The following is part of Frugal Dad’s weekly series, “So You Want to Be a Blogger?” which chronicles the development and optimization of a blog’s lifecycle.
Now that you have identified a subject you are passionate about it’s time to identify your target audience. This is an exercise familiar to any traditional author or marketing executive. The identification of a target audience helps you focus your topic on their interests, and generally helps your writing fit their personalities. It isn’t necessary to spend big bucks here on a full-blown demographic study. Here are some frugal ways to identify a target reader for your blog.
Who are you? Sorry, I know you probably now have the theme to CSI running through your head. If you are passionate about your subject chances are there are others out there like you. After all, great minds think alike. What you need to do is identify who you are in terms of demographics. How old are you? What’s your marital status? What’s your household income? What careers interest you? What hobbies would someone like you engage in?
When setting up “Frugal Dad” I knew there were frugal-minded people out there like me, but I had one distinct uniqueness – I was a man. There are many excellent frugal living websites out there run by women – I know because I subscribe to nearly all of them! What I was planning to offer was content on frugal topics from a man’s perspective. Actually, from a dad’s perspective. Men are notoriously bad about succumbing to big screen televisions and sports cars, to the detriment of their family’s finances. I wanted to present an alternative view. I would set out to prove that stay home mothers weren’t the only ones good at being home economists; us dads could do it, too. So my narrowly-defined target audience became middle-aged husbands and fathers interested in living a frugal lifestyle.
Got your target audience? Good, now think bigger. There is some danger in becoming too targeted. No one will ever find you. In my case delivering targeted content to wannabe frugal fathers aged 25-40 may not yield a large readership. What about writing content geared towards men, but with a frugal slant? I could write about careers, fatherhood, kids and money, technology, etc. And while I’m at it, how about writing some content addressed to both men and women interested in frugal living? Frugal shopping tips, household energy saving ideas, finance book reviews, etc. Does this all sound familiar? It probably does if you have been reading Frugal Dad for any length of time.
In my first post in this series I suggested discovering a peripheral topic to provide to your readers. It’s a great way to engage readers not in your targeted audience. This series of blogging posts is a good example. I know that most of my subscribers are fairly technically proficient. Many of them are blog owners themselves, or may be interested in starting up their own blog. Those who discover Frugal Dad via search engines may also be interested in creating a blog, so there may be value in providing a “how to” series on blogging. I can still stay true to my frugal theme by providing low-cost ways to start up a blog, market your site, etc. Before moving on, brainstorm some ways for you to connect with your readers by providing a peripheral topic.