Our Target Audience - Aiming For The Bulls Eye

When we start blogging, we often don’t think of WHO we’re writing for. We just want visitors.

Niche or non niche – it doesn’t matter.

Then, when we receive a comment or two, and the dynamics of blogging changes.

We want more of that interaction and validation from others so we begin visiting other blogs.

If done right, in no time we can build up a fair size community of bloggers who are reading our work, leaving comments, Tweeting and/or Stumbling our posts.

But we often forget to ask ourselves, “Are other bloggers our target audience?”

Today’s Lesson

When I started blogging, I was writing on two blogs simultaneously. This one, and Observation Mountain (OM).

For this one, I knew other bloggers would be my target audience, however, for OM, I saw the audience being more the “general population” – people who might be searching for unpaid product reviews, ways to get a more organized, how to…, and/or help with finding links to reliable sites. Knowing many of those readers are looking for information not interaction, I’ve learned to accept the fact that blog won’t be populated with a lot of comments.

Having two blogs that are so different, reminds me how as bloggers, we often forget to ask if we are reaching our target audience.

To do so, we can ask ourselves the following questions:

1) Who is our intended audience?

    a) Is it other bloggers?
    b) Is it people who aren’t apt to comment, or in some cases, don’t even know they CAN leave a comment? Or don’t know how to leave a comment?
    c) Are we writing for a specific demographic? Or will our writing apply to anyone who may be searching online for our specific topic?

2) How do we measure the success of our blog?

    a) By the number of comments we receive on a post?
    b) By the number of visits, page views, our bounce rate, number of subscribers and/or our earnings (if we advertise)?
    c) Or, do none of the numbers matter and success is an internal feeling?

3) How can we reach our target audience?

    a) Should we be spending time courting other bloggers to visit us, or might our time be used more wisely?
    b) Are we using SEO ( search engine optimization) to reach our intended audience?
    c) Are we imitating what others are doing because it works for them, instead of testing other techniques and/or social networking sites that might work better for us?

Many bloggers wrongly assume blogging success is measured by the number of comments a blog/post receives, when in fact, a blog can be very successful without comments or a community of fellow bloggers.

What do you think?

Today’s Assignment

Do you know who your target audience is?

If so, do you think you’re reaching them?

Do you ever feel you are spending too much time socializing with other bloggers and not concentrating on reaching those whom you’re actually writing for?

Raise your hand and let’s talk about this.

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  1. LanceNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,
    Getting to know other bloggers on this journey I’ve been through blogging has been deeply satisfying for me. However, I have thought recently about my target audience, and am I reaching who I desire to reach? I think I am in a way – yet there are so many others out there I’m missing. The key being how to bring these new people in. It’s probably in attracting visitors in some different way. I’m not sure what that is right now, however reading here today I’m reminded that it’s probably good for me to travel down some others paths, and see where they lead as well..

    Thanks much for this Barbara, it really has me thinking about who I’m writing for.
    .-= Check out Lance´s awesome post: Sunday Thought For The Day =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Lance – You’re welcome.

      I know what you’re saying. In one sense, if we land in certain communities of bloggers, we can appeal to most of them, but when we think of expanding our reach, that’s where more analysis is needed. It’s a matter of finding which tool works best for attracting the audience we hope to appeal to.

      Keep me posted on how your search goes.

  2. Good morning, Barbara. Cool post idea.

    Altho my comments are mostly all from fellow bloggers, my stats show roughly 80% of non-commenters out there too, and a lot of them return. So how to attract more?

    I’m finding that Stumble Upon under the Weblogs channel is packed with shiny nuggets on how to really up your readership and attract visitors who are not necessarily bloggers. One can get pretty creative. SEO ideas can be capitalized upon. So, for now I’m going to keep exploring Stumble Upon to the max, concentrate on it and see how it can work for me.
    .-= Check out Jannie Funster´s awesome post: Favorite video from my CD release show =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Jannie – Thank you.

      StumbleUpon can work wonders for some blogs. If you can get to know who the top Stumblers are, that’s beneficial, too.

      I’m guessing for your blog, Stumble would be a great match.

