. Localizing content remains as important as it ever was.” — Margaret Reid, writer and translator at The Word Point.
Be mindful of the Flesch-Kincaid scale
Flesch-Kincaid is a technical issue when it comes to writing in other languages, and it’s mostly related to the lack of writing and editing tools. This may be problematic for those of us who tend to write long, complicated sentences by default. While grammar is something you keep an eye on at all times, keeping your sentences short may be slightly problematic.
Given the peculiarities of the market, we are pretty much unable to find readability tools that will give us a better understanding of the Flesch-Kincaid score of our text, or editing tools like Grammarly. This is why it is essential to stay focused on writing concise and coherent texts, which our readers will find easy to process, in spite of the lack of tools for that.
Make use of keywords
Don’t forget that while you’re no longer writing for the “English” part of the internet, you’re still part of the SEO race. It is crucial to follow all the rules of good search engine optimization, in order to make your blog more discoverable, or else there is a risk of it being buried in the sands of the internet.
Even if your content is no longer written in English, make sure you use some popular tools in order to research the best choices of keywords that you’ll integrate into your text. As a blogger that hasn’t dealt with issues like these in the past, you may feel overwhelmed by the technicalities of SEO, but there’s no reason for despair. The craft of search engine optimization is becoming increasingly accessible to people with no specialized background.
Setting off to explore the international blogging space is a brave decision that takes a lot of guts and a lot of knowledge to pull off. There are many things that you need to take care of before you’re ready to become popular on the international stage.
However, by being culturally-conscious and taking the time and investing the effort into translating your content, you’re on the right track to build a successful online presence overseas.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Pauline speaks Portuguese, English, Spanish and Italian. She travelled the world to immerse herself in the new cultures and learn languages. Today she is proud to be a voting member of the American Translators Association and an active participant of the Leadership Council of its Portuguese Language Division.