If your blog is in serious trouble, ask yourself this question:
Who is my reader and what sort of content do they want?
Captain Obvious Saves The Blog
For some, I'm sure this sounds like something Captain Obvious would say after rescuing a website teetering on the edge of a cliff .With his cape flapping in the wind, he places the website back on solid ground, smiles and says, "You must create content with your audience in mind."
Here's something Captain Obvious wont tell you: this may sound harsh, but just because your content creation won an award from your peers doesn't mean it succeeds in making sales (that is; serving your audience.)
Inexperience Or Ego
It happens to new bloggers. Early on, a new bloggers content schedule (if they even have a schedule) resembles gunshots in the dark. Just shoot it out there and hope it will hit something (like a reader.)
Also, new bloggers often simply don't have enough experience to know the importance of having a clear, detailed picture of their audience.
It can happen to professional marketers and bloggers as well. Pure creativity can take over and produce content or a campaign that's technically brilliant, but doesn't connect with the audience, because like Captain Obvious always says before he flies off to help his next blog, That brilliant idea didn't have the target audience in mind.
Thanks, Captain Obvious.
A persona is an archetypal figure that represents the traits and behaviours of a large body of people. A persona is not a single individual.You may need to create several different personas to get a handle on your complete target audience.
For example, one of the personas for my online business is a woman named Gwen. She is approximately 57 years old. Gwen is not technically computer savvy, but she wants to create a website to help people. Gwen desires to create content for her new blog that covers the topics of health and wellness or relationship issues. Gwen wants her blog to generate income, but doesn't know how to go about doing that. There's much more detail to my Gwen but this is the quick overview.
Gwen is one of a small group of personas I visualize and think about whenever I create and present content to my audience. I ask myself, "What would Gwen want?"
A Quick Guide On Developing Personas
So what information did I gather to create a detailed profile of Gwen along with my other blog personas?
Here's the quick list:
- How do visitors find my blog?
- What keywords do people use to find my blog?
- What problems do they try to solve?
- How many first time visitors return to my blog?
- How are their problems or interest different?
- At what times of the day do people arrive? Work time? Free time?
- What are the key differentiators for the group of visitors that converts? (i.e.; buys, subscribes, registers, etc.)
Where To Get The Information
Along with using an analytics tool, these questions and more can be answered with a couple of additional methods of gathering information on people.
- Take a Survey.
Simply create a series of questions, then send them out via email and/or social media.
- Interview People.
Asking individuals direct questions can be a powerful way to get to know your audience, but does require a bit more work than a survey.
- Observe Communities.
What are the common questions. Who asks them. Why?
Personas Are The Real Blog Superheroes
Once all this information is collected, you can connect the dots and discover the identity of your audience. Give your persona a name, an identity, and even a backstory.
The more you find out about your persona(s), the more helpful these fully developed personalities are to your online business. Get to know their goals and dreams along with their fears and turnoffs.
Your audience will grow much more quickly and solidly.
Matthew Kaboomis Loomis has been a blogger, ghostwriter and copywriter for ten years. You can find his passion for helping bloggers succeed at Build Your Own Blog