Blogging 101: Build An Audience Like A Comedian

Did you know only half of the writers on the platform make money writing on Medium? From the outside looking it, it seems like Medium is a tough place to be. Aug 22, 2017 Stay topical so that you can provide some certainty to your audience about the topic and make search engines like Google happy. And the 10 Ways to Make Money Blogging There are 10 paths to profit. May 23, 2016 Sure, there's crossover - funny is funny. The point is that, like a good comedian, your blog should feel and sound unique. Readers should recognize your voice on the page after scanning the first two sentences. Take a look at Seth Godin's daily blog to get a sense of how this works. Short, conversationally distinct and full of useful wisdom, his posts are written in the same voice he uses to speak, which makes his writing all the more engaging and enjoyable.

Nov 17, 2019 One tip for guest blogging is to make sure that you create content that is easily shareable. And of course make sure that the content you write is your best material. How do you build an audience of people who don’t like to read? One way is through podcasting. Jun 29, 2016 Blogging is a powerful way to grow an audience and build trust with them before pitching your online course. By providing free content through blog posts, you attract people who are interested in learning from you and may end up paying you just to get your advanced material.

One of the biggest things to help you boost your blogs traffic is to learn more about your blogs audience, and then make sure your content and promotion of content caters to them. If you already have a blog you can look into your audience insights to understand who you current audience is, but a good activity to try is to describe your “ideal reader” which fits your vision of the blog. You can then compare and contrast this with your actual reader, and try to understand why there’s a difference or if you should change something. If you’re a new blogger, an ideal reader can help guide you when creating content as you know who you’re talking to.

Basic Demographics

Comedian

First up, it’s good to understand the basic demographics of your blogs audience. Whilst some niche’s will have broader demographics, it’s unusual for you to be able to reach both 16 year old girls who love make up and 75 year old men who love mountain climbing for every single piece of content you make. So it’s better to make an educated guess for some of these, especially when it comes to trying to find readers for your content.

Here’s just some of the demographics to think about when you think of your “ideal reader”

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Location
  • Ethnicity
  • Education level
  • Income level
  • Industry/job

Preferences and Habits

After basic demographics you can look into more subjective topics like preferences and habits of your ideal reader. If you’re writing about your own interests, hobbies, or passions then your reader will most likely share these with you. However, their may be other activities which are linked that you can also branch out into with your content.

Blogging 101: build an audience like a comedian stand up

This kind of content can tell you what you could create content around, the tone you should take with content, and how to possibly reach this audience.

The next set of criteria to think about is:

Blogging 101: build an audience like a comedian make
  • Interests
  • Hobbies
  • Passions
  • Personality
  • What device are they using?
  • What media do they already consume?
  • What’s their general disposition? How do they view the world?
  • If they had a completely free day, what would they spend it doing?
Blogging 101: build an audience like a comedian stand up

Social Media

Another thing about your ideal reader is guessing where they spend most of their time online. Most people don’t solely use the internet for reading blogs, and social media has a huge amout of users all day every day. So which of the following can you assume your blogs audience uses?

  • Pinterest
  • Twitter
  • TikTok
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram
  • YouTube
  • Other social networks?

Money Habits

Then finally, if you’re blogging to try and earn money you need to understand your audiences money habits too. If you’re a blog all about luxury fashion for example, your ideal audience would be someone who has more disposable income, wants to spend and will splurge on a great piece of clothing. On the other hand, you may have a student focused blog which writes for those who have less disposable income, and would like to save money where possible. Ask yourself:

  • What expenses do they have? Disposable income?
  • Do they enjoy spending or saving money?
  • What do they like to splurge on?
  • What do they like to save on?

There’s also a chance for any of the above to change, evolve or be different. Knowing your ideal reader doesn’t mean you have to always cater to them. You don’t need to pigeon hole your content or your blogs audience if you would like to branch out. So if you’re a book niche and your ideal reader is other readers, don’t worry if you want to create content around your other hobbies like gaming, or fashion, or anything.

Checking Your Current Readers

I’ve spoken a lot above about your ideal reader, and the reader you should aim for. However you can use Google Analytics, WordPress and even social media sites to check your current readers. It’s always interesting to check if there’s differences in audiences across different sites and to understand if that’s due to differing content or if it’s to do with the platform itself.

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The idea of blogging is appealing to almost everyone I meet. “It looks like so much fun!,” they say. “And you can really make money?”

