Starting a blog is both really easy and really difficult. Actually getting signed up for a blog, writing a few words in the editor, and hitting Publish, is pretty straightforward (as far as internet work goes). Making a good blog, one that attracts readers and keeps them coming back for more, that’s the tricky part.
I have been writing on a fairly regular basis for almost 2 months now. Over the last 7 weeks, I have spent a lot of time learning about the tools. I have switched platforms (from Blogger to Wordpress), I have tweaked my research system, and I’ve even made my first attempt at screen casting.
Unfortunately, in all of that, I forgot a fairly important step…..identifying my reader. I’ve heard it mentioned about public speaking, that you’re supposed to imagine that you’re talking to one person. It’s hard to speak directly to more than one person, and imagining just one listener makes it easier to keep the talk focussed.
I read several blog posts that dealt with this topic, as it relates to blogging. One of the more recent ones was from Chris Brogan. He talks about setting up his site to target his core audience. Everything from the font size to the topics he writes about, it all comes back to that target. For example, a blogger should ask themselves what they want the reader to do once they’ve arrived at their site;
I’m here. Now what? You want me to buy your something? You want me to hire you? You want me to sign up for your something? Make that really obvious.
So, who is the ideal reader for That Bookkeeper?
The focus of this site is to help small business owners. (too broad)
The focus of this site is to help Canadian small business owners. (still too broad, and you don’t have to be Canadian to learn something here)
Hmmm…..This harder than I thought. Let’s try this a different way. The only way a bookkeeper knows how to solve a problem. With tables and spreadsheets.
|Location||Anywhere*||*Sometimes the details regarding business will be Canada-specific, just because that’s where I live. The general concepts can be applied anywhere in the world.|
|Age||Any*||*Small business owners can be 10 or 100. My experiences will be from the perspective of an 18-34 year old, but the lessons should be universal.|
|Gender||n/a||I don’t think this information is gender specific.|
|Tech savvy||Somewhat||Only enough to find their way to this site regularly. I’d like to include regular posts explaining tech as it relates to business.|
|Education or Income Level||Low to middle on both||This site is here to help people who are struggling to get their business off the ground, or under control. If you never got more than a year or two of college, and live paycheque to paycheque, you’ve come to the right place.|
|Sales||Nope||I am not a salesman….I mean, I’ve been one in the past, but it’s not in my blood, and will not be a focus here.|
|Marketing||Limited||Only as it applies to Social Media. Sure, I’ve got opinions on ads companies run, but I won’t focus on marketing.|
|Investments||Nope||I really need to learn more about investing. If I ever attain more knowledge, maybe, until then, this won’t be a focus.|
|Size of business||Solo-Small||This site will focus on people running home, micro, or small businesses. You will probably not hear much about Direct Reports, Mergers & Acquisitions, or the company cafeteria.|
|Productivity||Absolutely||I will talk plenty about ways to be more productive with your business.|
|Bookkeeping/Admin||Of Course||Obviously, based on the name I chose, the day to day operations are where my topics will be most strongly focussed.|
|Human Resources||Limited||I’m self taught, self employed, and hate confrontation. You will not get a lot of advice on how to hire, fire, or even work well with others.|
Ok, I could go on forever with this. I REALLY like doing charts, spreadsheets, and tables far more than would be considered healthy. Here’s the question to you;
Are you my ideal reader?
Based on the information I gave above, do you fit into those categories, or are you interested in similar topics? I hope so. Over the next couple months, my new focus will be on making sure the site is tailored to this target audience. I will probably go back, and refine that list even further. From all the posts on blogging I’ve read, the smaller the niche you can serve, the better. I’d much rather have 100 really loyal and engaged readers than 10,000 who just check out the site from time to time. (ok, I’d take 10 of either right now, but I’m not supposed to admit that)
I’ll be tweaking the site visually, and making sure the posts are about the topics I have listed above.
In the meantime, check out the article from Chris Brogan, and maybe ask yourself the same questions about your site.
Rethink Your Web Presence. (via chrisbrogan.com)