Know Your Audience : Grow your blog by understanding your readers

Yesterday I spoke about how you can influence the type of readers your blog attracts. Today I want to talk about how you can grow your blog by knowing and understanding your regular readers.

Grow your blog by understanding your readers

If you pay attention to the comments your blog posts receive then you should have a good idea of :

  • What type of posts your readers like/dislike
  • What type of posts gets the most comments
  • How knowledgeable your readers are about the topic you blog about
  • Which type of posts get linked to by other blogs/websites

This type of information can be incredibly useful. From a writing point of view, it can help you decide what type of posts would be popular (though it shouldn’t dictate what you write). From a marketing point of view, it will help you decide what’s the best way to market your blog. And, from a monetarizing point of view, it will help you decide what adverts to place on your blog. All of these things will help you grow and develop your blog.

What type of posts your readers like/dislike

If your blog has a decent amount of traffic and loyal regular readers then most posts you write should get a response. There are many ways to tell if your readers like your posts.

It’s common for readers to tell the blogger directly when they like a post with the response ‘Great post’ or something to that effect. Though readers are less direct with posts they don’t like. It’s not common to reply ‘Bad post’ or something similar therefore a lot of times you need to read between the lines.

Reading between the lines isn’t always easy. A lot of readers may be likely not to comment at all rather than leave a negative comment so posts with less comments than usual may indicate that the post was below average, then again, it might not. You see, a post with few comments isn’t always an indication that the post was poor. Some posts I have wrote have had few comments but have generated a lot of links.

Another thing to realise is that an unpopular post may not necessarily be a bad post per say. The post might be long, informatitive and witty but the main topic of the post might be about something which maybe only 20% of your readers are interested in. Bottom line, it isn’t an exact science and it’s difficult to compare posts like for like but overtime you should get a general idea of what type of posts your readers like and what posts they dislike.

What type of posts get the the most comments

Popular posts aren’t always the posts which get the most comments, infact, in a lot of blogs it’s the controversial posts which stimulate a lot of debate. Short newsbreaking posts which only took a few minutes to write may also get a lot of comments.

It’s not vital but it’s useful to know what kind of posts generate a lot of comments. Longer posts may be better from a Search Engine Optimisation point of view and some readers will love reviews and interviews too. However, nothing beats a good debate. Great debates can inspire future posts and increases interaction between readers.

How knowledgeable your readers are

As I mentioned in yesterdays post, how knowledgeable you are can greatly influence what type of reader you attract to your blog. However, you cannot assume that everyone knows as much as you so if you get a lot of comments asking for you to explain things in more detail, it may be a good idea to expand your technical posts a bit more and clairify some points for everyone.

As always, the opposite is always true. If your readers are experienced you shouldn’t dumb down what you write.

Basically, once you understand your readers you can accomodate them more in your posts and write them accordingly.

Which type of posts get the most links

Incoming links are not only great from a Search Engine Optimisation point of view, they also bring a lot of traffic directly too. Therefore it is important to know which type of posts get the most trackbacks.

The people who link to a blog post on your site will either be :

  • A regular reader who wanted to share the post with their own readers
  • Another blogger/website-owner which reads your blog daily to keep tabs on news/events
  • Someone who isn’t a regular reader but has found the post via another site, search engine or whatever

From the above list, clearly blog and website owners who subscribe to your blog will link to you the most. The people who are keeping tabs on your blog may not always comment but if you notice another website link to your posts semi frequently, it’s a good indication that they subscribe or at the very least, visit your site to stay up to date.

Knowing what type of posts generate a lot of links will help you plan future ‘linkbait’. It will also tell you which blogs are good linkers, a good thing to know. These are the blogs which are likely to link to your big posts, these are the blogs you should link back to often to return the favour.

Overview

Understanding your readers should be a fundamental part of how you plan the growth of your blog. Your readers will pat you on the back when you do something right and criticize you when you do something wrong. Don’t let readers dictate what you write as this sometimes means your blog goes off topic but take their opinions on board and let their feedback guide your blog in the right direction.

🙂

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Disclosure: In full disclosure, it is safe to assume that the site owner is benefiting financially or otherwise from everything you click on, read, or look at while on my website. This is not to say that is the case with all content, as all publications on the site are original and written to provide value and references to our audience.

7 Comments

  1. Bronson Tang August 15, 2008
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