Chances are, if you’re a beginner blogger, you’re a bit hazy about who you want to read your blog.
You may even think that it’s dangerous to get more specific about who your target audience is.
“Anyone can benefit from reading my blog,” you may think. “I don’t want to leave anyone out.”
Unfortunately, by catering to everyone, you’re making it harder to write content that grows your audience, promote that content in the right places, and create products and services that people want to buy.
When you have a clear idea of who you are serving with your blog, you will be able to get more traffic and customers, and you won’t waste time writing blog posts that people don’t want to read.
I hope I’ve convinced you by now that you need to have a target audience.
But knowing you need one and actually defining your readership are two different things.
Here are a few ways to define your ideal reader.
1. Look in the mirror
To find your ideal reader, you don’t need to do much more than think back to who you were 2 years ago.
Your blog is probably written to help someone very similar to you, only before you learned what you know now.
Think about what you struggled with before you started writing about your topic. What kept you up at night? What transformation were you trying to achieve?
And your ideal audience is probably composed of people much like yourself on a more basic level, as well. If you’re a single woman in her 20's, chances are, your audience members will be, too. If you’re a mom with 3 kids, your audience probably looks similar.
Why? Because we connect with people similar to us. So people who are like you are likely to connect with your content.
2. Check out who is already reading your blog
Another way to get clear about your target audience is to look at who is already drawn to your content.
Go back and look at your blog comments. Pay attention to people who have shared your posts on social media. Who are they? What are they like? Do you notice any commonalities?
Write a list of similarities you find in your blog readers, and then keep those qualities in mind whenever you create new content.
3. Ask your readers what they are struggling with
Your readers may be different when it comes to gender, age, location, and all the typical demographics, but they probably struggle with the same things and have similar goals.
For example, my readers are men and women, of all ages, living all over the world. But they all have one thing in common – they want to create profitable blogs.
In the email that I send out to all of my new subscribers, I ask them what they’re struggling with in their blogs. I get around 15–20 responses every single day, and those responses help me understand my readers and the transformation they are looking to achieve by reading my blog.
Reading and responding to those emails helps me better understand my audience and how to serve them by creating content designed to help them overcome their struggles.
4. Compile a list of common words and phrases your readers use
When you look at the responses you get to the “what are you struggling with” question, pay close attention to the type of language your readers use.
Keep a file with the most common words, sentiments, and phrases you find in their responses.
Then use their language in blog posts, sales pages, emails, and any other content you create.
One of the most important ways of building trust with your readers is communicating with them effectively. And the best way to do that is to write things in a way that perfectly describes how they are feeling.
5. Create a reader avatar
Once you have a good sense of who your ideal reader is, create a reader avatar.
Make up a person (or use one of your existing readers) and write down who they are and what they are trying to achieve.
Give your reader avatar a name and a back story. Who is he? What does his family look like? What does he worry about when he wakes up in the middle of the night?
You can even get really specific by thinking about what kinds of clothes he wears, what he likes to drink on his night off, etc.
Write down everything you can about your reader and keep it close at hand whenever you create a new piece of content. If your reader avatar would like your blog post, you’re probably on the right track.
6.Get a sense of where your readers hang out online
A key piece of understanding your ideal readers is knowing where they hang out online.
What social media platforms are they on?
If they’re on Facebook, what groups are they in? What pages do they like?
If they are on Twitter, what hashtags do they use and search for?
What type of Pinterest boards are they likely to follow? Which LinkedIn groups are they a part of?
Knowing where your readers hang out online is essential because, without that knowledge, you won’t be able to reach them, get them on your email list, and convert them into customers.
Once you understand where to find your readers, you can promote your blog posts there, build relationships with other influencers in those spaces, and get in front of your readers as much as possible.
Before you write another blog post,email or social media update, take the time to determine who you want to read your blog.
- Who are they?
- What transformations are they wanting to achieve?
- How do they communicate?
- Where do they hang out online?
Create your reader avatar and you’ll be ready to start growing your audience and making a regular income from your blog.
Do you have a clear sense of who your readers are?
Share your thoughts and ideas about your audience in the comments below.