A Common Issue with Business Blogs is Understanding the Reader
There are some really great blogs out there. One thing I know with near certainty is that these bloggers have all struggled with one thing: writing for the right audience.
When most business bloggers start formulating their blogging strategy they start with their customer. This is perfect. You need to write for your customer when you’re creating blog posts. This is the person you want to attract to your blog. It makes sense to have them in mind as you’re writing. You will speak in their language and appeal to their psyche.
For this blog I like to think of a small business owner whenever I write a post. There are a few actual real live people I picture in my head when I’m writing. I haven’t gone so far as to keep their pictures in front of me when I’m writing, but having an image in my head definitely helps me keep on task when writing a post.
The issue I and other bloggers have is writing for the wrong audience.
Back when I started Hunting Business Marketing I had the thought in my head to write for small hunting business owners. Those were the people I wanted to write for because they were the potential customers. The issue I had was that other hunting bloggers would read my posts. After some time I realized I was writing with myself – a hunting blogger – in mind. I was writing posts about how to blog and how to build traffic. I wasn’t focusing on the needs of my target audience – small hunting business owners.
Eventually I was able to shift the focus back to the correct audience and I started attracting the right people.
Again with my site Country Music Life I ran into questions of audience, but this time it was more about focusing on specific niches of country music fans. I’m a country music fan myself so it was easy to write about what interested me, but what I realized later was that most of the readers were women. Over time I started writing my posts with women in mind. I wanted to appeal to their senses. I wanted to write the kind of posts that would get them excited about new country music or maybe write a review that disagreed with how they felt about a particular country artist.
So far the strategy has worked and CML remains a popular destination for new country music and insight.
There were a couple lessons I learned while writing for HBM and CML. Hopefully the lessons will help you with your business blogging venture.
Maintain The Focus On Your Blog
It’s easy to lose focus of your customer when blogging. It doesn’t happen all the time, but occasionally you’ll find yourself writing about topics that might only interest you. It still happens to me. It’s certainly Ok to do this once in a while, but it’s better to focus on what your audience wants to read.
I’ll give an example and the person it’s about will probably roll their eyes if they read this, but imagine a designer that writes a blog for their business. It makes sense to write with the client in mind, which is likely small business owners or project managers in larger firms. A common issue is getting caught up in the design details and writing a post that would be interesting to other designers, but not to clients.
This can happen in any industry and it’s one of the pitfalls of blogging.
Maintain the focus on your target audience.
Adapt Your Blog’s Focus
One thing I did with CML was to adapt to what the audience was demanding. I had a general idea of what people wanted to read, but as I gained a better understanding of the audience I was able to adapt the topics. This is where analytics become important. You want to analyze the posts that are most popular with your target audience. These might not be your most popular posts overall. You want to focus on the posts that attract the attention of the people that actually pay you.
Use an analytics program (I use Google Analytics) to learn about your readers. You can also interact with people that leave comments or share your articles via social media. Learn what is interesting to your target audience and expand in those areas.
What to Do With Throwaway Ideas
One thing that happens to me is I’ll have an itch to write about something, but I don’t have a blog for it to fit. These could be personal and professional topics, but they just don’t fit here on GBW or any of the other sites. This is why I created a blog at DayneShuda.com. Instead of throwing away certain ideas and forgetting about them I keep them saved for posts on my personal site. Creativity shouldn’t be squashed just because it doesn’t fit with your business blogging audience. Save it for another blog.
You can even turn throwaway ideas into guest posts on other blogs. Do a little searching and find a blog where your idea will make perfect sense for the audience. It will allow your creativity to grow while also exposing you (and your brand) to a brand new audience.
It can be tough to maintain focus when blogging. Make sure you’re writing for the people that pay you. Don’t get distracted by traffic unless it’s traffic from the right people. And if you have great ideas that don’t fit feel free to keep a personal blog or write guest posts.
Do you struggle with blogging focus?
Share your story in the comments and let’s discuss.