How to Blog for International Audience

Description: A quick guide to get international audience for your blog. Why should you consider international traffic to your blog?

Are you using the full potential of your blog to reach readers around the world? If so, you need to keep those international readers coming back for more. With a little research and some tweaking of your blogging strategy, you can not only attract global traffic but turn it into repeat visits.

On the other hand, if you find your loyal readers are mostly English speakers from your home country, it's time to think bigger. Learn how to create and optimize blog content that reaches other countries, languages, and cultures. It's easier than you might think. Here is a quick guide to blog for international audience.

international audience and your blog
Drive International Audience to your Blog.
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International Audience and Your Blog

Know Your Markets

Begin by being clear on who your target readers are exactly. This means demographics, for example women between the ages of 30 and 45, but it also means world regions and languages.

Depending on what you blog about, or the product or service you are promoting, certain markets will be worth your attention. For example, the beauty and fashion industries are big in Asia. If you write about consumer electronics, it's the emerging markets such as China, Brazil and Russia that are spending the most.

Adapt Your Message

Once you have a market in mind, familiarize yourself with the culture. By framing your message in a way that's interesting to your international readers, you have the best chance of grabbing their attention.

For instance, in some regions of the world, image is everything. In Hong Kong even tutors for school work are marketed to their sons and daughters as glamorous celebrities. If you are blogging to this audience, or one with a similar mindset such as Korea, make sure your site looks polished. If you can link your topic to celebrity news or designer items, so much the better.

Invest in High Quality Translation

Just as many of us stop reading at the first sign of broken English, poor quality translations create a bad impression for your foreign language readers.

Browser-based translations can seem tempting because they are free and quick, but the results can let your blog down. Although the technology has improved considerably, they still don’t match the fluency of a native speaker, and lack an awareness of context. It takes only one mistranslated word for an entire sentence to make no sense. Once you lose readers, it's not easy to win them back.

Professional translation often costs less than you expect, and gets your message across in the right style. No worries that you will sound like a robot to readers in Brazil, or will come across as too stuffy and formal to a European reader, or disrespectful to a Middle Eastern one. A native speaker translation will also mean you use exactly the right terms – particularly important if you are writing about technology or other niche subjects.

Draw Traffic with Keywords

Even if you are confident with SEO, using keywords in a foreign language needs special care. It's not as simple as translating your top English-language keywords into another language. In fact, translating can destroy a useful keyword for markets that actually prefer to use the English term. A poor translation will also miss the mark.

Take time instead to research what people in your target market are searching for. Google Trends is a great tool for this. Let it help you with foreign keyword research by entering a topic into the search box. You can then look at the world map to see where it's popular, as well as consider the 'related terms' for a better fit. To filter by country, simply use the dropdown box to the left.

To be certain you have the appropriate keywords, get input from your translator or another native speaker. It's easy to miss a better alternative when you only have limited knowledge of a language. On the positive side, you should find it easier to rank for foreign-language keywords than the highly competitive English ones. Optimize content by using these keywords in a natural way within your blog's headings and text.

Localize Your Blog

Localization will help you to sound like 'one of us' to your overseas readers. It includes using the right measurements and currency for a country, as well as making appropriate cultural references – and avoiding inappropriate ones. You will also want to localize images where possible. For example, a picture of a business person should fit the image of a business person in your target country, and a movie poster or book cover that shows the title in the local language is a better choice than opting for the default US version.

Communicate with readers in their own language in a natural and accurate style, and write about things they care about, and you will build your reputation as an international blogger.

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