Who Are You Talking To? Defining Your Target Audience.

I’d love to say “Everyone should read my blog.” Well, maybe everyone should, but not everyone will. Every blog has a target audience, no matter if they realize it or not. Defining who *is* interested and reaching those people is a key concept to your blog’s growth and development. Why?

Hitting the target

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

If I try to cater to a wide variety of interests, I’ll end up providing useful content some of the time for a wide segment of people, but the majority of the time, each individual will not find valuable information to them at my site. If a reader only finds my blog useful 10% of the time, the chances of them coming back diminish every time my content doesn’t provide them with value, until eventually they stop coming. Trying to be everything to all people is a recipe for disaster. Instead of fighting your core readership, embrace them and attract more of the same. This isn’t limiting your blog’s potential, it is strengthening it at the core and giving it the potential to flourish.

Before we can target our core readership, we have to define it. For some, this is a simple process, and for others, it is a little more confusing. Here are three steps to defining your target audience:

What do you write about specifically?

Even in a personal blog, there will be specific recurring themes. Your target audience consists of people who respond to and are interested in those themes. Knowing the topics that you consistently write about is the first step to understanding who reads your blog.

What topics bring people to your blog?

What posts get the most views? Which topics of the ones you write about seem to garner visits again and again? Knowing what you write about is key, but knowing what the reader wants is even better.

Which topics in your blog resonate with both you and the reader?

Which posts, even re-reading them, really resonate with you? What posts get people commenting and generate discussion amongst your readers? These are your core topics, and these are the things your target audience is interested in. And if they resonate with you, they’re topics you can continue to write about and expand on without fear of losing interest. Remember, if you don’t care about your topic, you can’t expect your reader to.


For me, I started writing a blog to create personal motivation and accountability within my own financial life. I found, as I wrote, and as readers started coming to my blog, that I was not only writing as an online journal of sorts, but as a resource and motivation for others in similar situations to my own. Although not all my readers are in debt, my target audience is those who are in debt and looking for emotional and informational support to free themselves from debt, as well as those who can identify with being in debt and going through the process of getting out. That doesn’t limit my audience – the number of people I’ve just defined is much larger than the current readership of my blog – but it does define what topics and conversations my typical reader will find of value to them.

So, now that I know who I’m writing for, how do I find my audience? Look for future posts on strategies to attract your target audience, including using carnivals, social networking, guest posting, and other ways to get your content noticed by your potential readers. Stay tuned!

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2 Responses to “Who Are You Talking To? Defining Your Target Audience.”

  1. plonkee says:

    One of things that I find difficult is that as far as I can tell, I have two audiences in certain respects. One is primarily American and reads me because I write about personal finance philosophy. The other is primarily not American, and reads me because I am British and write about British personal finance.

    I’ve got no intention of stopping writing about either – I like balancing more introspective posts, with other more practical posts. It’s just more difficult.

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