      With regard to the 80%, check your stats further and see if they are finding you via search engines, social networks or other. If one source is sending you the bulk of the visitors you might try targeting that source even harder.

  3. This is a great topic and something I definitely need to give more thought to. I’m really glad you brought it up!
    .-= Check out Positively Present´s awesome post: what lies beyond greatness =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Dani.

      Yes, we do need to concentrate on who we’re writing for. Although fellow bloggers are commenting, you may need focus closer on those who you’re trying to target.

  4. Debbie YostNo Gravatar says:

    Do you know who your target audience is? Yes and no. I really want to reach people out there who don’t blog, but I also enjoy the friendships I have made with other bloggers. I think of this question a lot and I’m still searching for the answer.

    If so, do you think you’re reaching them? Not sure. Because that group most likely does not leave comments, you really don’t know if you are reaching them. I would really like to see my stat numbers go up a little more, but I know I have a lot of competition out there.

    Do you ever feel you are spending too much time socializing with other bloggers and not concentrating on reaching those whom you’re actually writing for? Sometimes.
    .-= Check out Debbie Yost´s awesome post: Childhood Memories =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Debbie,

      I realize the mommy/daddy blogs do have a lot of competition. With you writing and knowing about Down syndrome, that might be the way to tighten your niche and attract more parents who are in the same situation as you. SEO might be the way to go.

      Remember, just because you’re not receiving comments does not mean your work is not being read. Your stats will tell you where the visitors are coming from and which posts they’re landing on.

  5. LindaNo Gravatar says:

    You do have a knack for thinking topics! I am not sure I am reaching the audience intended but they are coming by and reading, not commenting. I am not sure how to reach the “other” traffic. Getting to know other bloggers has been enriching along with learning more about the web. So, onward we go!
    .-= Check out Linda´s awesome post: The Green Power of SunCatchers =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Linda,

      These questions are part of my analytical side. 🙂

      I agree, meeting and greeting other bloggers is very enriching. For you to reach your target audience, as I mentioned to Debbie, SEO should do the trick. Your content is so unique, anyone who is interested in green living would be thrilled to find you.

      Although your writings may not appeal to the masses, what you share would beneficial to anyone who is looking to live in an environmentally friendly way.

      You might also try finding other “green” blogs and commenting on those. That would be a great way to expand your reach and possibly gain more readers.

  6. TracyNo Gravatar says:

    My personal blog is very much driven by my personality (heh, imagine that) so my target audience is anyone who’d want to be my friend and I’d like to have over for drinks, karaoke and dancing.

    Which is like 93% of the planet, so massive room for growth.

    I’m exploring using facebook to get more “just folks” type visitors.
    .-= Check out Tracy´s awesome post: A bunch of random items =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Tracy,

      FaceBook is something I’m not familiar with, so you’ll have to keep me updated on your progress. With it being so popular, I’m guessing if you could tap that audience, your readership would skyrocket.

      Just keep writing more “chicken in a can” posts and you’ll be reaping the rewards. 🙂

  7. BunnygotblogNo Gravatar says:

    Hello Barbara,
    I had more younger women reading my series,on Women in Mathematics.
    I noticed that immediately.
    I write for women more in mind but have both genders reading and leaving comments.Which is very nice.
    My target audience has no restrictions or limitations.
    I have had a reader say in a comment that it was her first time commenting on a blog. That was very heart warming.
    I only socialize with a few of bloggers.very little time for that. The ties are strong and we often debate on each others blogs. Love that! It doesn’t happen enough, work and life gets in the way.
    I am lucky that I make it to class on time : )
    .-= Check out Bunnygotblog´s awesome post: Advertising Towards Dummies: Interview With An Advertising Professional =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Bunny,

      Yep. You made it to class before the bell. 🙂

      That is nice when someone comments for the first time on our blog. Whatever she read must have moved her to share her thoughts. Good job!

      Socializing with other bloggers can be very time consuming. Knowing your readership is more than just bloggers, it sounds like you’re utilizing your time real well.