101:

It is, and you can, but just like any undertaking, the bloom can fade from the rose quickly, especially if you’re not seeing the growth you anticipated or immediately finding the traction that seems — although it’s usually not — to just happen to some people.

Even more frustrating is when you’ve been blogging for a while, doing all of the right things, following all the blogging tips and tutorials you come across, and after building an audience, it plateaus. Sure, you love having a loyal following, but why do people stop coming on board?

I wanted to share some best practices for bloggers of all niches, sizes, and levels of experience. We are going back to the basics with a little Blogging 101. These best practices certainly don’t guarantee that you’ll become the next millionaire blogger, but keeping these in mind may at least keep the fun and excitement going for a while.

Blogging 101: How To Build And Grow Your Audience

START SMART

When you’re first launching a site, it can be very tempting to choose a hosted platform like Blogger or WordPress.com, or to go with a free theme and the most basic of designs. There’s nothing wrong with that, and some of the most successful bloggers started or maybe even still blog that way.

But if you’re serious about growing your blog, and aren’t just testing the waters, I encourage you to go all in. Choose a platform like WordPress.org (my favorite) and invest in self-hosting. It may cost you as little as $5/month but immediately sets you up to be a more professional blogger. It opens up all kinds of opportunities for monetization, should you choose to go in that direction, and it saves you a lot of time and stress if, down the road, you decide to move to self-hosted from hosted.

I also find that committing even that small amount of money keeps bloggers motivated — it’s easier to walk away or get frustrated when there’s no skin in the game, so to speak.

And once you’re started, no matter what platform you’ve selected, make sure to immediately paint on your blank slate. Create an About page, a Contact page, a Policies and Privacy page, and set up the categories and/or tags that you think you’ll most often be using on your site. Make the navigation and design as easy and elegant as you can. Simple is fine.

EARLY ON, ESTABLISH A POINT OF VIEW

The beauty of blogging is that it’s your space. It can change as you did. When I started my site in 2007, it was under a different name and I wrote about wanting to lose weight, wanting to start running, and healthy food recipes. After a year or two, the weight was gone, I was a dedicated runner, and I’d realized that I hate cooking, so my life perspective was very different. After a series of poorly executed branding changes, I finally discovered what I’m really passionate about: helping inspire busy people to get fit and helping bloggers grow their sites using social media and marketing. BOOM.

Through these changes, I made sure that my About page and other branding was crystal clear. So if you read my site in 2007, you knew what I stood for, just as you do now. Make sure you let your readers know what they get when they subscribe to your content — and if it changes, make sure your established POV changes, too.

FOLLOW THE 20/80 RULE

You know the 80/20 rule, right? 80 percent of the time do one thing (eat healthy, for example) and 20 percent, do the other (indulge in chocolate cake!). I love this, but in terms of blogging — especially when you want to grow — I think most people think they should spend 80 percent of the time marketing their own content and 20 percent on others’.

It’s the opposite. I encourage bloggers to spend enough time on their own content to create quality posts and promote them well, but spend much more time engaging with other bloggers. Comment on, share, pin, tweet, etc. their links. If you are compelled, do a roundup of other people’s posts on your site so you have the benefit of new content on your site but celebrating the work of others. Truly, this can make a massive difference.

REMIND YOURSELF WHAT YOUR REAL GOALS ARE

One of the biggest things that comes up when I chat with bloggers — either casually or because they’ve booked a consultation with me — is that they get frustrated with their analytics. They feel they don’t have enough pageviews or Facebook fans or Twitter followers or email subscribers or insert-your-metric here.

Most of the time, though, when I ask them why the numbers matter so much, they can’t give me a good answer. I dig deeper and ask why they blog and the answers usually come down to “because I love to write,” “because I want to help people” or “because I want to make money.” The first two reasons really can’t be measured with pageviews. They can be measured in lives changed — emails from readers thanking the blogger and insightful comments shared. And that can mean bloggers with 10 monthly pageviews are a success, based on their own criteria.

Do the numbers matter? Sure, they can. If you’re making money on the number of pageviews or subscribers you have, it can be upsetting to not see them grow. And everyone wants to know that their work is appreciated by as many people as possible. But if you’re getting frustrated, and it’s taking the fun out of blogging, why not take an analytics break? Take 7, 14 or even 30 days away from checking numbers and get back to the why of blogging.

Bottom line? YOU DO YOU. The moment you try to be like everybody else, and follow the same “how-to” guides is the moment you lose the spirit of what makes your site so special in the first place. Growth comes with authentic, passion-driven posts.

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