Writing for your readers is important; but to write for your readers you need to first know who they are.
Think about it. If you don’t know who you’re talking to how can you possibly get your message across?
Moreover, if you write for a certain demographic one week, and then another the next, readers will get confused and stop coming.
Your time is too valuable for that, so let’s make sure you have a clear idea of who you’re writing for.
Welcome to Part 2 of my 6-part series “Blogging Secrets Revealed.” In this series I’m showing you how to create a blog that earns you income, gives you time freedom and allows you to travel the world.
Every Wednesday for the next six weeks I’ll be covering:
- 11 Essential Questions For Better Blog Clarity
- 7 Ways To Find Out Who Your Readers Are (this post)
- 10 Simple Tactics For Gaining Blog Traffic
- 22 Awesome Ways To Engage Your Blog Readers
- 19 Essential Tools To Grow Your Blog Business
- Your Ultimate Guide To Blog Monetization
Tip: Want to know how to *seriously* turn your travel blog into a profitable business? Click here to sign up for my FREE 5-day email course and learn fresh blog monetization strategies.
So let’s dive in. Below we’ll talk about some simple ways you can get to know your audience. You’ll be writing for your readers — the right readers — in no time!
1. Start By Asking Yourself Who Your Ideal Reader Is
If you’re just starting out you have a clean slate to work with. This means you can tailor your content to attract the people you want to read your blog. A few things to consider when deciding who to write for:
- What products/service do you sell (or will you sell down the line)? Hint: becoming an expert in your niche and then creating an e-course around the topic is an excellent strategy for eventually making money.
- What are my blog brand values?
- What pain points / questions do I seek to answer?
- How am I trying to inspire action?
Tip: Another reason to know your audience and tailor content to them: your email list. The larger your email list grows the more you’ll pay. And while you do indeed want your email list to grow, you also want it filled with people genuinely interested in what you’re saying.
Getting to know your #blog readers is essential to #grow your audience. Here's why. Click To Tweet
2. Create A Profile For This Reader
Along with understanding basic demographics like gender, age, location and income, you should dig deeper. What are their passions and pain points? What social media channels are they on and what brands do they use? What are their daily habits? Create a profile that’s so clear you can actually picture this person in front of you when writing.
Tip: You can subscribe for my Fun Audience Mad Libs worksheet that will guide you in crafting your reader profile. If you’re a visual person, create a private Pinterest board with images relating to your reader. Remember, the better you know your reader the easier it will be to tailor amazing content that makes them feel as if you wrote it just for them.
3. Check Google Analytics
Google Analytics tells so much about the people visiting your website: where they’re coming from, if they’re using mobile or desktop, demographics, how long they stay on your website and more. You can also monitor which posts are read most to determine popular blog post topics and formats.
If you’ve already got visitors, use this Google Analytics to learn more about them. And if you realize you’re not attracting your ideal audience, shift your content focus so it resonates with the people you want it to.
Tip: Google Analytics can be slightly confusing when you’re trying to install it. This video can help:
4. Use Forums Like Reddit
When researching your audience, ponder what they already know about your niche, what pain points they have in relation to your niche and how they best digest content. You can get answers to these questions by popping over to Reddit and finding the appropriate sub-forum. Reddit has a sub-forum for almost every topic imaginable, so you should be able to find something relevant.
For example, if your blog is about fly fishing, you’d visit this page to see what questions are being asked and what mediums — whether how-to videos, infographics or trip photos — are being shared.
Here's how to use @Reddit to get to know your #blog audience #tips Click To Tweet
5. Add A Question To Your Opt In Box
You’ll want to keep your opt-in box short and simple — typically just having people enter their name and email. That being said, you can also have an optional box for some additional information. For example, maybe you ask them what topic they’re most looking forward to reading about, or what their favorite destination is. This can give you a bit more insight into who’s visiting your blog.
Tip: Keep the power of your email list in mind. Your email subscribers are your biggest fans (I mean, they gave you their virtual phone number, which is huge!). You can encourage people to subscribe by offering an easy-to-digest freebie they’d be interested in, like a resource library, checklist or PDF. Having the freebie be relevant to what you sell — or what you’ll eventually sell — can help you attract the right readers from the start.
6. Use BuzzSumo To See Where Your Audience Is On Social Media
Too many bloggers waste time on social media channels their audience isn’t hanging out on (and that are draining them). One smarter approach (of many) is to use BuzzSumo to pinpoint where your efforts should be focused. While many BuzzSumo features are paid, their free version allows you to do this audit.
Tip: Here is exactly how to do the audit. Steps:
- Head to BuzzSumo and type in either your niche (example “solo female travel”), your URL or the URL of another blogger in your niche
- Click Go!
- On the right side of the results page, you’ll see how much traction each social media channel gets for the type of content you searched
- If you have a pro account (paid), you can also see who shared your content to get a better idea of who is reading
7. Create A Heat Map With SumoMe
One awesome feature is being able to create heat maps on select pages and posts. This gives you an idea of where and what exactly your readers are clicking, allowing you to optimize your content. You can also do the heat map on your homepage to see if moving items around would be beneficial and what topics are clicked the most.
Tip: Check out the below video to see some of my favorite free SumoMe features in action, including heat maps. Heat maps are also great for testing how your audience best digests content. For example, I’m currently experimenting on displaying recommended travel gear at the bottom of each post as a bullet text list or a visual thumbnail grid. Having heat maps on a sampling of pages helps me get a sense of which version people click more, as well as what types of products they click.
Spend this next week getting a clear sense of who you’re writing for. Next week I’ll be back with a short recap, as well as next steps to take to engage your audience and turn them into a community.
Have questions about writing for your readers and getting to know your audience? Ask away in the comments below!