Not knowing your audience may be the biggest hurdle keeping you from epic blog growth. And hello — it's also keeping you from turning your blog into a business.
And we're all about business time in these parts.
You see, running a blog (and a business), is more than just publishing posts, crossing your fingers, and hoping for the best.
It's important to know who you're talking to in order for you to make any leaps and bounds.
Here's the deal: you need to make a connection with your readers. And when you're trying to connect with everyone, you'll end up connecting with no one.
Think about some of your favorite blogs. How many times have you clicked on a story and found yourself saying "Oh my god, that is SO ME!" or felt like the blogger created that post JUST FOR YOU?
That's the kind of connection that keeps readers coming back.
And in order to make that connection, you need to have a very specific person in mind when writing your blog posts. Think about narrowing your blog's focus to speak to that one particular type of reader. For example:
Your running blog turns into a blog about running with diabetes.
Or your parenting blog is now about parenting twins. Or triplets!
Or your food blog, becomes a food blog for people who are on an anti-inflammatory diet.
Whatever your focus is, make it FOCUSED; Narrow down to a very specific niche.
I know what you're thinking — if you narrow down who you're writing for, your audience will shrink. But reality is, doing this will actually help you build a wildly passionate and loyal audience because your readers will feel like you're speaking right to them.
Because you are.
The readers who come to your blog will instantly feel closer to you.
They'll stick around for longer instead of bouncing off the page.
You'll start creating bonds.
And I think that's the best reward for a blogger, wouldn't you agree?
Think about it like a dart board: the more narrow your focus becomes, the more bullseyes you'll hit.
So without knowing who your target reader is — what they like, what they don't, where they hang out, and which other blogs they are reading — you could be wasting a whole bunch of time writing posts that don't connect with people (because you're too general), or promoting yourself in all the wrong places (because your ideal reader doesn't hang out there).
Let's put a stop to this time suck right away and figure out who your ideal reader is so you can grow both personally and professionally.
IDENTIFY YOUR IDEAL READER
Most experts would tell you that you can't treat your blog like a journal and expect to make money off of it. That talking about yourself and your experiences won't help you form a professional business.
I would disagree with that opinion as long as you're helping people through your experiences.
Maybe you talk a lot about hair loss on your beauty blog because you're suffering through it yourself.
Or you have a food blog that covers the challenges — and solutions — of cooking in hot, humid, and high altitude because you're living in the jungle of Costa Rica.
Or you're navigating life with serious body issues and post a lot of personal essays about how you're overcoming that in everyday situations.
I'd argue that those topics appeal to very specific types of audiences and are also very personal, journal-like blogs that have the potential to be huge traffic drivers BECAUSE they're so specific and emotional.
What kinds of people would relate to your experiences best, and what kind of information can you provide that would add the most value to their lives?
In order to answer these questions, you need an "ideal reader" in mind. A "person" you're creating your content for. The one on the other side of the screen. And you need to be very specific on who they are.
You need to answer questions like:
- Their name
- Their age
- Their location
- Their marital status
- Where they work
- How much money they make
- Details that might effect how they see the world — how they grew up and their views on politics and religion
- And most importantly, why they'd want to visit your blog
Blogging becomes a million times easier when you know exactly who you're blogging for. If you're a fashion blogger and know your ideal reader is a workaholic, you probably want to focus on creating professional looks, instead of lazy-day wear; Your reader ain't got time for the latter.
It's why my Launch Ladies is focused on teaching women how to earn money through sponsored posts rather than just how to build a better blog. I've narrowed down the audience in order to create better connections and provide better information.
You can do the same with your blog.
If you signed up for the Blog to Business Challenge email list, you'll find an Ideal Reader Worksheet in your inbox today; twenty-nine questions that will get you closer to knowing who exactly your ideal reader is.
Once you fill out the worksheet, send your ideal reader and a link to your blog to firstname.lastname@example.org and title it Ideal Reader Action Item. I might use your examples in future lessons or bonus materials!
If you haven't signed up yet and want to get your hands on it, visit the Blog to Business Hub page and sign up today! Each weekday for 30 days, you'll get an email with a corresponding message and worksheet, workbook, or bonus materials that relate to the day's lesson.