If so, is anyone really listening?
What I’m getting at is that many bloggers market their blogs to the wrong audience, and I’m speaking from personal experience here. The three blogs I’m going to use as examples are all now inactive, and as you read further, you’ll understand why.
When I blogged about fiction-writing tips, I marketed the blog to fiction writers. When I blogged about travel-writing tips, I promoted the blog to other travel-bloggers. When I wrote a humor blog (title overweight & underorganized), instead of sharing it with those trying to lose weight and/or get organized, you guessed it, I invited my fellow humor columnist friends to stop by and say “hey!”
Notice a pattern here? Successful fiction writers probably don’ t need fiction writing tips. Travel bloggers don’t need travel tips. And the humor writers? Well, they probably only stopped by my blog because they were procrastinating writing their next columns.
Almost every one of my novelist friends has a “Writing Tips” area on his or her website, but the “I’m-a-novelist-let-me-teach-you-how-to-write-too” type of blog is probably overdone. If you’re a novelist, think what information you have to offer potential readers who may have no desire to write a book.
How can you build an audience of people who love the genre you write in?
- If you write in the American West genre, your readers are likely interested in how people lived, worked, dressed, and played back in the day. Because you’ve likely done gobs of research, much of which will never see the published page, why not share some historic how-tos on your blog? These could either be practical things people could use in an attempt to simplify their lives today (i.e. “How to make your own lye soap,” etc.) or just fun facts your readers will find fascinating. Writers within your genre will also find your blog useful because of the research tidbits.
- If you write Romance, your readers are likely interested in relationships, and, well, romance. Why not share a romantic tip of the day on your blog? (i.e. Sneak by your hubby or wife’s car and leave a dozen roses on the driver’s seat while he or she is at work, etc.) Get your community involved through the comments and/or a forum and you’ll likely even get some stories and tips you can fictionalize and use for future plots.
For health trainers:
- Promoting stories about how scary it is to swing your hips back and forth on a Ab Circle and how our family’s “absolutely no laughing while someone else is doing their Wii-Fit routine” rule only lasted about 14 seconds or how I got busted at the donut shop will be funny for those who are struggling to lose weight and have a sense of humor. But bloggers with perfect bodies and large email lists don’t care about such nonsense. Trust me.
For travel bloggers:
- If you slant your blog toward those with more frequent flyer miles than they’ll ever be able to use in a lifetime, you’re preaching to the choir. Many of travel blog readers may be dreamers who may never leave their county. When you start searching for your market, don’t limit your contacts to other travel bloggers or your blogging trip will be short-lived.
- I may be a slow learner, but I think I finally got the point here. I’ve spent more time promoting this blog to people who blog on just about everything EXCEPT how to blog. The pro blogger types already know way more than me, so promoting my posts to someone in my same niche is a waste of time as far as building readers. (Yes, you do need to build relationships within your niche for joint ventures and affiliate partnerships, but that isn’t the point of this post.) I want readers who want to learn more about blogging, no matter what topic they blog about — gardening, crafts, parenting, sports, writing, health issues, or whatever topic they choose. THOSE bloggers are my true audience.
Are you marketing your blog to other bloggers who are blogging about the same thing you are? Or are you promoting your blog to your real audience?
Share your marketing blunders if you want and let us know how you corrected them or what you plan to do for your new & improved blog promotion plan.