  8. Oh, a little something funny occured to me. I wonder if this post’s title will see people arriving on your site via searches for archery? Target, bull’s eye. May be, eh?
    .-= Check out Jannie Funster´s awesome post: Why we usually eat at home =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi again Jannie,

      After I read your comment, I looked to see if it was attracting the wrong audience. No hits for archery or bulls eye yet, so hopefully I won’t get too far off target with this one.

  9. Barbara – this post is such an important read for folks. It’s very easy to get so wrapped up in an inspired writing session that we lose sight of the audience we’re trying to attract.

    I’m not saying that it’s bad to go off on tangents – as our lives are filled with detours – both right and left!

    However, it’s always a good idea to read over your blog posts before publishing to be sure we’re still keying in on the group or market niche we’re shooting for.
    .-= Check out Kevin Sandridge´s awesome post: Florida Mortgage Rate Update for the Week of July 13, 2009 =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Kevin,

      That’s very true. When we blog we’re often so excited to share we forget what we’re sharing has nothing to do with our particular niche (if we have one).

      For those writers who enjoy sharing personal stories, or articles that have nothing to do with their main blog, having a second blog might be the ticket.

  10. My blog is a year and a half old and I’m just grasping what my audience needs. The great part is the readers are becoming more engaged. That’s what I want, people who passionately care about work happiness.

    I still have a long way to go, but each week I get a little my smarter.
    .-= Check out Karl Staib – Work Happy Now´s awesome post: How do I make my people happy? =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Karl,

      It does take time to figure out how to appeal to a greater audience. Being happy at work, and/or creating a happy environment, is almost like a new concept (with a few exceptions). Once the idea catches on, you’ll be at the head of the pack with all you have in your archives.

      Targeting small business owners might also help to increase your readership, since you share what some of the big boys do to keep their employees happy and productive.

  11. This has changed for me over the past few months. I love my community of bloggers, and I continue to participate in it, but my main target audience is people who search for info on Google. This is a VERY different audience than bloggers.
    .-= Check out Vered – MomGrind´s awesome post: Low Rise Jeans: Five Reasons To Hate Them, One Reason To Love Them =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Vered,

      You’re so right. Search engine traffic can be the complete opposite of bloggers. They want information at their finger tips, often don’t comment and may not even look at our blogs to see what other information we’re providing. It’s like they’re on a mission.

  12. janiceNo Gravatar says:

    This is a scrumptious topic, Barbara. Thank you. I like the ones that ask the big, important questions.

    At the moment, my target audience is anyone who fancies or needs a bit of soulfood, support and connection in the length of time it takes to have a quick coffee break. I thought when I started that because of my own situation and what I write that I’d get visitors who are coaches, parents, homemakers or writers, but the range of folk who’ve visited or forwarded my posts continues to stun me. The messiness of my niches and the serendiptous nature of the posts makes my blog an SEO nightmare, but I don’t really mind at the moment. I’m still at the novelty stage where every new subscriber, returning reader, link, tweet or stumble is a thrill!
    .-= Check out janice´s awesome post: How to Breathe Life Into Your Writing =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Janice,

      I’m happy to hear you like the big questions and are still enjoying the thrill of comments, tweets and/or Stumbles. I’ve been doing this for over two years and the magic of those things hasn’t faded. 🙂

      One thing about SEO is even if you only use it on a post or two, those posts can become very popular and bring in a steady stream of traffic. Although they may not read all of your work, chances are a few might dig around and become a regular.

  13. Hi Barbara – I’d say our target audience at PassingThru is anyone who is interested in all the stuff that we are. And that’s a lot of different stuff. We are diversifying into several different niches, but that has more to do with monetization schematics than anything. PassingThru will continue to be very much like it already is. We think that’s okay. Thought-provoking topic as usual!
    .-= Check out Betsy Wuebker´s awesome post: MORE FROM LINMAR GARDENS =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Betsy,

      Thank you. When I landed on your blog, it was what I found in your header that caught me attention – Alaska, Michigan, etc. I was hooked and wanted to read more. The variety of your topics only enhances that which you’ve built your blog around.

  14. TumblemooseNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara,

    I think that to some extent the measurement of success is based on individual goals for their blog.

