Tip #3 – Identify Your Target Reader

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  • Written on: April 23rd, 2007

When you need to blow your nose do you ask for a Kleenex or a tissue? How about when you were little and you skinned your knee? Did you ask for a Band Aid or a bandage? Both Kleenex and Band Aid are trademarked brand names that were branded to their products so well, that they eventually became synonymous with the product itself. Anyone need me to Xerox that for you?

The moral of the story is that by properly branding your blog you can make it easy for your readers to find, reference, and talk about. The easier your readers can consume and discuss your blog, the more likely it is that they, their friends, and their online acquaintances will take a moment to visit your blog, and maybe even bookmark your feed if you are lucky!

There are some important rules to remember when it comes to branding your blog. Branding is more than the color scheme you select, the things you blog about, the words you use in your writings, and the bloggers you list in your blog roll. All of these things need to be carefully thought out so your blog reaches the target audience you want to reach. No blog targets everyone, so first you need to decide who your target audience is.

If you are going to blog about how to make money online, your audience is most likely extremely web-savvy, familiar with industry jargon, and not too offended by refenernces that would make the Greatest Generation blush.

On the other hand, if your target audience is people who need help dealing with a spyware or malware infection, they are probably less comfortable with complex jargon and are more interested in clear, easy to follow steps that lead to a concrete solution.

No matter what you decide to blog about, the first thing you need to do is ask a series of questions to determine who your target audience is.

  1. Will your blog primarily target male or female readers, or both?
  2. Will your blog slant to or away from any particular ethnicity (for example, a blog about African American hairstyles will probably not reach too many Asian readers)?
  3. How old do you think your target reader will be? (Don’t let your own age bias you on this one. Many bloggers think that since their topic is interesting to them, it will also be interesting to others in their age group. This is NOT ALWAYS TRUE.)
  4. What kind of language is your audience comfortable with? Should you use proper English, or mix in some slang? Do you follow the FCC’s public airwave guidelines, or should your language push the boundaries a bit. For many of your readers what you say will be as important as how you say it.
    • You could continue asking questions like these all day, so sit down and make your own list of tendencies and statistics that are important for your intended audience. For example, a blog about building new homes would probably be targeted to people with an annual income of $60,000 or more. Don’t forget to think about family structures (marital status, kids, etc..) and geographic location if these things are important to reaching your target audience.

      After you have done an analysis of who you will be targeting your blog toward, the next step is to design the look, content, and feel of your blog around the demographic you are targeting.

      Next Tip – Creating a Look, A Feel, and All Important Content.

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