Guest Post - Our host is Stephen Burrell, Here Stephen has tips to tackle the challenge of writing to a specific niche.See How To Become a guest author on Spice Up Your Blog.
The primary goal of most blogs is to develop a loyal readership, and the best way to do that is to identify a specific audience that you want to reach and write specifically for them. You'll find that by better connecting with their needs and interests your blog is able to grow faster and your visitors are more engaged.
But how do you decide who to target? And what can you do to get them interested?
Who are your writing for ?
You want to be specific about what your blog will discuss. You don't want it to be too broad since you won't be speaking directly to anyone's needs, but you also don't want it to be so narrow that the number of people you can reach is too small.
For instance, there are hundreds of mom blogs out there and millions of potential moms to reach, so if you wanted to start your own mom blog, you need to find a way to differentiate yourself from the crowd. You could share experiences as a work-at-home mom or an African-American mom to hone in on a more specific group of moms.
Learn more about this group
Let's say you've decided to write a blog for work-at-home moms. You now want to learn as much as you can about the people who might be reading your blog.
- Do they live in rural, suburban, or urban locations?
- What types of work do they do?
- What is their average salary?
- Are they married or unmarried?
- What is their race or ethnicity?
- How many kids do they have? What ages?
By getting this demographic information, you can better tailor your writing. For instance, you might learn that many work-at-home moms have part-time jobs, not full-time, so the tips you offer on how to manage your average work day might be better based on 20 work hours rather than 40.
Interact with the audience elsewhere
It's likely that you're not the only website or blog catering to this specific audience, so head over to the other places on the Internet where these people are visiting. Join conversations on forums. Stay up-to-date on relevant news and blogs. Read and respond to comments. This will help you get a better sense of the style of communication you can best use to communicate with this audience, as well as their current concerns and trends.
Look to your site statistics
Another strategy is to find out who is already visiting your site. You can use services like Google Analytics and Quantcast to get a detailed picture. Alternately, you can use this information to see if you actually are reaching your target audience. If you're trying to reach work-at-home moms but find that much of your audience is male, you may want to shift your content to focus on work-at-home parents to take advantage of that.
Ask your readers
Of course, there's always the direct approach! Find out what your audience likes and dislikes. You can do so by simply posting a blog entry and asking for people to leave their thoughts in the comments. Or you can run a more formal survey with a service like SurveyMonkey. And don't rule out social media as a method of testing the waters. Twitter and Facebook are great ways to get instant feedback.