We all heard the phrase content is king. And we’re not here to burst your bubble, as this one is true. However, there’s another thing called engagement. Without it, even the best content in the world won’t get you far. But to get it, you must learn how to understand and grow your blog audience.

A person writing ''audience'' on a whiteboard.

The more people are reading your articles, the more of them will engage with them. Even more important is that they’ll keep coming back for more. And if you want to start a blog that earns a real income, you got to have an audience that’s always there. So, how do you get them to stick around?

Well, there’s no shortcut here. On the other hand, you won’t be searching around in the dark either. There are things you can do to get closer to your audience and figure out what they want to see from you. Luckily, we know what those are, and we’re here to share them with you.

Let’s dive right in.

Create Reader Personas

A man thinking about how to understand and grow your blog audience
You want to know who people reading your blog are and what they do.

Sales managers create buyer personas to understand who they’re selling to and how to sell more easily. A reader persona is pretty much the same thing, but for bloggers. In essence, you want to write down an accurate description of your ideal reader. And you want to list everything: their age, interests, location, web searches, etc. Whatever you can think

will help you learn more about them as characters, you can list it. Don’t forget to think about their aspirations, pain areas, and what they expect from your blog.

Here are some questions to ask yourself when creating a reader persona:

  • What do they want to read on your blog?
  • Why are they visiting your blog?
  • When are they most active on your blog?
  • Where do they find your posts and articles?

Learn About Your Blog Performance

You can easily make out what your readers like if you take a look at your blog’s analytics. If any articles went viral or have a lot more visits than the other ones, investigate them a bit further. Try to see if there are any details that you did there and nowhere else.

On the other hand, you should also look at your worst-performing pages. See what articles interested people the least. Take a look at the ones that had the highest bounce rate, find the mistakes you made, and never repeat them.

Therefore, things are simple. Zone out all the good and the bad things you did so far —  repeat the good ones and avoid the bad ones. That should attract and engage your audience more.

Remember, writing SEO-friendly blog posts is important, but don’t let it hijack your article. Hence, pay attention to keywords and write naturally.

Conduct Surveys and Polls

If you tried creating reader personas and you just can’t get it done, why don’t you ask the readers directly? Make a few polls or surveys on your site and ask your visitors to do them. Ask them about what they like to read, when they like to read it, and what areas they want you to address.

If you want to learn how to understand and grow your blog audience, this may even be the best way to do it.

Take a Look at Facebook Insights

Facebook Insights on the screen.
If you want to learn how to understand and grow your blog audience, you must learn your way around Facebook Insights.

You probably already know how social sharing can help your blog grow. Nowadays, everyone uses Facebook or Twitter, thus sharing your writing there can have a significant impact on the number of visitors you get.

But what most people don’t know is how much information these networks have on their users. If you share all your posts on it, Facebook already knows who reads your blog. Want to hear the best part? They’ll share the data they have about your followers for free through Facebook Insights.

You’ll be able to see all the demographics of your readers you may want. Of course, you can replicate this tactic with any other social platform out there. However, remember that the content for each network won’t be the same. People who use Pinterest and Twitter want to see different things on each of them. Mix and match until you get the perfect combination.

Watch Your Competitors

You know how they say to keep your friends close, but enemies closer? Well, that’s what we’re talking about here. Although your competitors aren’t your enemies in the literal sense, you still want to keep an eye on them.

Performing a competitor analysis will help you understand what they do to get to their audience and engage them. Use the information you get here to craft your strategy that will be better than theirs. You mustn’t just copy what they do. Being innovative and creating something different will get you on the map.

For example, if you see an interesting design on one of your competitor’s sites, you might get an idea of what you can do with yours. Read about how to customize a WordPress theme yourself, and get on with it. The chances are that you’ll end up with something more interesting than what you started with.

Read Your Blog Comments

If you think about it, there must be a reason why every blog ever has a commenting system. When they have something to tell you, whether it’s an appreciation or an opinion different from yours, readers will leave it in the comments

Therefore, if you haven’t been reading through the comments on your site, you’ve been missing out on an awful lot. People will speak their minds here, so it’s the best place to get to know them. 

Of course, you have to respond to these comments, as well. Always be polite, and try to write a message that is at least as long as the one that they left. Also, make sure to answer all the questions or doubts your audience might have. They’ll feel closer to you if you do this, and you want that bad.

Conclusion

It’s clear that understanding your audience isn’t an easy task. You need to listen to them and avoid making any assumptions. These don’t hold any place here, and they may lead you in the wrong direction. If you have some assumptions already, check them and confirm that they’re true. 

Luckily, now you know how to understand and grow your blog audience. Start at the beginning and work your way up. Don’t skip any of the steps, and you shouldn’t have any problems along the way. 

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