Here are some top tips from our partner UK2 on best ways to target your audience through blogging. UK2 is one of the UK‚Äôs leading hosting providers with over 20 years‚Äô experience providing services to the UK's finest start-ups and businesses. To see more from their blog, click here.
Creating a website to share your message is an incredibly exciting time, and often turns out to be a lot more work than many realise. Website tools and platforms are great at helping you create a place to share, but not as helpful when deciding what to say and who to say it to...
Whether you are an ecommerce business looking to add a blog or an individual blogger looking for growth, having a firm grasp on who you are writing for is a crucial attribute to your online success. Far too many bloggers focus on what they are writing rather than who is reading your valuable information. In reality, once you find loyal blog followers, they will be interested in your topics because they are interested in you.
However, identifying this audience is 90% of the battle. In this post we will help you identify exactly who you should be targeting with your content creation. We will offer helpful tips for identifying your audience and creating a blogging strategy for the future.
Why pinpoint an audience?
It may seem like a lot of work to target a specific group of people, especially when broadcasting your content around the globe feels like a such an enormous group.
Unfortunately, writing content for the entire world will yield very few results. Your message will quickly be drowned out by the hundreds of thousands of other voices all competing for attention.
Instead, you must target a specific demographic of readers to speak to. By pinpointing your audience, you can specialise the message you send and gather more engagement for your website. To be a truly great content creator, your audience must relate to the message you send. By understanding your audience, who they are, and what they want, you harness a powerful form of focus to widely spread your content.
Sighting in your scope
It can be easy to fall back on industry knowledge for your blog content. However, your audience most likely doesn‚Äôt want to learn how to do what you do. Instead, they would rather pay you to do it for them, with either actual money or their attention. This is not to say that how-to guides don‚Äôt serve a purpose, they absolutely do as long as you keep in mind that you are not the star of your blog: your customer or reader is.
So how do you learn enough about your customer to appeal to them? Let‚Äôs look at some methods for reaching this goal‚Ä¶
What do you already know?
Brainstorm everything you know about your current audience. Where do they live? What are their job titles? Use any resources that you may currently employ like Facebook Ad pages or LinkedIn contacts. Make lists of who currently engages the most with your brand or persona. If you are an ecommerce business, think about who is currently purchasing your products. What do you know about your customers? If you are in the early stages of building an online presence, you won‚Äôt have much to work with. However, any details that you can set in stone will help build a foundation for your eventual targeted audience.
What do you still need to learn?
Use Google Analytics or other site analytics tools to reach as many readers as possible. Look for important information like age, gender, education and income levels, location, occupation, and other background information. Don‚Äôt be shy about creating fictional readers in your mind. Large corporations will often create personas to represent their various targeted demographics.
Engage and evaluate!
The next step is to engage with your audience as much as possible. You might consider turning on your comment option for your blog as well as investing additional hours on social media platforms.
Once you have a pretty good picture of who you are creating content for, ask yourself if this audience is enough to meet your goals. If your answer is no, then go back to the beginning and broaden your scope as much as necessary. However, keep in mind that ‚Äúeveryone‚ÄĚ is not an adequate audience. You cannot appeal to everyone all the time, so try to pinpoint and drill down as much as possible.
Important note: You should spend just as much time promoting your content as you do writing it. Blogging is a two-fold process of creating and sharing your message with your audience.
Consider all the variables
There‚Äôs a lot to keep in mind while writing your blog posts. Creating content alone isn‚Äôt enough. You also have to consider how your content will affect your brand, your marketability, and your search results. Try out the content exercises below to vary your reach and boost your blog:
Follow the experts
To be truly valuable as an expert content creator, you have to know who is doing (and writing) what in the digital space. Be sure to take a look at QuickSprout‚Äôs Complete Guide To Building Your Blog Audience.
Along with the tested and true content creators like Brian Clark from Copyblogger and Rand Fishkin from SEOmoz, pay attention to who is trending in your specific industry. For example, if you are writing about technology, it‚Äôs worth following TechCrunch and Gizmodo. However, if you are in the beauty industry, then you should follow Zoe Sugg and Refinery29.
Keep Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) in mind
SEO can be tough for bloggers who focus on writing and promotion. There is a different thought process that goes towards satisfying search algorithms. Luckily, there are many resources available to help you turn pesky search results into a stream of organic traffic. Use Google Analytics to help you find keywords, and employ an SEO tool like Website SEO Guru to help you stay on top of meta descriptions, broken links, and other areas of your website that could damage your search engine results.
Promote your blog on social media
Social media is a great way to draw attention to your blog. It also helps you identify who is interacting with your brand. Profile pages contain basic yet crucial information about the people who are reading your blog posts. Make sure that you just focus on a few social media pages and update them regularly. Do not share posts that could be seen as offensive to your audience and interact with readers as much as possible. Well-managed social media accounts open up a window onto your audience if handled appropriately.
Start with a great platform
Having the right hosting platform affects your website more than anything we‚Äôve covered so far. You need a host who focuses on security, uptime, and speed to be sure that your web pages are available when readers find your website. Your website will also need the proper tools to drive traffic, such as Website Builder, for example, which comes with everything you need to get online, or WordPress, a preferred blogging platform.
Your web host helps you find the perfect domain, the best website platform, and the tools you need to maintain a prosperous blog. Partner with a web host with the reputation, experience, and expertise to help you along the way. Learn more about what you can expect from industry-leading web hosts at UK2.NET.
To see all of our upcoming workshops, webinars and events, including ones from UK2, visit our Events page.