All this week, I’m going to be sharing one tip to help you improve your blogging. Although the focus is on Christian blogging, many of the principles will be relevant to blogging in general.
Define your audience
We are told not to label people or put people in boxes. That’s good for interpersonal relationships but not as helpful for blogging.
If you are like me, your original intended audience were human beings with internet access. That’s a bit broad. Perhaps you narrowed it down to a Christian audience. You write about faith and you hoped that people interested in church would read your content. That’s a bit better but not by much.
I will admit that it is sometimes difficult to define our target audience right away. It may take a few months or even a few years of blogging before we really discover our niche. We may have thought that we wanted to target church leaders and then discovered that writing about Christian parenting is what really excites us.
It is okay to shift our focus over time. We should never feel locked in if our original intent ends up leaving us dry. This is an argument for having a fairly general or personal name specific domain rather than niche-specific domain. It might be difficult to switch a blog with knitting and crocheting in the domain into an apologetics website.
When determining the audience, the experts talk about avatars. Don’t get all nervous about Hindu theology. An avatar is the imaginary person that you are seeking. These are some of the questions you might want to ask about your ideal audience:
- Christian or non-Christian?
- Male or female?
- Approximate age?
- Level of education?
- Pastor or layperson?
- Parent, married or single?
Now none of this means that you fail if you reach other people. In fact you will draw interest from people outside your avatar, but this gives you something to target.
Once you have done that, try to determine who you are reaching right now. Hopefully you have already connected Google analytics and you can find some of this information there. You can also do a survey on your blog. If you have a Facebook page, check the insights information there as well.
None of this is meant to be a make-work project. We are all busy enough as it is. The point of this is to have this avatar in our mind as we write our blog posts. Imagine how that person would react to the things that you are writing. Writing for a specific type of person is so much better than just writing the blogosphere in general.
Your challenge is to define your audience by developing an avatar of your ideal reader.
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