    I think a good strategy is to stretch your wings a bit every now and then – go out ans seek/comment on a few blogs in your niche that you’ve not visited before. Comment consistently (say, a week) on their blog and usually a relationship develops.

    Cheers

    George
    .-= Check out Tumblemoose´s awesome post: 10 Amazing, Wonderful and Cool Typewriters =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi George,

      That’s true. When we visit and comment on others blogs in our niche, we’re more apt to attract the attention of the author(s) plus their readers. It’s a great way to increase our exposure and readership, as well.

  15. Evelyn LimNo Gravatar says:

    I believe that my intended audience hardly ever comments on my site. In fact, those who decide to comment – other than bloggers – are my clients first. So having a long blog commenting list is non-indicative of a blogger’s reach really. Nevertheless, having a community is nice to have. It gives my site a sense of “life”.
    .-= Check out Evelyn Lim´s awesome post: Life Between Lives Regression Therapy Review =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Evelyn,

      Yes, comments do give a blog “life”. For the new readers to our sites, reading those comments may also inspire them to subscribe and/or become part of the community.

      And yes, even though a blog has a lot of comments does not mean it has a long reach, although it usually means it has a great community of like minded folk.

  16. DavinaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara. When I started blogging my niche was “just me”. It’s still just me, however… having said that, recently I’ve been wanting to send a more specific message. I believe that once “my place” is more defined, the writing will have more purpose than just to satisfy my muse. I want to make a difference. And so, while I continue to enjoy connecting with other bloggers, I am working behind the scenes on developing a more unique focus within the personal development arena. It’s taken a year to feel this was the “right” thing to do and it’s something that I’m content to let unfold.
    .-= Check out Davina´s awesome post: To Smile A Smile =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Davina,

      You know, you’ve brought up a great point. Sometimes our blogs will guide us in a direction we hadn’t thought of going. Sometimes it’s due to the comments we receive and sometimes it’s part of our growth process. It’s a matter of listening to our muse, following our heart and enjoying the journey each step of the way.

  17. J.D. MeierNo Gravatar says:

    Very good questions and I still need to refine.

    Audience really is a strategic decision of who’s in and who’s out. That’s a good thing — you really do want good fits over round pegs in square holes.

    Ironically, one of my mentors reminded me my strength is helping anybody in any situation make the most of what they’ve got. I think there’s an additional key to it, though. I think my sweet spot is people who value profound knowledge for mind, body, emotions, career, financial, relationships, and fun.

    I’m still torn because part of me wants to help underdogs get exponential results. Another part of me wants to take good to great. Maybe it’s as simple as my audience is life long learners?

    One thing that’s helped me is focusing on “proven practices.” I think it’s a distinction and it puts on the emphasis on applied techniques. I’m still unfolding the path forward. Or is it onward and upward? …
    .-= Check out J.D. Meier´s awesome post: 12 Practices for Improving Likeability =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you J.D.

      I see your blog as being “all of the above”.

      I do think you nailed it with “…people who value profound knowledge for mind, body, emotions, career, financial, relationships, and fun.”

      Onward and upward….. 🙂

  18. Hi Barbara,
    It’s funny you post this because I’m in the process of doing a little reinventing on my blog. I’m keeping the name but changing the tag line and maybe the photo.

    I love the connections I’m making and at times when we only worry about SEO we focus more on making money and less on the relationships necessary to sell anything in the first place.

    Thanks for making me think a little deeper.
    .-= Check out Tess The Bold Life´s awesome post: 75 Ways To Make The World A Better Place =-.

    • The purpose of my blog is straight forward. I provide practical marketing advice for home business owners.

      I launched my website last year after our daughter was scammed out of thousands of dollars on the internet. I figured if it could happen to her it could happen to anyone. The goal of my site is to provide legitimate work opportunities and e-business advice.

      I launched my marketing blog this year as an outgrowth of my website.

      While I love getting comments and subscribers, I rely on analytics to determine traffic numbers and time spent on my blog. These measurements confirm what Ken Evoy has been preaching for years: because blog posts are filed by date, blog visitors are less likely to go through previous posts. They assume earlier articles are out-of-date.

