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Finding your blog target audience and learning exactly how you can best help them, is the key to writing blog posts that actually solve the challenges of real people—and will show you how to rise above the competition in the long run.
Learning how to find your blog target audience (first) will keep you from wasting time writing blog posts that nobody wants to read, and it’ll show you which topics are going to become more popular over time.
Many new bloggers struggle to learn who their blog target audience is during the blog business planning process, let alone how to actually find them.
This guide will show you exactly how to find your blog target audience, and how to learn more about their most pressing needs. And then we will talk about how to find your blog niche and how to conduct market research to get to know your reader extremely well.
Let’s dive in!
Understanding your audience, their needs, desires, and problems is key to building a relationship. Solving problems is an important component to creating a trusting relationship with your audience.
It all starts with really understanding your audience. Of course, this is vital to the success of your blog overall. You must know who you are writing for, what they want, and how to help them.
One of the first recommended steps to building your blog target audience is to develop a detailed description of your ideal reader. With this description in hand, you can build a blog that suits their needs and generates traffic.
The process was a bit abstract for me, but eventually I realized that someone like ME in the past is my ideal reader!
With that in mind, I always try to tailor my posts, links, and downloads for someone like I was in the past. It has helped focus the direction and cohesion of my blog.
As I mentioned, you want to get to know your ideal reader extremely well.
Understand their daily life, relationships, finances, likes, dislikes, and struggles.
These details will help you develop a list of problems you can help the reader solve.
Jot down a description of your reader and the hurdles they face every week. Start your help list with these challenges.
If you have no idea what they struggle with, then do market research! You HAVE to do market research very often in business and ask your audience what they struggle with on a regular basis. We will talk about how to conduct market research later on.
Use your daily struggles and challenges to help your readers.
If you struggle with time management, research solutions and share what you find with your readers.
Perhaps you are going through the “terrible twos” with your toddler.
As you work through the problem yourself, share solutions with your reader.
Example: I was struggling in the blogging field so as I learned, I documented and wrote about it. I wrote on whatever topic I learned that week and this allowed me to communicate my struggles with my readers and know how they felt too.
Reach out to your readers (more on how to do this in the market research lesson)
Now that you have your audiences feedback it is time to solve those problems.
There are many different ways to approach this:
My favorite way: Blog posts, Podcast Episodes, and Video Masterclasses
Its no secret that video is KING these days. Sure your audience will SKIM a blog post but if they listen to the podcast episode then they will get the FULL information.
If you offer a free masterclass within your posts, you position yourself as an authority, you educate them, you gain a email subscriber AND you funnel them into purchasing your product. More on this when we have our funnel week.
Solving problems or challenges for your readers will keep them coming back.
Suddenly you become a real person, with similar problems, and (most importantly) solutions.
Putting yourself in the reader’s place, you understand how much more you enjoy a blog or post that is relatable and helpful.
Your help and guidance can be funny, heartfelt, or serious – each of these makes you approachable.
And readers love that!
If the above questions are currently swirling around in your mind, you’ve come to the perfect place.
Choosing the “perfect” blog niche is a roadblock I see so many of my students run into when starting their blogging adventure.
It doesn’t have to be this way and it sure doesn’t have to be perfect (because let’s face it, nothing ever is).
SO in this lesson I’m going to share with you how you can find your perfect blogging niche in just 5 simple steps.
But first, we’ve got some groundwork to cover.
Let’s first cover what a niche really is….
A niche: The overarching theme for your blog, the topics you cover in your blog posts, and base your content around.
Your niche is also the demographic (the specific people) you aim to reach with your content and the market in which you want to go into and target your blog posts.
There are endless possibilities when it comes to choosing a niche.
Ultimately, it should be something you’re passionate about and something that you’ll enjoy writing weekly content on.
Having a niche helps to structure your website and make it clear to visitors what your blog’s mission is all about.
Your blog exists to solve other people’s problems.
That’s it. Remember that.
You’re blogging for your audience and not for yourself (if you want your blog to be really profitable that is).
Having a clear blogging niche will help you to build an audience and put you in the expert seat.
You’ll want to become the person they’ll run to when they’re having a problem or need help with something in your niche.
If you’re blogging a little about everything, it’s going to be harder for your audience to look to you as the expert for ALL of those things.
Focus on solving a few problems within one specific niche.
Niching down also helps to build the much-needed trust with your audience – the trust you need in order to be a successful blogger.
The less general of a niche you choose, the better chance you have of becoming a successful and profitable blogger.
The more specific you are about what your blog is about and WHO you are serving the better.
This is how you become the expert in your niche (no diplomas or degrees needed).
You want to be the person that shows up on the first page of Google when someone searches for a topic in your niche.
