After examining your competition and discovering your blogging niche the next best step for you is to define your blogging audience. I’ll show you how it’s done (or at least how I do it). Please note that while I’m taking this from a beginner’s stand point, I can’t say less to those of you who are still in the early stages of creating a blog. I’m quite positive that you could, somehow, pick up a lesson or two as you go about in this course.I’d also want to mention that at some point in this course we are going to tackle monetizing your blog. This is why I wanted to focus so much about researching so that you can establish a solid blogging foundation…
Think you can serve two tables at the same time? Think again!
Truth is you can’t, and never will, please each and every one in your niche.
I’m guilty of this myself.
When I started SEO in the making, my whole idea was to write everything about internet marketing and all that it touches. As a matter of fact here’s what I wrote in my welcome page (I’m putting it in here for those of you who’ll read this course in the future):
Although the desire to teach people is as genuine as it gets, setting realistic goal is second to none!
So I’ve decided to put more of my blogging time focusing on my specific target audience – Those of you who wants to learn SEO and start a career or a business with it. (But I’d also spend an equivalent time on this course and hopefully finish this as soon as possible.)
So Why Defining Your Audience is a Necessity?
Quite simple. You would want to engage the type of reader who’d be interested in your blog and be able to connect to them in the most natural way.
One example is when you create an application letter. What about it, you say? In my years as a VA, I’ve created a hand-full-of application letter… but only those that I’ve written with the reader in mind (in this case HR managers or Employers) gets the job done.
Simply because I talk about their needs, their desire and their problem… and here I am offering them the ultimate solution. The same principle applies in blogging – You want to create contents with your readers in mind it is the only formula to go viral.
“When it comes to growing a business few things have more power than a narrow focus. Too often business owners want to be many things in order to capture as much business as possible.”
-John Jantsch (Founder of Duct Tape Marketing)
Your quick list:
What your audience are looking for?
See your blog from their point of view.
What are their interest, pain, frustrations and needs?
Determine what related topic is to their liking.
The key here is to go for a topic that you’ve experienced yourself, just like I did when I created this blog. It may or may not be the same in your case, but the ultimate goal is to know who you’ll be writing for. If you’ve followed the first part of this step and done enough research, discovering your audience will be much easier.
If your blog is about the people in California and how they are socially inclined, then you should target readers in the state. On the other hand, blogging about diets that work for women should be treated accordingly.
You can already make an educated guess based on this analogy. Here are further data that you’d want to get your hand to:
Level of education.
The device they use.
The way to look for this information is to check established blogs/websites in your niche. If you’ve created your own list of top 5 blogs to follow as I’ve pointed out in my previous post, then use those sites to “fill in the blanks”.
Ages ago, I use to go to quantcast.com demographics. They are really good at what they do. Here’s a screen shoot of what you see in their demographics report:
The only catch here (although it’s free to sign up) is that site owners has to manually set-up their sites in Quant Cast. And if they didn’t, you won’t find any data.
Luckily, I found out that Alexa.com does have the same features and it’s for free. It’s really easy to do this! Just copy and paste the URL of the website you want to check and then hit search.
In my case, I choose to pick john.do.
As you can see, I already have an initial understanding about john.do’s data. From here, I can run analysis with my remaining list so I can compare and draw my conclusions based on each of the results. There are also other information in there that I can use for future purposes.
What Your Audience Are Looking For?
Go to where they hang around and converse with them. Listen to what they have to say and their opinion about the topic – Understand their language and their way of thinking. The best place to do this is on social media.
Here’s an exercise that I do to help me with this…
1. I give my potential target audience a name, say “Jared”
2. I then go to http://www.google.com/imghp and type the name in there.
3. I try to imagine what my reader looks like in real life and look for a perfect match from my search. Here’s the perfect one for my “create a blog” course…
4. Then I give that picture a profile based on my demographics research.
Level of education: College degree/Grad school
Age: 20 – 50
The device they use: Mobile/desktop
Yearly Salary: $50- $150+
Interest: writing, working out, loves to go out on an adventure
Description: My typical readers are professionals between 20 to 50 years old. They either work or run a small business and they are from around the globe.
Pay close attention to the “interest” area because there are blogging opportunities you can explore from those. Like right now I’m thinking of talking about the productivity aspect of the process of creating a blog (Watch the video I put below this page). But take note this data can change as things progress, so make sure you keep track of your audience from time to time.
