You want to start a blog, right? You’ve heard that you should write content your audience wants to read. But how do you know who your audience is?
And what is a target audience in the first place? Why do you need to define your target reader? And how to define a target audience for your blog?
Today, I’ll answer all those questions and more. I’ll tell you why it’s important to define your target reader before you start a blog, how to define your target audience, how to find them, and what to do after you’ve found them.
Identifying your target audience is a crucial step in starting a successful blog. Unfortunately, many bloggers skip this step. Defining and understanding your target reader is an ongoing process, but it’s also a crucial part of your success with blogging.
What is the target audience?
Target audience is a group of people with common characteristics you are trying to reach and attract to your blog.
Think about your target audience as the ideal readers of your blog. They are the people who are going to keep coming back to your blog, subscribe to your email list, and buy your products or services.
Anyone can read your blog and buy your products and services, but your target audience is your top priority.
Why is it important to identify your target audience?
Because everything you do on your blog should be done with your target audience in mind. From the branding of your blog, the type of content you publish, the way the content is written, when you publish new content, to where you are promoting your blog.
It’s also a crucial step you need to do before you brand your blog.
Benefits of identifying your target audience
- You’ll know exactly who you are speaking to. The more specifically you know your target audience, the easier you can get in their minds and craft your content to their specific needs.
- You can adjust the branding of your blog. First impressions matter and your branding can play a big role in whether the visitor leaves your blog straight away, read the whole blog post, and consider coming back.
- You can create products based on their specific needs. If you know your target audience well, you’ll know exactly what type of paid product you’ll be offering to your readers.
- You’ll be able to identify what the mission of your blog is.
When should you identify your target audience?
It’s important you identify your target audience at the very beginning. Ideally, before you even start building your blog. You’ll be able to implement effective marketing strategies from the very start.
RECOMMENDED READING: 12 Things You Need to do Before You Start Building Your Blog
How to define a target audience for your blog?
#1 Think about who your blog is for
What kind of audience would you like to attract? For now, basic information will be enough. Think about who your blog is going to be for. Who are you going to serve?
Let’s say you want to start a blog on productivity tips. Productivity tips for whom? Freelancers? Workers in the corporate fields? Students?
#2 Find your target audience
You need to think about where your target audience hangs out online. Where do they spend their time? Where are they looking for information? Where are they searching for solutions to their problems?
Where to find your target audience?
When you are looking for a solution online, the first place you go to is a search engine, right?
Go through different social media channels and see if your audience is there. Go through the related posts, uploads, videos, hashtags, etc. If there’s a lot of them, your target audience is most likely there.
There are Facebook groups dedicated to almost every topic out there. Join a few different Facebook groups in your niche. Don’t limit yourself to Facebook groups only. There are dedicated groups on other social channels as well.
Quora, Reddit, Forums
Quora is a questions/answers site. Reddit is a massive forum site.
These two sites are great to find what you target audience us struggling with.
Read blog posts on your niche and scroll down to the comments. Take note of their questions and struggles.
In general, sites, where questions are being asked, are a great place to find your target audience. Type in your niche and “forum” into Google.
NOTE: Where you can find your target audience depends on your niche. I can say that Pinterest is a great place to find your target audience. But the reality is that women tend to use Pinterest more than men. For that reason, if your target audience consists predominantly of men, Pinterest most likely won’t be the best place for you. Perhaps your target audience spends more time on LinkedIn than Pinterest.
#3 Create a target audience avatar
What is the target audience avatar?
It’s a semi-fictional profile of the ideal reader you want to attract to your blog.
When writing your target persona profile, you should consider their demographics and psychographics from what you’ve observed in your search.
What’s the difference between demographics and psychographics?
As HubSpot puts it, demographics explain who your target reader is. Psychographics explain why your target readers do what he or she does.
How to create a target audience avatar?
After you’ve researched your target audience, you should have some data to work with. Specifically, now you know where they hang out and what they are struggling with.
Questions to ask yourself when creating a target audience avatar:
- How old are they?
- What gender are they?
- What is their marital status?
- Where do they live?
- What do they do for a living?
- How much do they make?
- Where they spend their time online?
- What social media channels do they use?
- What are their interests?
- What are their hobbies?
- What are their goals?
- What motivates them?
- What are they struggling with?
In general, the more specific you can go with the profile, the better. That being said, in some of those aspects, you don’t have to be too detailed. For example, you don’t need to specify that your ideal reader is 26 years old. Let’s just say that your ideal reader is in their 20s.