You also want to be the person your audience can count on for valuable information within your niche.
The more specific and detailed you are about who you are speaking to in your content the better and the more your ideal audience will relate to you and love on your content.
A woman in her 40s who wants to lose weight (the last 10 lbs to be specific) is going to get much more value from a blog that is speaking directly to women in their 40s who want to lose the last 10 lbs than a general weight loss blog.
In conclusion, don’t be too general – focus on connecting, relating to your audience, and most importantly, fixing a problem that they have.
So, how do you uncover the “perfect” niche for your blog?
Follow theses simple steps and get brainstorming!
It’s important that you choose a topic that you’re passionate about and want to learn more about because you’re going to have to write a LOT of content on the topic.
There’s no point in starting a blog on a topic that you have no interest in.
You need to be genuinely interested in your blogging niche.
Your passion for it should come through in the words you choose and how you speak to your audience.
This is an important part of blogging.
You need to care about your content for your audience to care about it.
Consider your strengths and talents.
It might help to ask the people in your life to give you a little guidance if you feel stuck.
Sometimes it might not be clear to ourselves what our strengths are, but to other people, it’s crystal.
Think about what other people come to you for advice on and perhaps let that be an option for a blogging niche.
Consider the person you want to help and what problem you’ll be solving.
Get really clear on your person – the person you’ll be writing and blogging for.
In marketing, this is referred to as your ICA or your Ideal Customer Avatar.
Get to know her.
When I first started The Boss Lady Bloggers, I based my ICA on myself.
This was easy because I knew the problems I had and blogged about the solutions.
Mirroring yourself as your ICA is an easy choice because you know yourself inside and out and she’ll be easier to speak to.
Example of my ICA on Boss Lady Bloggers:
A woman in her late 20s. She’s seeing all these gurus talk about how to make money blogging and how they make 6 figures doing so but the tactics they are teaching aren’t working for her. She’s trying to make money with affiliate marketing, trying to increase her blog traffic with Pinterest and she knows at the end of the day that she is straight up failing. She wants to know how to make a legit profitable blogging business using strategies that actually work and not fluff that other gurus are trying to sell her.
Make it a priority to get to know your ideal customer avatar and have her in the back of your mind whenever you create new content, the way you brand your blog, and the wording you choose.
You’re ICA will likely change, but get to know her sooner than later. You can always change your content strategy. The important thing to know is that your niche and your content exist to help solve a problem and to attract the right people (your people, your ICA).
When you’ve got your overall niche nailed down, try to come up with 3-4 sub-niches that you can base and alternate your weekly content around.
Main niche: Personal development
Sub niches: Mindset, goal setting, self-care, productivity
Sub niches are great to get a better understanding of what your audience is actually interested in and it lets you try a niche within a niche so to speak.
Perhaps you’ll discover that your posts about productivity skyrocket and always tend to do well on Pinterest.
Well, this might be a sign that you should keep going in that direction, fine-tune your niche even more, and focus solely on what is actually working.
Sub niches are also great for when coming up with ideas for your editorial calendar.
If you start out blogging about something very specific, you’re going to run out of ideas rather quickly.
There are only so many posts you can create on self-care for instance.
Let yourself test out different pieces of content in a variety of sub-niches and pay attention to what your audience is interested in and the posts that they’re engaging the most with.
Cast a bigger net to attract the right audience by introducing sub-niches.
Main niche: Blogging
Sub niches: Make Money, Email Lists, Pinterest, Social Media, Blog Content Tips
Main Niche: Health
Sub Niches: Literally any Disease, Addiction, Phobia, Or Illness has a niche and multiple subniches. Depression, Stress, Alcoholism, Anxiety, Diabetes, Cancer, Dementia, Eating Disorders.
Main Niche: Self-Worth
Sub Niches: Emotions, Feelings, Forgiveness, Confidence, Building Relationships/Friendships that Last, Community, Healing, Social Anxiety, People-Pleasing, Negative and Positive Thinking, Motivation, Optimism, Happiness, Joy, Making Friends, Priorities, Success.
Main Niche: Organizing
Sub Niches: Closets, Garages, Pantries, Furniture, Small Spaces, Large Spaces, Kids toys, Hard to Use Spaces, Labels, Simple Living, Downsizing, Minimalism, Finances, Time.
Let me guess, you don’t just want to blog for fun, right?
You eventually want to make some good money with your blog and turn it into a successful business.
That’s what I thought.
It’s always a good idea to start to think of ways you can monetize your chosen niche.
These are important questions to ask yourself before starting a blog and choosing a blogging niche.
You don’t need to know exactly how you’ll monetize your blog just yet, but start to think about it, brainstorm a few ideas and look to your competitors in the same niche.
What are they doing? How are they doing it? Are they successful?
