Recently, I closed my Facebook group and started a new one because I’ve been further refining my blog’s target audience. Since the birth of this blog (and every blog I’ve had before this), I’ve had to refine my target audience many times. I’ve realized that there are certain indicators of a good target audience which you guys would really benefit from knowing.
Target market, target audience, ideal clients, tribe building, community, niching down…
These are all buzzwords which bloggers and marketers throw around. How important is it really?
At the end of the day, all you need is to sell stuff to someone and be happy while doing it.
And this is what this guide will help you with. By the end of this guide, I want you to be equipped with the knowledge to find the right niche for your blog and define your blog’s target audience so that you have the proper foundation to make sales with your blog. Let’s go!
Here’s What You’ll Learn:
- Why it is important to niche
- The hot indicators that your ideal target audience would fulfill
- How to ensure that your blog target audience would purchase from you
Why Is It Important to Niche?
Here’s why it’s super duper important to find a niche:
- It orients your marketing efforts in the right direction.
- Helps you write compelling copy and create content that gets into your buyer’s heads.
- Create specific products that will sell like hotcakes.
- Helps you to cut marketing cost.
- You can charge a premium price because you’re specializing.
1. For Starters, Create Your Ideal Customer Avatar
Many marketers will ask you to do the ideal customer avatar exercise.
The Ideal Customer Avatar Exercise is where you imagine the best possible customer you can ever sell to and list out all of his/her traits, behaviours, and characteristics.
This includes identifying the: Name, Gender, Academic background, Career, Marital Status, Family, Hobbies, Things They Hate, Age, Attitude in life, Goals & Ambitions, Problems They Face, Pets, Income, Car, Social Situation, etc. of your ideal customer.
Is the ideal customer avatar exercise useful? Yes to a certain extent, as you become clear on who you want to serve. I would encourage you to do the exercise regardless to have clarity on your desires. The ideal customer avatar is the first step to identifying your niche and target audience.
2. You Must Be Able To Reach Your Target Audience Consistently & Quickly.
When I was told that the ideal customer avatar was all I will ever need to identify my blog’s target audience, I was really confused.
The thing about having your ideal customer avatar as your target audience is that it is often difficult to reach out to hordes of people who are your exact ideal customer avatar.
For instance, there is no way anyone can successfully target “a stressed out mom driving a Ford with 3 kids and wants to start her own business”.
There is simply no way that you’ll be able to find your exact ideal client avatar all the time.
The truth is that your ideal customer avatar is a good to have, but it’s not the only thing you will need. I was really shocked to hear that certain expensive (think: $2000 and more) make money online courses tout the ideal client avatar exercise as the sole way to identify your target audience.
You’re running an online business after all and that requires a constant stream of traffic and new people coming in every day. You need to know where and how you are going to reach large numbers of your chosen target market.
Hence, you’ll see that the target audience of this blog is about “bloggers who want a profitable blog” and not “mom bloggers with 3 kids and a dog who wants to build a blog but has no time to start and no cash and is currently unemployed and drives a truck”.
There are too many variables that make targeting the latter too complex.
So broaden it out a little. You must have some idea of how you’re going to find your intended target audience. Make sure that you can easily reach and access large numbers of your target audience 🙂
Some typical ways people use to reach their target audience:
- People that follow their competitors
- Demographic features
- Certain interests they have
- Certain problems they face
- Certain phrases they use
For instance, I am targeting bloggers with this blog, so I can find tons of bloggers in Facebook/ other social media groups and from competitors that also serve bloggers. This happily signals to me that I am not too specific with my target audience. 🙂
3. Will They Buy?
You may be passionate about a certain group of people, but if you want your business to be really profitable, your target audience must be willing and able to buy what you sell.
Questions you MUST ask yourself:
- Are they too poor to buy from you?
- Are they too young or old to buy from you?
- Are they technologically savvy enough to buy from you?
- Do they suffer from the problem you solve?
- Are they even aware of the problem you are trying to help them solve?
Get your product-target audience match figured out; this is really important. I’m not talking about a 50% fit between your target audience and your product, but a 99.99999999% fit. It must be a real no-brainer for your target audience to purchase your product/ service.
