If you don't know exactly WHO your ideal reader is, then it's about time you figured that out! Why? Because if you don't even know who you're talking to, then how can you possibly know whether or not they are understanding your blog + brand? How can you create focused content for some one if you don't know WHO that some one is?
So let's change that, shall we?
1. Go look in the mirror.
Yeah, you heard me! There's a pretty decent chance that many of your readers are people just like you. And WHY is that, you might be wondering? Well, I'm willing to bet my last cup of coffee that you create content for your blog that actually interests you! After all, spending lots of time creating content that you're not even interested in would be pretty boring + miserable, am I right?
(Speaking of saying "am I right?" I constantly over quote THIS every time I ask that question!) It's exactly one minute in:
So that's why taking a good, hard look in the mirror is a great place to start when trying to profile your ideal reader and find your niche! So go on, start answering these types of questions about yourself:
- How old are you?
- Do you rent or own?
- What's your income level?
- What are your hobbies?
- What is your dream job, and do you currently have it?
- What do you love doing for fun? What makes you happy?
You're going to be asking these same types of questions about your ideal reader in just a second, and I've created some handy worksheets to make it easy! So feel free to gett'em below and fill out 2 copies; one for profiling yourself and one for profiling your ideal reader!
2. Profile your ideal reader.
Alright you devilishly stunning person you, it's time to do what we did above with your ideal reader now! If you already have readers, throw them out the window for this exercise because we'll get to them in a second! (That sounded way meaner than it was intended ... plus now I'm picturing tons of tiny little people getting thrown out an actual window by a giant!!!) Ehem. You want to come up with a very clear picture of who you would IDEALLY like to read your blog. Use your imagination! Here's some handy worksheets that you should print off and use to create a complete ideal reader profile! Click below if you'd like to use them!
3. Create a spiffy moodboard.
I'm a super visual person, so I love things like mood boards! If this sounds like you, then you should create one for your ideal reader. Hop on over to Pinterest and find images that represent things like:
- The places they like to go
- Their style
- Their dream job
- Colors they love
- Anything that represents who they are and what they love
- What they enjoy doing for fun
For example, here's a peek at my ideal reader's mood board:
4. Profile your ACTUAL readers.
Let's not forget to profile your ACTUAL readers, assuming you have some! After all, they probably feel really sad and dejected after getting thrown out the window during that last exercise! (And if you're brand spank'in new and don't have any readers yet then you can skip this step and go dance around in the living room instead!)
You might already have a good idea of your ACTUAL readers simply by the comments you are getting. However, creating a survey is also a super handy way to gather information! There are several ways to do this. With Wordpress you can use a plugin (like this Wordpress plugin) or simply using a survey site online. Just be sure to word questions in a kind way and don't ask things that would be ... ya know ... offensive. I would ask questions similar to the ones provided in the printable above, but I would ask LESS (because people would probably be turned off by 3 pages of questions!) So consider WHAT you are trying to accomplish before deciding which questions to ask.
When I did this for the first time at the beginning of this year, I was shocked to learn that over half of my readers at the time were male! (Thanks, guys!) I was shocked because I wanted to cater to fun, quirky creativepreneurs- primarily women. (No offense, guys! I still love you and you can totally keep stopping by!) But knowing this information helped in telling me that I wasn't really creating content with my ideal reader in mind. I then gave my blog a complete overhaul and shifted it's focus - and it has definitely bridged the gap between my ideal reader and my actual reader! Speaking of bridging the gap ...
5. Bridge the gap.
If you find that your current readers are vastly different from your ideal readers (like I did!) then this might be an opportunity for you to change some things! Dive into the things that your ideal readers will go bonkers over. Make sure your topics are in line with what they'd love! Yes, you might lose some readers during the shift, but that's okay because you will gain more readers that are in line with your goals and passions!
It's a win-win.
There, don't you feel better now?! It's so much easier to focus when you know EXACTLY who you want to talk to right?! What about you, whose your ideal reader?