One of the issues that bloggers struggle with is getting traffic. There are two aspects to traffic we need to be concerned about:
Which do you think is more important of the two? If you were in a large, crowded room, and you shouted your message to everyone, how many people would be the right ones to hear it? Probably not many! But what if you had filtered your audience down to those who were already predisposed to hear your message? Then you get get much better results for the same amount of work, even though you were reaching fewer people. At first glance fewer people would seem worse than many people, but we have to focus on quality first, then quantity.
Qualify for Quality
Your blog has a purpose (at least, it should!) and audience members with certain qualifications are your ideal visitors, because they are most likely to convert, or perform our most desired action, such as click on an ad or sign up for our newsletter. So, do you know who you’re looking for? The answer most certainly is not everybody!
Determine your idea audience qualities by understanding their needs:
- What do they want?
- What do they fear?
- What are their “pain points”?
- What are their dreams?
By creating blog content that speaks to these points, you will qualify your audience. In other words, by creating content that only appeals to your ideal audience members, you will ensure that they are the people who mostly be visiting your blog. Anybody else who shows up will not find your content appealing and they will go away. That’s not a bad thing, because they weren’t going to convert, anyway. You don’t want them. You want people who are more likely to convert. You attract those people by creating content which appeals only to them.
In other words, you create your audience.
Quantity and the Long Tail
Once you begin qualifying your audience by creating content which appeals only to them, they will begin to find you more and more easily via search. By focusing on your audience’s needs, you will have done major, content-level search optimization.
There are probably plenty of people that belong to your qualified audience group. At first, you may not have a large audience. But if you keep focusing on creating exactly the content your audience needs, your content will act like a big net, snagging more and more of the right fish who are swimming by. Even a small segment of the general population is enough to sustain a blog. This is the specialized appeal of niches, and why we focus on a particular niche. Getting a large amount of a thin cross-section of the general population is an aspect of the long tail, a concept that shows how on the web we can profit without appealing to the most popular tastes.
Not only search, but also referrals will begin to happen, as word of mouth spreads from one qualified audience member to another. This then compounds the search effect because of others linking to you.
Focus like a Laser
Only by focusing like a laser beam on meeting your intended audience’s needs will you ever get that audience to your blog. It will not happen overnight. Becoming a search magnet and building word of mouth takes time. If you haven’t been doing this before, your audience will actually shrink a little at first. Do not be dismayed! If you are truly creating the content they seek, your audience will build back up again… and grow beyond the original numbers.