Example: I had a money mindset course
I wanted to sell a money mindset course, but my target audience was completely off tangent to what I was selling! If I were to decide that I wanted to sell a money mindset product, I would have been better off targeting women entrepreneurs with an interest in personal development, rather than going to random personal development blogs and trying to get their fans over (which was what I later did).
The stars align when you have a product/service, and your marketing efforts are trying to get people who are super interested in your product/ service from the get-go.
4. Niche Down, Always Niche Down.
Don’t be afraid of leaving people out. I repeat, DO NOT BE AFRAID OF LEAVING PEOPLE OUT. The fear of missing out is real. You want to serve more people; I get it. But don’t make this mistake.
A jack of all trades is a master of none. One of the biggest mistakes many people who are just starting out make is trying to serve everyone. When you’re small, time and resources are lacking. Serving a small target audience helps you make sales quickly so that you can scale up.
Itis difficult for you to sell generic stuff to everyone because they won’t be convinced that your products and services would solve their specific problem. This makes it difficult for you to serve anyone.
It is okay to have readers that aren’t in your target audience, but you must know who you are speaking to.
Example: Personal Development Blog
Back when I first started my personal development blog, wanting to “help people grow” was too vague a target audience for me. There were too many blogs in the market about it, some of them were huge blogs. It wasn’t until I decided that I wanted to serve people who needed inspiration did I gain lots of traction – I could target fans of competitors of inspirational personal development websites.
Example: Digital Marketing Blog
When I started this digital marketing blog, I was super passionate about serving anyone who wanted to start an online business. What I failed to do was specify what kind of online entrepreneur I wanted to serve.
You may see that the “big guns” of your industry may seem to appeal to large groups of people (think Lifehacker, HuffingtonPost, etc..). But that was AFTER they had established themselves for years and years. Even though I knew the importance of niching down, I still fell for my fear of missing out. That wasted me a ton of money and time.
If you don’t niche down…
- It’s difficult for people to stick around because your content doesn’t appeal directly to them
- Fewer people will buy your product because they are not 100% confident that you are the best person that can solve their problems
- Your marketing costs go up because you end up marketing to a lot of people that aren’t THAT interested in what you have to say
- As a beginner, you are going to have a hard time establishing credibility as compared to the big guns who have been around for years
5. You Must Be Passionate About Serving Them.
Do you see yourself serving this group of people in the long-term? There’s nothing worst than burning out after 6 months.
Example: I Got Tired of Personal Development
I got tired of personal development! There, I said it. I was constantly putting pressure on myself to be the best version of myself, but in reality, I had many bad habits. I was never sure about personal development in the first place – I just wanted to dip my toes into something, and it was one of my interests!
I never stopped to think if it was something I was willing to do in the long run. At the same time, I was a marketing major and every day I was learning about digital marketing and online business building. I was constantly learning and growing. A leap of faith was inevitable.
6. The Feel Good Test
The Feel Good Test: Does targeting your target audience make you feel good?
Does this sound iffy? Well, it’s not. There’s a very logical explanation for this test. Being an entrepreneur takes a lot of willpower and motivation. If something makes you feel shitty, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll continue serving them long enough for you to see success.
Having a bad feeling about your niche or target audience could be due to a variety of reasons. It could be due to a lack of passion, or perhaps a gut feeling that you are not niching down enough to really serve people well. When you target the right people, you’ll feel a feeling of happiness and positivity. Listen to your gut feeling, most of the time it is right.
It’s a much safer bet to find a niche and a target audience that makes you feel good.
7. Is Someone Else Doing It & Succeeding With It?
In today’s digital age there’s a blog for everything in the world. Do you know of any other blogs that are serving your target audience and having success with it?
This is really important! If there are no blogs that serve your current target audience, you need to rethink your target audience (OR more likely, do a more thorough search – you probably just haven’t heard of it!).
Whew. That was a pretty long and in-depth post about how you can figure out who to target in your business. I hope that it has been helpful for you!