      Also, I opted for a free marketing platform, which makes indexing by topic impossible.

      I’ve had two of my blog posts featured in other publications. I’ve only been approached by one publisher concerning an article on my website.
      .-= Check out Elaine Garrett´s awesome post: Marketing Trends | Relationship Marketing =-.

      • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

        Hi Elaine,

        It sounds like what you’re doing is working fabulously. To be approached by a publication to have more of your work showcased is a real honor.

        I do agree, some readers won’t sift through our archives, but in case they do, it’s good to have them easily accessible.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Tess,

      You’re welcome. Changing the tag line of our blogs is a great way to let our readers know what we will be sharing, plus can also help with SEO. Although we shouldn’t be writing for search engines, our tag line is something to consider when we are thinking of our target audience.

  19. VincentNo Gravatar says:

    Target audience? One blogs for the world. One of the things I do on my blog occasionally is a thousand-word section of childhood memoirs. A man in New Zealand recently. He has been trying for years to discover something about his long-lost grandfather, who happened to be my stepfather. I could never have targeted that audience!
    .-= Check out Vincent´s awesome post: What I want to see in the world =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Vincent,

      Oh my gosh. That’s fabulous.

      You’re right. You could have never targeted a long lost relative. Just hearing your story makes me realize just how powerful having a blog and getting our name “out there” can be beneficial.

  20. Hi Barbara,

    I finally found my way to your site. Please know I have been meaning to get here but life is so busy and I get sidetracked at times. However, better late than never.

    I think you raise some interesting points. Many posts that I had which did not have many comments, ended up being more read than the posts that did have lots of comments. So you can never can tell what make a post successful. It truly depends on the content and if it really resonates with a reader.

    When I started my blog, it was intended to just focus on health and wellness. I planned to write very few posts on spirituality and happiness. Within two months, everyone was telling me that they liked the spirituality and happiness posts better. So I switched and now I write about those things all the time. And I love it because those are two topics which really are important to me. I took it for granted that everyone knew what I knew. Shows you how clueless I was.

    I think blogging is like a river, you just have to go with the flow and see where it takes you. I think we know when we have hit upon the right thing. 🙂
    .-= Check out Nadia – Happy Lotus´s awesome post: Hanging Out With the Saltwater Buddha =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Nadia,

      It’s great to see you here. You know, what you said is so true. Our readers are often our guides. What we think will be popular is often not the case. It’s when we take time to listen to our readers we often find the niche they crave. How lucky you are to have commenters who feel comfortable enough to voice their honest opinions and guide you teach more about spirituality and happiness. It doesn’t get any better than that, does it?

  21. elmotNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara! Its been quite a while since I got reading your posts here on you blog again. Got lots of tinkering tasks lately on my blog after transfering at last on a self hosted blog.

    I guess, to join in the discussion. I see my target audience basically as those who are interested about blogging at the same time about social issues. These two topics are somewhat a little bit not really related but I try to fused the two to impart to readers a sense of social awareness.

    Measuring blogging success: at this point, I see success on my blogging for each post on having generated a healthy discussion and not just commenting; gain friends and make blogging relationships, and hopefully and rise in traffic.
    .-= Check out elmot´s awesome post: The Blogger Who Showered Me With Stars =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Elmot,

      That’s a great idea to blend two topics that affect bloggers on a daily basis. Although many may think blogging and social issues have nothing to do with each other, blogs are often used to raise the level of our consciousness, thus inspiring us to do our part.

  22. I always said – if you don’t have a target audience you’re writing for noone. Because you can’t please everyone and if you try you will probably fail.
    .-= Check out Stancje Wroclaw´s awesome post: Wroc?aw 15.07.2009: Mam do wynaj?cia =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Stancje,

      That is so true. We cannot please everyone. Like you said, writing for a target audience is important. We can hope what we share will enlighten some.

  23. ElizaNo Gravatar says:

    Do you know who your target audience is? – women age 40 – 60ish who use the internet to keep themselves informed on health (physical and spiritual)

    If so, do you think you’re reaching them? – too early to say, except I am definitely reaching my fellow bloggers in that demographic. My goal is to include non-bloggers.

