Monday, August 26, 2013

Social Media Monday—Define Your Blog’s Audience

There are literally hundreds of thousands of blogs in cyber-space. That being the case, how do you help your blog stand out in the crowd? The foundational answer is at once simple and hard—you must define your blog’s audience.

I know I said simple…but simple isn’t easy. But it is worth it.

Here are some things you DON’T need to do:
  • Don’t target other writers. Your audience is the people you write for, so unless you write about how to write, look elsewhere for your audience.
  • If you write fiction, don’t go looking for a general profile of the people who read the genre you write. By that I mean you can’t profile the likes and dislikes of those who read…say science fiction. It’s too diverse an audience. (Don’t worry, I’ll address non-fiction down below.)

That being the case, how do you reach those readers?
  • First, be yourself and highlight your own passion(s). Do you love to knit? Ride horses? Cook with only organic food? All of these are ways to find a core audience. More than that, blogging is enough like work without having to write about something you’re NOT passionate about!
  • Second, look for ways to target readers (general). Book reviews are pretty overdone on the internet, but if you can find an original slant, it’s still a good way to connect. I don’t recommend you making it the basis for your site though. After all, you want to be a writer, not a book reviewer, right?
  • Third, be prepared to tweak as you go. When you find a post that garners interest—meaning more comments than usual—look for ways to incorporate that subject or spin in your blog posts.
  • Fourth, brainstorm with some friends. A good way to refine the focus/audience of your blog is to toss around ideas with other writers. No reason to reinvent the wheel.

Now for non-fiction writers. 

It’s easier to build a blog around non-fiction because that type of writing is generally more topic driven. Most non-fiction writers also tend to write about things that line up with their passions.

If your non-fiction book is about marriage, then a blog about some aspect of marriage makes sense.

So here’s your chance to brainstorm with a whole lot of digitally savvy folks. What topics for blogging would you like to explore? Or, list one of two passions and we’ll chime in on ways to turn that into a blog topic.

Don’t forget to join the conversation!


  1. When I began my blog in February, I intended to write about home projects, family, people and events and introduced as such. But as I began writing it has evolved to mainly life events that have made me the person I am and how I can encourage others. I've found being open about life's struggles garner the most page views so this tells me people are looking for someone they can relate. Thanks for the seminar in Anderson yesterday! I learned so much!

    1. Cindy, I enjoyed seeing you yesterday! Sounds like you're on the right path with your blog. Let me know how I can help. Blessings, E

  2. Great ideas, Edie. I've tried to take a new spin on the "book blog" at Word Nerd, but perhaps my attempts are still too broad. I'm targeting book lovers, but perhaps I need to make it more personal and specific. Thanks!

    1. Julia, I think your idea of the word nerd is genius - I love your site! Adding one post a week that's a little more personally motivated might be a way to continue to grow your blog. I love where you're headed. Here's an idea, do you love book art? Or spine poetry. you could add a regular day with that, even a meme that you start. I think either of those would make a good topic and be very shareable on social media. Blessings, E

  3. These all sound like fun things. My problem is I love to write about so much. I love non-fiction and I have a passion for women who struggle with depression, any illness especially kidney disease and empty nesters. I have a huge array of things I like to write about. Maybe I should narrow that down a bit...Thoughts?

    1. Don't think of it as narrowing it down, instead just start small. Pick one thing you're passionate about and begin there. Then, as your blog is more established, add another topic. Hope this helps, Blessings, E