Many of the bloggers I speak to tell me about their audiences. They know their ages, their locations, and how often they visit and comment on their blogs.
But as we all know, there’s a wealth of other information that we can access about our blogs’ readers. But actually getting hold of that information, and then using it to build out our understanding of our readers in a helpful way can be difficult.
Then there’s the question of getting to know the readers you haven’t yet attracted to your blog—that’s a whole other challenge. But as Greg McFarlane pointed out earlier this week, attracting an audience from beyond your blog is essential to selling products. Of course, it’s essential to any blog’s growth—whether you’ve got something to sell, or you’re just trying to grow your readership and reach more people with your message.
So this weekend, why not dedicate yourself to finding out more about your current readers, and your would-be readers?
Today and tomorrow, we’re running a two-part special feature on audience research. The first part helps you research the audience you want to attract to your blog. The second delves into finding out more about your existing audience. If you can find a few hours to implement this advice this weekend, you might just find that your plans for the coming week (or month) come into a sharper focus!
Before we begin, I wanted to get a feel for what you use as your key sources of reader information. Do you rely on Google Analytics, or some other stats package or plugin? Or do you go further, getting information from social network interactions, comment moderation tasks, and things like competitions, polls, and surveys?
I use a combination of these methods, but I’m interested to know how you use the information you have to paint a clear picture of your readers. Let me know in the comments … and I hope this weekend’s project is helpful!