You want your blog to be successful, right? (Doesn’t everyone?) Whatever your definition of “success” looks like, you’re going to need to figure out who your ideal reader is. After all, your blogs success hinges on your audience.
So, how do you figure out who your ideal reader is? Well, the good news is it’s up to you what that person looks like! We need to be as specific as possible, though, so we make sure we’re getting the best of the best for your blog!
Let’s get started, shall we?
1 | Decide what you want to write about.
In order to discover your ideal reader, we need to really solidify your niche. This can take a bit of time (it took me almost two years!) but it’s so worth it once you do.
Let’s start with the basics. What do you want to write about? Food? Travel? Lifestyle? Design? Be as general as you need to be at first.
These labels are good for categorizing bloggers, but they don’t really tell you what you are actually writing about every day. Sure, you could be writing about food. But what about food? There are so many types of food bloggers out there, so we need to get more specific.
What are you really excited to share? Try to stick with no more than 2-3 categories.
If you’re a food blogger, these could be recipes and kitchen tips. If you’re a travel blogger, you could go with locations, packing tips, and budget tips.
I consider myself a design blogger, and my categories are blogging, design, and feminism.
See how we’re getting a bit more specific? This is helpful when we get to our next step.Find your ideal reader the easy way--with this worksheet!Click To Tweet
2 | Figure out what stage of the process you’re helping with.
We’re off to a good start, but now we’re getting more specific. We’ve figured out what you want to write about. Now let’s figure out what your ideal reader wants to read about.
So you’ve decided that you’re a food blogger. Awesome! And you only want to share paleo and gluten-free recipes. Great! So, what stage of the paleo “process” is your audience at? Are you working with readers who have just decided to adopt a paleo diet? Or have they been on it for years and need some variety in their food choices?
Can you see how this dictates what you’re writing about? If your ideal reader is just starting out, they’re going to need helpful information about what they can have, what they can’t have, and strategies to stick with the paleo diet. If they’ve been on the paleo diet for a few years, that information isn’t going to be necessary. They’re going to want creative ideas that they haven’t thought of before.
An important thing to consider here is your own experience level. If you’ve been on the paleo diet for six months, you probably shouldn’t cater your content to people who’ve been on the paleo diet for two years. You just don’t have the expertise they might be looking for.
And that’s fine! You know what you do have expertise in? How to start the paleo diet. What worked for you, what didn’t, some staple recipes you love. That stuff would be super helpful for someone just starting out!
3 | Research what questions people at that stage are asking.
Now that we know what information your ideal reader needs, it’s time to figure out how they’re trying to find it.
Think back to when you were at that stage. What questions were you asking? Where were you asking it? Google? Pinterest?
Where are people who are currently at this stage hanging out? Twitter? Facebook groups?
Don’t just pay attention to what questions they’re asking, but also how they’re asking it. This will be especially helpful as you’re trying to optimize your content for search engines.
You don’t want to fill your posts with jargon if your audience doesn’t understand what those words mean. Not only will it make it difficult for them to read your content, but it will also make it difficult for them to find your content.
If you’re searching for “how to change the icon at the top of the internet browser,” I shouldn’t title my post “how to change your favicon.” You have no idea what “favicon” means, so that’s not what you’re going to type into Google.
4 | Create a profile of your ideal reader.
Now for the fun part: creating a profile for your ideal reader!
I find it helpful to imagine them as a person. What’s her name? Age? Job? Relationship status? What scares her? What excites her?
All of these things are important to keep in mind. It may not seem like it, but it will help! Every time I’m writing (including this post), I keep my ideal reader in mind. I pretend I’m writing the post just for her.
Is your ideal reader a college student who’s just setting out on their own and needs major help with this whole grocery-shopping-and-cooking-for-yourself thing? (#beenthere).
Or maybe they’re a twentysomething who wants to travel the world but has loads of student loan debt that prevents them from eating out more than twice per month, let alone traveling anywhere. (#mylife)
This is what you want to know! Even if it doesn’t exactly relate to your topic, it will help you connect with them and relate to them with your content.
So, how do you create this profile? Well, good news! I’ve created a worksheet for you to fill out, because I like making things easy for you. Check it out!
Got it downloaded? Awesome! Just go through the worksheet, answer the questions, and (if you feel so inclined…) draw a little picture of what they look like.
5 | Cater to that profile whenever you create content.
- any type of content
- always keep this person in mind
- not just what information they need, but how they try to find it
Now that you know exactly who your ideal reader is, it’s time to create all of that awesome content for them!
And I’m not just talking blog post content here. I’m talking any content you’re putting out. Blog posts. Social media posts. Content upgrades. Anything.
Whatever you’re creating keep that ideal reader in mind! Hang up the profile you created right above your desk so they’re always on your mind. What information will they find helpful? What situations are they struggling with? Write about these things.
I promise, the more you get to know your ideal reader, the easier it will be to come up with blog post ideas.
And as you’re writing it all, don’t forget: write your content using their terms, not yours. If you’re not using their language, they’re not going to find you!
Feeling more confident with your blog? You should be! Take some time to fill out your ideal reader profile and keep that person in mind whenever you’re creating new content. Find out where they hang out, and share your stuff there!
You can do it!