If there’s one thing that all bloggers have in common, it’s that they usually torment themselves for days, and weeks at a time just to keep up with great content for their blog.
After all, a fancy write-up doesn't mean much if it doesn't appeal to your market.
In order to drive more traffic and keep people interested in your blog, you need to write for a specific audience and feed them with the right content.
Remember, it's not about you. It's about the people you're writing for.
Below are some formulas you can use to help you find your target market and learn how to properly tailor your message for them.
Let's get started!
Before anything else, you need to figure out WHO your target audience is.
This way you will have a clear idea of how you're going to help them. Information such as demographics, behavior, profession, age, etc, will help you narrow down who your ideal reader is.
These questions may also help:
- Who are they? What do they do?
- Where do they live?
- How old are they? Sex? Race?
- What generation do they belong?
- Social status? Background?
- What do they enjoy?
- Goals? Beliefs?
- What problems do they usually have?
Now that you have a bit of an idea about who your ideal reader is, you need to cater to their likes and interests, and to do so, you need to:
Creating Your Audience Wants and Needs
1. Speak like your audience
The best way to make a connection with people is to speak as if you were just like your readers.
Meaning, you must write in the same language they use and be consistent with it.
Write in the right tone and right attitude that appeals to the people you’re writing for.
Be clear with your message and stay to the point. Avoid jargons or language that they don't understand. If you have to use technical terms, make sure to explain them well.
For example, if your target audience is teen guys who are into cars and use slangs, then communicate like them. You don't want to sound too formal, right?
Don't make it difficult for them to relate with you.
2. Format your content for your audience
When it comes to web content, you not only have to worry about what you write about, but also, how you present it.
Use page elements wisely and tailor the design of your content for your users. Use the right font size, the right font style, color, etc. If possible, add in the appropriate images as well, or infographics, to help you stress a few points.
Let’s say you have older target audience, use fonts that are simple and large enough to make it easy for them to understand you.
3. Keep Your Content Current
In today's fast-faced world, you need to keep up with the changes in your industry in order to craft relevant content and stay on the top your game.
Track what’s trending.
Always keep yourself up to date on what's in - no matter what your industry is.
You can use the following tools to help you look for trending topics:
- Google Trends
- SemRush (paid)
- Google Keyword Planner
- TagBoard (collects social media posts with hashtags)
4. Put Yourself In Your Audience's Shoes
Satisfy your readers by constantly providing them with thoughtful and compelling piece that meet their needs. You may use these questions to evaluate your content:
- Does it fit my readers' needs? Am I talking to them directly?
- Will they like this? Will they enjoy this?
- Will this solve their problems? Will they learn something from this?
- Will they understand my language?
- Am I using relevant and up-to-date examples, facts, proofs, etc.?
Plus, the success of your blog depends on how well you can cater to the needs of your readers, thus making it important to get to know them a bit more. Find out where they hang out and determine the topics they care about.
How to determine what your readers likes:
- Socialize. Participate in forums, groups or communities in social media where most of your target audience is. Read, read, and read even more. This way, you will know exactly what sort of things they want to know more about.
- Ask. Using social media or your site, you can hold polls and/or surveys that asks directly from your readers what they want to read about next, or what they want to know more about.
- Read your comments. As much as polls and surveys can help you, you’d find much of the information you need just by reading comments and answering questions.
- Analyze your most-used keywords. Using Google analytics and Google Webmaster, you can look for commonly typed in phrases, words, sentences, or queries related to your niche. You can then use these as a way to guide your next few posts. Social Mention can also help you analyze the top keywords / fans / hashtags used by your competitors.
Once you figure out your audience wants and needs, jot them down in your notebook or in your favorite app. From there, you may brainstorm and come up with a lot of ideas for your blog.
5. Learn from Your Competitors
Spying on your competitors especially those established ones is one of my favorite strategies. Not only it helps you come up with new topic ideas, but also improve your own content since you and your competitors are after the very same audience.
You may borrow their techniques by learning:
- What works and what not. For example, determine what type of content that gets the most interaction.
- When they promote on social media networks. When do they get the most shares, likes, etc.?
- About their “most popular” blog posts.
- How they develop their content, how they get new ideas and how they repurpose their old content.
- What their content lack, as well as what yours lack and you can improve from there.
- What tools or resources they use that help improve their content.
Tip: Use curation tools to catch up with your competitors and collect awesome content within your niche and save time. My favorite curating ones are Scoop.it / Feedly / Storify / List.ly. These will help you find related posts you can develop new ideas from, improve on and take as your own.
6. Stick to Your Niche
As I've previously mentioned, serve what your audience likes.
Avoid discussing about things NOT related to your niche.
Remember the quote "Birds of the same feathers flock together"? It means people who share the same interests like to be with each other.
For example, you're a fashion blogger, of course you would want to be with people who are into fashion right? You would hang out in places and read things related to what you love.
It's the same in content marketing. If you want people to stick with you, you must concentrate on providing them with solutions that fulfill their exact needs.
Not to mention, sticking to your niche can help you become an expert in your field which position yourself as the "go-to" person for your industry.
Do one thing at a time and do it very well. Don't forget to sprinkle some personality!
Follow these tips above and you will find yourself coming up with one relevant content after another.
Deliver something that matters to your ideal audience, and you will find yourself enjoying a steady growing reader base in no time at all!