Target audience profile example
This is an example target audience avatar for a minimalist lifestyle blog:
Jane is a single young lady living in New York. She’s 29 years old and makes a living as a freelance investment consultant. Her salary is $75,000 per year
She is interested in living with less and investing her money in experiences rather than material things. She wants to start decluttering her life so she can start traveling full-time but doesn’t know where to start. She owns too much stuff and the amount of it overwhelms her. She’s also attached to quite a few of her items and can’t imagine getting rid of them.
In her free time, Jane goes to bars with her friends, reads self-help books about the minimalist lifestyle, watches travel vlogs on YouTube, and reads decluttering tips on Pinterest.
IMPORTANT: When defining your target audience persona, keep their profitability in mind. If you want to make money blogging, you have to be selling something. But it doesn’t matter what you’re selling if your target audience doesn’t have the money to buy your products. For example, broke college students are most likely not the most profitable market.
Can you have more than one target audience avatars?
Yes, and you should. It’s called target audience segmentation.
What is the target audience segmentation?
It’s the process of identifying subgroups in your target audience. You can segment your target audience based on their demographics, but also based on their stage of the buyer’s journey.
You’ll find that apart from your ideal target audience, you might also attract people who don’t fit into your description completely. By identifying sub-groups within your target audience, you’ll be able to create content to fit the needs of all your readers.
What is the buyer’s journey?
The buyer’s journey, or the sales funnel, are the stages your target audience goes through from first encountering your blog to buying your products. According to HubSpot, the stages are awareness, consideration, and decision.
As your blog grows and you have products to sell, you’ll most likely create other avatars to correspond with different stages of the buyer’s journey.
The most basic avatar is someone who you are just trying to attract.
The second avatar is the person who already knows about your blog, but you want to turn them into a regular reader.
The third person is considering purchasing your product.
As a blogger, you will be attracting people in different stages of the buyer’s journey and you should adjust your content based on that. Ideally, when you’re writing a blog post, you should decide beforehand which stage it is written for.
When you are first starting out, write just one avatar. As your blog grows and you release your own products or services, you’ll create more target audience avatars.
What to do after you’ve defined your target audience?
Now that you know who your target audience is and where to find them, you need to attract them to your blog.
#1 Consider the branding of your blog
Based on the data you’ve collected; you can now write your mission statement. That’s a short sentence that summarizes what the main purpose of your blog is.
Think about the colors and fonts your target audience would find appealing. If your target audience is predominantly men, you won’t use the color combination of pink and gold, will you?
Same thing with your writing style. Your audience’s age, gender, location, and other demographics determine their vocabulary.
Men tend to be more technically proficient than women. For that reason, if your target audience is women, you are going to be explaining things differently than men.
Write as if you are talking directly to the avatar. The more specific your profile is, the more you can get in the head of the character, and the better you can help them.
#2 Write content they want to read
Read their questions in those forums and sites I recommended above and create content that’s going to answer those questions.
#3 Create a product that will solve their problems
Now that you know who your target audience is and what they are struggling with, think of a product that will help them solve their issues. It has to be something they need.
#4 Promote your content to your audience
Even though the goal here is to attract your target audience, you have to let your target audience know that your blog exists in the first place.
When you were searching for your target readers, where did you find the most?
Go to the social media channels your target audience spends the most time on and promote your blog there.
Go back to those forums and social media groups and answer their questions. If you have a blog post on that topic, you can send them a link.
#5 Keep checking your analytics
Keeping track of your analytics will help you understand your readers. Once your blog grows and you have a substantial amount of readers, you should keep checking your analytics.
You might find that the demographics of your target audience and your actual audience are slightly different.
And that’s okay.
You can adjust your content to the needs of your audience.
Are your visitors men or women?
Do they prefer long-form or short-form content?
Where does the majority of your audience come from?
When are your readers most active?
Check your Google Analytics and the analytics of your social media channels.
Should you target your audience for your product or should you create a product based on your target audience?
I believe that you don’t have to know exactly what your paid product or service is going to be when you’re first starting a blog. You should have an idea, but it’s going to depend on your target audience and competitor research. So, the latter.
Knowing who is your target audience before you start a blog is crucial. It will help you create a better blog strategy and craft content that will suit your readers’ needs. You’ll also be able to create paid products or services your readers genuinely NEED, which will increase your sales.
What are your struggles with defining your target audience? Let me know in the comments!