Knowing who visits your blog on a regular basis is more important than you think. Looking at your community as a network of individuals rather than numbers or comments will help you build traffic and better enable you to monetize your blog. While blogs are a personal thing, if you’re not meeting the needs of the people who come to you for guidance, wisdom, or humor, you won’t succeed.
Here’s why it’s important to know who is reading your blog:
- You’re better able to tailor the content to your community’s needs
- You can find the affiliate products and services your community is most likely to buy
- Better enable you to lead discussions
- You’ll know how and where to promote your content
How can you learn more about your readers?
- Comments: The comments provide a goldmine of information. It’s where many bloggers get their posting inspiration. In the comments your readers will let you know what they thought of your post, their own points of view, and also, ask any questions on the chosen topic. Use this information to your advantage.
- Stats: Analytics are one of a blogger’s most important tools. Depending on your program or package, you’ll learn what search terms are bringing in readers, what blogs are linking to you, what people are saying about you, which posts do the best – and the worst, the times of day when you get the most traffic, and more.
- Social networks: Bloggers can gauge many posts by their tweetability factor. Notice how some of your blog posts go viral on twitter, while others receive nary a mention? This is a great way to gauge community reaction.
- Polls & surveys: Periodic polls and surveys will tell you everything you need to know about your community. By using a website such as Survey Monkey and offering readers the ability to comment in an anonymous manner, you’re sure to receive candid, truthful remarks.
- Email: If you wrote something your readers don’t like, they’ll be sure to tell you about it. They’ll also write to tell you what they love. Don’t delete email from your readers, it gives out imporant information about why they consider you an important resource.
Now that you know who makes up your community, you can take your traffic to higher levels by socializing in the forums and social networks your readers are most likely to visit. By networking with other like-minded people you’re sure to bring in new traffic.
You can also use your new-found information to properly monetize your blog. Knowing your community’s median income and spending habits will help you know what types of products and affiliate programs are most likely to do well. You’ll also be able to gauge if your readers are clickers or buyers. Many blogs don’t earn because the blogger isn’t taking too much to to gauge what will best work out among the reader base. The best part of knowing where your traffic comes from is that you can write the content they’ll want to see the most. This can lead to better discussions and more comment fun.
A little research is never a bad thing. Take some time to learn about the people who support you, their loyalty is sure to shine through.
What are you doing to learn about your readers?