Writing a blog post is a bit like public speaking – you’re sending your unique perspective out to a large audience of listeners. But you wouldn’t get up to speak about 10 Ways to Cook a Steak at a vegan convention, nor would it be very productive to deliver your industry-specific insights in a sidewalk sermon. Selecting the right audience is not only key to reaching people who are interested in what you have to say, but it’s one of the most important steps to deciding on what you’re actually going to be writing about. You probably have an overall theme in mind, but the specific topics of your posts should suit your audience’s wants and needs. So, how do you go about targeting the right audience?
Who are your customers?
Assuming you’re blogging for a brand, you probably have products or services that you offer. So, as Joe Pulizzi puts it in his Ultimate Guide to Blogging, who is buying what you’re selling? Those people are already interested in your brand, so why not target them with your blog? You can write more interesting articles related to your products, your industry, your community, even feature power users or helpful tips. Chances are you know how your customers use your wares, and you know a bit about who they are, so using them as a base audience is a solid place to start.
Demographics and Psychographics
As you narrow down your audience, imagine a few different individuals who might read and share your content: how old are they? Are they male, female, both? What are their other interests, what do they do for a living, what are their passions? Sometimes, companies create personas to assist with targeted marketing or communications, and the same tactic will work for your blog. When you consider what people are really looking for, you can better tailor your blog posts to their expectations and needs.
Pick Your Corner of the Market
There’s nothing wrong with writing for a particular niche, as Sherilynn Macale writes for The Next Web. If you have an audience of enthusiasts, blogging your expert opinions on their favorite subjects can be great for your traffic. For example, I keep two different blogs about specialty coffee; one is for general coffee topics, like news, how-to posts, opinions and musings, and the other is exclusively for coffee reviews. My niche is the same for both blogs – specialty coffee enthusiasts, with an extended audience of those who wish to learn more about that level of geekiness – but the content is fairly different. Even if your niche is already occupied, you may still be able to provide some unique and valuable insight.
Expand and Contract
Often, it can be difficult to determine how large your audience should really be, so don’t be afraid to experiment. You can always adjust the tone and subject of your posts to alter your targeting. If you find your blog is reaching too many of the wrong people – people who may never share your content or buy your products – you might need to rethink how you write your posts. The same goes for trying to increase your reach, so it is important to keep track of your key metrics, and make sure your targeting is actually working as planned. With a bit of planning and effort, you should be able to hit your target spot on – bullseye!
What are some of your most helpful tips for finding your blog’s target audience?