In a nutshell, the right niche & your ideal target audience would be one that:
- Possesses characteristics from your ideal customer avatar
- You can reach and market to large numbers of your target audience consistently and quickly
- Have a 99.99999% fit to your product/ service and will buy something that you are selling/ will be selling
- You are passionate about serving long term
- Makes you feel good
- Other blogs/ websites have succeeded by targeting them
Go ahead now and get real clear with your target audience! Be sure to share with me your insights in our free Facebook group 🙂
Just starting out as a new entrepreneur and want to start your blog right? Sign up for my Free Step-By-Step Blog Starter Workshop, you’ll learn how to launch a website (tech worries begone!), install a reliable website theme, the 6 ways to make money blogging, and more:
You’ll also find these posts relevant:
- The Ultimate Guide: How to Launch a Brand New Website
- 101 Popular Topic + Ideas On What To Blog About
- The Business Model Behind Your Internet Online Business
- Boring Brand? Here’s How to Make Your Brand Stand Out From the Noisy Crowd
- 4 Steps To Finding Your Dream Niche For Your Blog + Biz
- Why I Closed My Facebook Group of 580 Entrepreneurs and Started a New Facebook Community From Scratch
Another pin design for you:
xx Raelyn 🙂
I appreciate your efforts in this post Raelyn.
Honestly, I felt a sense of validation in reading your thoughts on the customer avatar. It always seemed like an exercise in conjecture trying to fashion this ideal person. In my mind, the ideal customer is a man or a woman that has an persisting issue that my blog addresses. That’s it!
Also, the niche it down pointers that you give resonate with me, because it helped me see a leak in my blog game. While (I like to think that) my blog help a wide range of folks with a common issue, it is now clear to me that any & all products I market to my audience would only fit a certain segment of my target crowd. Thanks again.
And as far as the passion goes, I certainly do appreciate the points you’ve made. However, the angle I’m coming from in the niche I’m in is to tackle the issue of my target audience while using my progress on the same issue as a case study. If I cannot progress, then the blog doesn’t either. And believe me, I am motivated to do so!
Again, you have my gratitude for helping me gain a bit of perspective, relative to my blog.
You da girl Raelyn!
Raelyn Tan says
I really appreciate that you took the time to write me a comment! I am so glad to hear that you have gained some new insights about choosing a good target audience from my post.
See you around in my community!
Thank you so much for explaining the avatar. I also thought the ideal target was just a little overkill when talking about what they drive and what type of pets they have. Now I understand it better.All of your posts are excellent and very informative. None of your post are ever meh. They are all, always over the top excellent. Thanks for all your hard work.
Raelyn Tan says
Hey Tonya, you’re welcome! You have made my day with your kind words 🙂
Thank you so much for all the knowledge your sharing. Just found you via Pinterest when I was about to start blogging away! 😀 Never blogged before in my life so Im glad I found you before I made a ton of mistakes!. I just finished building my website at hostgator (Puh!) and the only thing missing right now is a blog page.. and start making youtube vids to generate traffic to my site. I have a Blue Yeti by the way!LOL
Raelyn Tan says
Haha! Siteground for the win! Check out raelyntan.com/how-to-start-a-blog for why 😉 Keep going, Glenn! And Blue yetis are great 🙂
Maria Tayer says
Fabulous, fabulous post! I was just thinking about this same topic. Knowing your target audience is important because if you don’t it can be paralyzing. The better you know your audience the more confident you can be.
Thank you also for the tips that you mentioned.
Raelyn Tan says
Great to hear this, you’re welcome x
Niching down is something that a lot of new bloggers take for granted. I am in digital marketing space for some time, and while reading this post I found myself thinking “fck, I must get back and niche down”. So, it is very easy not to give it a much needed though process.
I would like to add that for new bloggers an audience journey can be a good think to add to the mix too. So instead of a broad niche, one should niche down. While niche down, on can also think of audience journey. So, instead of starting a food blog, you can start a no sugar cakes blog (niched down a bit) but with a twist. No Sugar Cakes for Newbies! The journey just began.
Hm, this post really gave me a good though 🙂 Going back to a drawing board.
Great article! Keep up the great work.
Raelyn Tan says
Hey Nikola, great point there! x