Go to Pinterest and search for other blogs in the niche you’ve settled on and let the market research begin!
The most important thing to consider when choosing a niche is to always have your audience’s interest (and problems) at heart.
Blogging is an ever-evolving thing.
The niche you start out with will likely not be the niche you settle for in the end.
Let your blog visitors guide you and help shape your blog’s content strategy.
Keep an eye on your Google Analytics to see which posts are getting the most traction and clicks to get a better understanding of what kind of content you should be creating more of.
You’re writing for them – not for yourself.
Always remember that.
How do you know that your online service-based business will actually MAKE MONEY?
But, let’s get really “left brain” here for a minute…What proof do you have that your business will ACTUALLY make money?
If you’re like my clients, you’ve done your market research.
And part of that market research is actually making money, so that’s your proof right there!
When I work with clients we NEVER proceed to anything else unless we’ve fully researched, vetted and actually tested the messaging, the launch, the funnel, etc.
That’s why my clients are able to grow their blogs so quickly! They have a strong foundation and proof of concept, so you won’t see them struggling for years to get things up and running, or unfortunately, close up shop.
When I first got the idea of The Blog Growth Lab… I first, TESTED the idea, I asked my audience, I sent out a survey. I did the market research and pre-sold the program before it was even created! I did this to see if my audience would even be interested in the program idea, asked them what they needed to be a YES to jump inside, what they struggled with when it came to blog traffic, and then tested the launch to see if anyone would pay the price for it!
You NEVER need to create an entire course, program, eBook, etc. without selling it FIRST!
Market research is KEY.
You don’t waste all that time (and MONEY!) building a glossy website or spending forever building a course before you even know if people are going to be willing to hand over their credit card to you for that service or product that you offer.
By doing this in the beginning, it will help you:
Truthfully, the most successful and profitable online business ideas all start with this critically important step.
So, how do you conduct market research for a new business, so you can make money as an online entrepreneur?
Go ahead and Google to see what kind of competition is out there for you. A lot of new bloggers and small biz owners have this misperception that if other people are doing what they thought about doing, then they shouldn’t even bother.
But the opposite is true! If you see that there are a lot of people providing the kind of solution or service that you want to offer, it’s actually a really GREAT indicator that there’s a demand for it. You can always improve upon the service that somebody else is providing.
Also, start researching the search terms that people use around your topic, and you can look for Google and YouTube search terms that’ll help show you there is a demand for a solution to that specific problem.
When people are typing online, they’re able to edit what they’re saying. But when they’re having a conversation, the real truth comes out!
That’s why it’s so valuable to talk to people directly.
First, reach out to some people that would be the potential person to buy your product or service or read your blog. Let them know that you just have a couple of quick questions and you would appreciate it so much if you could take ten minutes of their time.
A) What’s the gap between where you are and where you want to be? (How do THEY describe what they’re going through?)
B) How does that make you feel?
C) What would an ideal solution look like?
D) How would that change things for you? Why is it so important?
E) What has made this difficult for you to solve on your own?
F) How much would you be willing to pay?
You want to send out a long form survey to your email list or to a few people who would be your potential client, blog reader, or customer.
I will put an example of a survey I did in the text below this video and I will also be putting a resource for interview and survey questions at the end of this module for you to easily come up with market research Q’s.
Basically you ask them the same questions as you would in the interview but people will be typing their answers which is still effective.
Survey your audience with IG story polls!
Ask them the same Q’s you would in the survey and interview and see what they say!
If you’ve been actively listening to these people and getting clear on what it is they want, what problem they want solved, how they perceive that, and how they describe that…
You should be able to turn that into an offer, present it to somebody, and have them say ‘YES.’
If you’re just starting out, you may not have the testimonials (or the “social proof”) to really prove that you are able to deliver the solution you promised, and so you may be charging a low price in the beginning…That’s okay!
This is just market testing. You want to demonstrate that a few people will say ‘yes’ to your specific offer, so that you can prove it’s worthwhile to move forward with your business (and gain some testimonials in the process!).
Market research is KEY to blogging and business success.
If you want to sell ANYTHING to your audience you need to know what they struggle with, what their goals are, and you need to know the exact language and phrases they use to describe these struggles and goals.
You can then make your ideal audience feel like you’re in their head… and if someone feels like you understand them on a deeper level, they will connect with you and buy from you!
Don’t skip the market research! Do the work! And survey your audience often!
Have you found any (more) creative ways of finding your target audience?
Even though I’ve been blogging here for many years, I’m always working to improve—and one of the best ways to do that is feedback from my audience 🙂
What questions do you have that I didn’t cover in this guide?
Lover of words, passionate pen pal, and former news columnist helping businesses tell their story.