You’ve been keeping track of every blogging tip you’ve ever come across, you’ve checked and double checked your spelling and grammar, and you are pretty sure that you have a great writing style. You have a lot to say, now you just need an audience to actually read your content... but how can you find them? Here are some ways to find your target audience and keep them interested in what you have to say.
Who are you trying to write for in the first place… and why?
This probably seems like a really obvious question, but it’s one that you seriously need to consider as soon as you possibly can: why do you really want people to read your content? What are your goals and why do you feel like what you have to say is important? Are you trying to foster discussion on a particular topic, are you trying to sell or promote something, or is your goal something totally different? For example, if you’re just writing for family and friends with any newcomers as an added bonus, your tone will probably be much more casual and your writing style very informal, since people you know will already be aware of who you are and your personality. A more professional blog will likely be more formal, and probably take greater care to incorporate SEO into their posts to increase the chance of potential customers finding their blogs. Figuring out your personal goals will give you a better idea of how frequently you should post, and your overall tone and writing style.
Once you know exactly why you’re writing, you need to think about who your audience is. The key here is to get as specific as possible. If you’re running a fashion blog, it’s not enough to say that your audience is “women interested in fashion.” After all, “fashion” could mean anything—designer brands, bargain deals, clothing relevant to specific subcultures—and “women” come from all sorts of different backgrounds that would greatly impact how they experience content.
People are actually reading! Now what?
So you know why you’re writing, you know who you’re targeting, and you’ve been blogging up a storm for a little while now… what’s the next step? How do you maintain your desired readership?
Keep track of your audience statistics: is the majority of your audience the people you set out to reach? While blogging platforms can usually offer you a few basic statistics on the location of your audience is and how they found your site, the more in depth your information, the better. Atomic Reach’s new Scoring Engine can help you score your content and determine whether your posts are reaching your target audience based on human assessment patterns. Sign up here for updates on how to help you determine whether or not your content is matching your target audience!
Once you have a better idea of who your content is reaching, it’s time to go to your audience and actually communicate with them. A commenter on this blog post raises an interesting point: people may not be commenting directly on your post, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t sharing it on Facebook or Twitter and commenting there. Audience interaction should not be limited to the confines of your blog, and you should try to be active on social media to reach out to your audience and get a good idea of their reception to your content.
Similarly, you should try to figure out what other blogs and websites your readers are frequenting to better keep track of what they want to see, trends based on the topics you discuss, and interact with them outside of your own website. One blogger had the great idea to frequent Yahoo! Answers to help solve people’s problems without them having to visit his website directly. Doing this makes him seem like a reliable source that others would want to seek out for his expertise, allowing him to expand his audience even more. The trick is not to wait for them to come to you, but to go directly to them.
Readers, how do you maintain an audience for your blog? Any tips or tricks you want to share? Let us know in the comments!