    Do you ever feel you are spending too much time socializing with other bloggers and not concentrating on reaching those whom you’re actually writing for? – this is a tough one, eh? Partly because it’s so much darn fun interacting with my fellow bloggers. However, I have started commenting on forums that have nothing to do with bloggers, but I know have participants in my target demographic. For example, home decorating, gardening. Again, too early to tell if that is bringing in traffic.
    .-= Check out Eliza´s awesome post: Dating after 40 really isn’t that bad =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Eliza,

      Your new blog definitely has a targeted audience. By you participating in forums where the 40+ females hang out is a great way to gain their attention and to show your expertise, as well.

      Ironically your blog would be a great one for males to read, too. It could give them a greater understanding of what women face as we age and how we deal with those issues.

  24. PatriciaNo Gravatar says:

    I am still a novice on all these things, but that is ok, because I am still delighted to have so many people read what I write each week. I don’t get lots and lots of comments, but I do get comments that add to the post and the conversation, which I think is important.

    I use my blog to have a voice and to inspire.

    I am very happy that even though numbers have dropped a bit, most folks who drop by are reading 2.8 pages of my writing…

    Hope you have a good time off and it is not just other work adventures – I too am leaving town very soon and I know I need to do this – perspective and relaxation are vital to writing quality.
    .-= Check out Patricia´s awesome post: Part II: The case for Eliminating Wall Street =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Patricia,

      Understanding all there is to blogging takes time. And in all honesty, I don’t know if we ever learn it all, as it seems to change so fast.

      Knowing you have loyal readers is half the battle. As time passes, I’m guessing you’ll see your numbers increase. Although not everyone is commenting, they definitely find inspiration in your voice. Keep doing what you’re doing. Being true to yourself is what makes your blog such a joy to read.

      P.S. Yes. I did have a great time when I was off. Some was work related, but most was relaxation – hopefully you’ll experience the same on your vacation. 🙂

  25. Hi Barbara. You make some good points here. Our target market are bloggers, but to narrow it down a little more, new bloggers. I’ve found that developing landing pages and reaching out to those “lookers” converts much better than visiting and commenting with other bloggers who are already established.

    Now in the secondary market, connecting with existing bloggers is great because they need things like upgrades, repairs, security enhancements, etc.
    .-= Check out John Hoff – WpBlogHost´s awesome post: 1 Great Reason to Use blip.tv vs. YouTube for Videos =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi John,

      As I think of all you have to offer, not only with your business but with your blog, I see your target audience being all non techie bloggers. With things changing so fast, and blogs getting hacked, I’m guessing it’s a major endeavor to stay abreast of the security issues.

      Although we can do some of the stuff ourselves, it’s nice to know we have a blogger friend like you who empathizes with us when we encounter problems, and won’t talk over our heads. To me, that’s what makes you and your business unique. I like that.

  26. very useful article! stop & think!
    many people think the popularity is meassured with the numbers of comments. the truth is that less then 10% from the readers leave comments.
    better way to find how popular is your blog, is to use your analytics account effective. so, by yourself you can see how many people visited your pages, where they come from, how long stayed in your blog, how many retunrning visitors do you have, which refering sites have they used etc.
    if smbd wants to show the readers how popular is his site, he just could posts pistures from google analytics about statistics of his visitors.
    many people have blogs just “for image” – a normal profile like these in facebook, twitter, myspace etc. the only difference is that you have in other social networks less then 140 characters and while blogging you have millions of characters.
    but who actually has time to read all the ton of information?
    .-= Check out addicted to life´s awesome post: Favourite pictures from www =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Addicted,

      That’s true. Our statistics do show what’s really going on. Comments and/or subscribers only show us part of the picture.

      Blogs do supply tons of information, don’t they? Now all we need is time to take it all in….

  27. I had a particular target audience in mind when I first started blogging, but it changed in my first few weeks. My blog’s target audience was going to be the same target audience for the Green and Chic web store, but this isnt the case. Though the blog is linked to the store, most of my customers are from organic traffic not from the blog itself and vice versa.

