Getting to Know (So You Can Grow) Your Audience
Episode #4 of the course How to create a profitable blog by Jessica Festa
Welcome to Day 4 of “How to Create a Profitable Blog.”
Question: How well do you know who you’re speaking to through your blog?
Hopefully, you answered “really well.” If not, no worries, as we’ll dive into this today. It’s important to get to a place where you can actually picture the person you’re writing to in front of you. This way, you can better help them and make them feel like your content was written just for them.
To start, it can be helpful to ask yourself the following:
• What does my audience already know about my niche?
• What questions and concerns does my audience have surrounding my niche?
• How do my readers best learn?
• How much importance does my niche have in my readers’ lives?
• What types of sources do they find credible?
To find the answers to these questions, begin by perusing forums like Reddit and Quora, which have subforums on almost every topic. Find the subforum related to your niche. Here, you’ll be able to see what types of questions people are asking and how exactly they’re learning and sharing.
For example, say I’m starting a blog about eating vegan on a budget, and I want to create a profile of a future reader. I would head over to Reddit’s Eat Cheap & Vegan forum, where I’ll notice questions about revamping meal plans, how to eat high protein and vegan, how to transition to a vegan diet, and how to eat vegan on the super cheap (i.e. less than $100 per month). I also see this community really loves videos detailing cheap, easy recipes.
Using Analytics to Get to Know Audience and Plan Content
If you already have readers coming to your blog, you can use Google Analytics to get to know them better. Google Analytics is a real-time reporting tool that provides important data about your readers, like their gender, age, education, interests, where they’re coming from, what they’re searching, how many unique visitors come to your site, how long readers stay on the site or a specific article, visitor income, how many visitors are new vs. returning, and more. Data is presented in visually appealing graphs and charts to make it easy to understand.
These stats should be used to tailor your content, tone, and the products/services you offer (or will eventually offer). For instance, if you see your readers are 90% female, having a post on “The Man’s Guide to Grilling” probably won’t do so well. You can use this detailed guide to get set up with Google Analytics, or head over to this video.
Once set up, set a reminder for the end of the month to check:
• Where your traffic is coming from/who is referring people to your blog. See what’s working and what’s not. For example, when I noticed almost no traffic was coming to my blog from Pinterest, I implemented a new strategy that included adding a Pin graphic to the end of every blog post and using Tailwind to automate re-pinning and view reports on the best times to pin.
• What posts readers are engaging with most. This will give you an idea of what types of content work best (i.e. lists, how-to guides, recipes, tutorial videos, etc.).
Your Turn: Create your audience profile using this fun Mad Libs sheet. Tomorrow, we’ll be diving into how to rank higher in Google Search (SEO).
You Are a Writer (So Start Acting Like One) by Jeff Goins
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