Why trouble yourself with these?
It is important because it will determine how you will approach your writing and your brand of writing.
Why because blogging, no matter how passive its nature is, can bring the best of both worlds (readers and bloggers) if you can deliver the right pieces of information to the right set of audience. We will discuss further “Your Brand Of Blogging” in the next chapter. For now let’s focus on the task at hand.
See Your Blog From Their Point-Of-View
View it like you do other blogs.
Ask like you normality do.
What comes in your mind when you check on those blogs?
What are your first impressions?
Do you think he/she could have done something else to better serve his audience?
Do you pay attention to little details like how big the fonts should be?
Do you like a simple and easy to navigate blog or you don’t mind seeing those ads?
Is their style of writing appealing or their deliverable that convincing?
You should consider all of these and throw in a couple more. But don’t focus too much on trying to patch holes. It’s healthier to push your ideas and start creating it. You can slowly build yours until its “ripe enough to reap”. If you’ve read this course on an earlier date, you’ll see that my blog doesn’t have much.
What are their interest, problems and needs?
As you may have known, the internet is full of information sites no matter where you look. In the previous chapter, I’ve discussed about the importance of standing out in the crowd. But before you pick a fight with the juggernauts in your chosen niche and end up like the rest (quit), let’s decipher the unknown.
Remember your blogging for a purpose, and that purpose started because you have an audience who are looking to solve their problems. Obviously, your there to make people lives easier.
According to Maslow, there are 4 basic human needs – security, physical needs, friendship and love, and esteem. He also discussed the complexity of “need wants” which circles around our very desire to satisfy our urge – we need clothing for security but we need-want to be in fashion to satisfy our self-esteem. We need a healthy body yet we need-want a sexy figure.
From this concept alone you can device an approach, one that is easy to digest and gets directly to the point! The real challenge, however, is how you deliver the solution- in what way or manner.
Understand your audience how they behave online and it would be easier to draw their attention.
Know your competition what they do and you have a winning strategy at hand.
It’s your one best shot at it… and as Sun Tzu (Art Of War) puts it…
“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”
Determine what related topic is to their liking
I’ve been talking endlessly about my blog and this course and I do apologies if I’m going to use it once again… I hope you don’t mind.
There are many (many) ways to present a topic that 1.) Can interest your current readers and 2.) Stick within your niche. This course is not directly related to my main niche, but I found that 99% of SEOs and online marketers are into blogging… Or at least the majority of.
In the previous chapter, I’ve given you some thoughts about engaging other blog’s audience piquing their minds. That’s just one trick to get you started… This time around I’m gonna unload the big guns…
#1 Buzz Bundle
Yes… This is the best software to find the right people to target your content and I’m going to tell you why in this post right here…
#2 Social Lead Freak
This software focuses on finding people on Facebook only… But Ali G (co-owner and developer) offered bonuses (more software+ features) that allows you to dig into social media sites and find your target readers. This software is closely examined in my other post.
I can recommend a few more but I trust these 2 simply because I’ve used them and they perform quite awesome!
I Urge You!
I hope you have done your homework and performed every exercise that I showed you because in the preceding chapters we will press the throttle harder and a gear higher there won’t be enough time to rekindle what you have learned up to this point… else you end up wasting your time going through this course.
I urge you to go back… reread… perform as I did… before you proceed!
By definition, a blog is a personal record of your thoughts and opinions – You should, by all means, stick to that principle. Choose a niche that suits you and one that defines who you are. Why because it is darn easy to quit when you care less about things, and in the blogging world quitting is like that big red button that’s just waiting for you to hit it. In my 2 years of struggling (business wise), I’ve come to a point where I have to create ties in order to protect me against myself. Quitting is something you have to conquer and to be good at it you have to have that binding will deep in you.
STEP 1 (How To Create A Blog Crash Course): DEFINE YOUR BLOG NICHE
“PERFORM FOR YOUR READERS”
As I continue my journey towards creating this crash course I have come to understand that blogging, although it’s considered a great medium to express one’s thoughts, experience and knowledge, is but a tool of the trade. The fact that you are exposing your ideas to the world means that potentials for business opportunities is likely to come your way. There are many who could testify to this, and one in particular is Patt Flynn from Smart Passive Income.