    Right now, most of my blog’s traffic comes from Google and the rest are fellow bloggers and and out of my niche.
    .-= Check out carla | green and chic´s awesome post: Guest Post: Eco-Designers Embrace Full Figures =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Carla,

      Isn’t that amazing how that works? What we think will happen, often doesn’t. It goes back to blogs taking on a personality of their own. Often our predictions are totally off base. Who knew?

  28. Petra NorrisNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara, I’m trying to combine my blog writings – real estate, hyper-local, and some personal. Being diverse is key to reach out to my readers, not only the ones interested in Real Estate, readers interested in my town and of course readers wanting to know me before contacting when looking for a Realtor(r).
    .-= Check out Petra Norris´s awesome post: Lakeland Homes for Sale – Bi-weekly Update on New Listings 06/28/09 – 07/12/09 =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Petra,

      I can see how diversity can be beneficial for you. If someone is looking for a Realtor and have you and dozens of others to choose from, chances are they’ll choose you if you’re willing to show them more of who you are, what you believe in, and how your experience can help them.

      When you meet your clients in person, many will feel they already know you. Your blog is acting as an “ice breaker” – great idea!

  29. CynthiaNo Gravatar says:

    Good suggestions here. I have no idea what makes a blog more successful except time. It seems it takes a while for search engines to pull it. The more articles we write help too. The blogging community though sure is supportive. I am having fun visiting other bloggers sites.

    Thanks for sharing!
    .-= Check out Cynthia´s awesome post: Hurry Up and Relax! =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Cynthia,

      You’re welcome.

      You’re right. The search engines can be slow indexing our articles and getting them in front of our target audience. Visiting other blogs, meeting other bloggers and commenting is a great way to make an entry into blogosphere and speed up “getting found”.

  30. Barbara,

    I am really LATE for this party. My finger hurts from scrolling down. On the other hand, being late allows me to see all the conversations that have preceded me. I always get so much out reading the comments to your posts. They give me so many different perspectives.

    I used to spend a lot of time trying to figure out who my target audience is. I finally realized my audience is be the people who stop by my site, even if they don’t leave a comment. It’s taken me a long time to realize I write simply because I love to write. Don’t get me wrong, I love comments, they just aren’t the driving force for me:~)
    .-= Check out Sara B. Healy´s awesome post: HAPPY NEWS: Read all about it! =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Sara,

      The party never ends here. 🙂

      Your words made me think of how some blogs don’t have a “targeted” audience. If a blog author is writing because they love to write (and share), whomever comes along and reads and enjoys your writings is your audience whether they comment or not.

      It reminds me of what Vincent (see comment above) said. He blogs for the world.

  31. Hi Barbara — thanks for this post. My site certainly has a multiple-personality aspect to it, I’ve been seeing recently, as I’ve got this blog which is read by people into general personal development, and then I’ve got the people specifically interested in career development or productivity who find me through search engines or links from articles and they mostly sign up for my list. I wonder if it would be helpful to me to try to bring the two closer together in some way, or emphasize one more.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Chris,

      You’re welcome.

      Bringing your two audiences closer together might be beneficial, or as Nadia said (see above comment), her readers told her which direction they preferred she go.

      With search engine traffic it’s often difficult to know what they would like to see more of (as they may not comment), but if your articles are being linked to or found by the search engines, it sounds like you’re attracting those whom you’re writing for.

      Keep in mind you’re also attracting bloggers due to the fact you’re commenting on many blogs. It’s easy to get other bloggers who comment confused with whom we’re actually targeting. Many bloggers will follow us no matter what we write (due to the loyal nature of some bloggers), so just keep that in mind when you contemplate making a shift in your writing.

  32. “Do you ever feel you are spending too much time socializing with other bloggers and not concentrating on reaching those whom you’re actually writing for?”

    I have wondered about exactly this. My blog and site are my only means of bringing attention to my book – and as a severely disabled person with limited productive hours who’s completely housebound, it’s about all I can do.

