Guest Post - Our host is Kimberly Harrison, One wa to build a following for your blog is to research your target audience and write with them in mind, here Kimberly has some tips to do just that.See How To Become a guest author on Spice Up Your Blog.
You want your readership to grow, and seeing numbers increase is a great sign. That doesn't mean your readership is "everyone." Your content writing needs to be targeted to a specific niche, and these 10 steps will help you find the right readers for your great content.
1. Who would want to read your content?
The answer to this question will help you clarify the target reader of your content writing.
2. Build a detailed picture of who is your ideal reader.
Describe your ideal reader, including as many details as you can (age, gender, occupation, hobbies, number of children, hobbies, etc.).
3. Figure out where that person would hang out online.
Do some online detective work. Visit blogs and discussion forums that would appeal to a person with this profile.
4. Make note of issues that are important to this group.
Over time, you will see certain questions or issues come up repeatedly in forums and in comments on blogs. You can use them to get an idea of what your readership is most interested in and the kinds of problems they want to solve.
5. Read news stories that would be interesting or relevant to your target readership.
Recent news coverage can give you ideas about issues that affect your ideal reader. The stories can also provide you with some helpful background information when you are visiting blogs and online forums.
6. Consider the language the group uses.
If you are going to target your audience appropriately, you need to make a real connection to them. One way you can fit in is to mirror the language they are already using. If you find your target audience is using highly technical writing, you should do the same. In a case where the language is more casual, you will need to keep that in mind when developing your content.
7. Look for elements that are missing in discussions.
Are there topics that should be addressed (or discussed more often) but aren't being covered? Are people visiting forums and asking questions but not finding answers? These missing pieces can give you ideas for the kinds of writing your readers will want to read.
8. Participate in online discussions.
The best way to get to know your target readership is to talk to them. You don't need to explain that you are conducting research or go overboard by participating in every discussion on a particular board. Start slowly by adding thoughtful comments that will move the discussion forward, then start asking some questions to generate new discussions.
9. Share some writing and monitor the results.
At a certain point, you need to start generating content to share with readers. Good quality content is going to attract readers, and you will want to be sure that everything you share gives some value to the reader. Avoid fluff at all costs and watch your traffic numbers to see which posts generate the most traffic and comments. These statistics can give you valuable clues about targeting your readership. Internet users will vote with their clicks, and you will be able to see patterns emerge for certain types of posts over time.
10. Ask your readers what they are interested in reading about.
Conducting a survey is an effective way to keep your finger on the pulse of your readership. To encourage people to participate, consider entering each respondent's name in a draw for a free gift. Include a list of topics the respondent can check off but include a section where respondents can make suggestions as well. Use the answers to target your content to what your readers want.