When most people think about the phrase “target market” they have sales in mind. Most companies who are in the sales business need to be good at identifying who they are selling to and what that particular group wants to buy.
If a business does a good job at identifying who they are selling to and what those people want, their odds of being successful increase significantly.
So you may be asking, what does this have to do with me if I don’t own or work for a business? All kinds of things! Anyone who owns and operates any type of website or runs a successful blog should be adept at identifying their target market. Without knowing who you are writing/designing for, how will you know what kind of content to post?
Using the classic five W’s, here are some things to think about when it comes to your target audience:
There are so many sub-groups of people out there. My recommendation would be to come up with three characteristics that the person you hope will read your blog might have. For example, you may be targeting moms who live in the Midwest and enjoy sewing. Or internet marketing employees in Silicon Valley who have post-graduate degrees. Thinking of these characteristics will help you to figure out what kind of content to post.
Think about what the groups that you have identified would enjoy reading. For our first example, these moms might like sewing tutorials or photo spreads of kids in homemade clothes. The second example might enjoy research articles or news about colleges.
Identify how often your target market will be online and perhaps browsing your blog. For the moms, it might be once or twice per week. For the employees, it could be several hours or more per day. This can help you to determine how often you want to post fresh content on your site. Taking the time to post daily can be great, but if your audience isn’t going to check in daily, it could be a waste of resources.
What other sites might your target market visit? Scope out your competition and see what they are posting. Aim to compete with sites that are clearly successful at drawing a similar audience to what you would like to have.
You might be wondering if it’s worth your time to identify the people that you are aiming to draw to your blog. So why should you do this? It will help your blogging to have more direction. And better business blogging wins over more readers. So many blogs out there are just a mash-up of different topic and types of posts. If you take the time to identify your current or potential readers, you can streamline the things that you offer on your site and likely gain more traffic.
Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.