    So I really want to reach individuals most likely to take an interest in the religion and spirituality section of bookstores…

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Paul,

      Unfortunately when we blog, we often forget to use other means to promote our work. With you trying to promote a book on religion and spirituality, I would suggest doing what Eliza (see above comment) does. Frequent forums where your target audience would go. You might also use a social networking site like Twitter or FaceBook and target others in your same niche. In my travels through blogosphere (and Twitterland). I find it to be a two way street with many willing to help each other.

  33. I agree with you, the very lifeblood of a blog is of course traffic and its readers. Your audience will definitely make your entire blog a success. If you always provide fresh, up to date, and valuable content, then expect a barrage of loyal readers. 🙂

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Spinal,

      Isn’t that the truth? Fresh and valuable content will draw readers in and keep them coming back for more. 🙂

  34. It’s funny how some people have no idea who they’re writing for. It’s like one post looks like it’s for 13-years old and the next one is about retirement plans. You need to decide on one group or you’ll lose everyone.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Vailant,

      For niche blogs, that’s very true. Landing on a blog that claims it’s about “xyz” but talks about “abc” will only confuse a reader. If a blogger chooses to write random articles, it’s best to choose a name and/or tag line that describes just that.

  35. Cath LawsonNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara – At one time, I would have said I was looking mostly for Google traffic. But there is huge value in being part of a community and it really can contribute towards the success of a blog – especially with everyone using social networks.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Catherine,

      You’ve raised a great point. If we only write for search engines, it’s unlikely we’ll attract a community of fellow bloggers. Choosing which way to go often becomes a struggle as in most cases, we don’t get both.

  36. I consider myself very lucky with the audience that I had aquired for my blogging post discussions, they are all very intelligent and interesting people, they make you think, and they cause deep admiration in me about some of the stuff they say.
    The point is that I have never ever planed how to engage people in my place, it just happen, in my opinion cause it was meant to be, cause they are people who with I have lots in common so we get close and share things naturally, just cause we attract each other, not because we tried to attract any kind of audience of reach a higher blog authority

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Mariana,

      I agree. Call it karma or “whatever”, but we do tend to attract those who think like us. Those who will teach us as we share what we’ve learned. And those who are like old friends. It’s not necessarily an audience we can “target”, but if we’re fortunate, it happens naturally.

      Like you, I feel fortunate to have attracted such a wonderful group of people to this blog, as well.

  37. Very nice tips about blogging. Good thing that You share Your knowledge and experience with those who are still on the starting line of their road to blog. MAybe some of them will even earn some money from writing posts and making their site popular. I think that everyone who is helping and not demanding money for it should be respected. That is very nice to do the thing You do.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Olejek,

      Thank you for your kind words. That’s one good thing about blogging; we get to share what we’ve learned, and can do it for free. As you said, it’s great when new bloggers can learn from those of us who have been at it for awhile and hopefully become successful – whether that means making money with their blog or gaining notoriety. I feel we’re all in this together. 🙂

  38. Hey is it July 24th yet?

    What? Oh shoot, a day early. Well, I’m not going to sleep until Barbara posts again!!!
    .-= Check out Jannie Funster´s awesome post: Review of “Mirror Blue” by Thomma Lyn Grindstaff: A Novel You Can Really Sink Your Teeth Into. =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Jannie,

      You can go to sleep now. I’m back and have published a new (guest) post. 🙂

  39. RobinNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara – you should be back by about now!

    To follow up on what Vered and Evelyn and a few others said, I think many of us really want a wider audience than bloggers, but I also think we need the links we get from bloggers so that we rate high in search engines, and we get the search traffic.

    I find that these days when I write a post on a particular person or book, I pretty well get to the top few on Google straight away – which wouldn’t happen if I didn’t have all those links coming in from other bloggers. So we need the community to get the Google traffic, in other words.
    .-= Check out Robin´s awesome post: Counterclockwise, by Ellen Langer =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Robin,

      You’re right. It’s a fine line we walk. Google loves to see those inbound links from reliable sites, and without forming relationships with other bloggers, we’re less apt to get them.

      In some ways it’s easier to write for search engines, but without community on our blogs, it could end up being mighty lonely “at the top”.