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Oh No, My Blog Audience Isn't My Target Market

one2one-sm.gifDefining your target, or niche, market is very important to the success of your business.

If you know what you do, the next step is to know who you do it for. Even better is knowing what problems they face that you can help them solve through your products and services.

But what if your blog audience isn’t your target market

This is exactly what Liz asked me in our latest one2one conversation:

What advice would you give to a friend whose audience wasn't his niche market group?

Boy, there are a lot of ways to go with this one.

First thing, celebrate that you have audience to begin with. Many web-based business struggle to get people to visit their site in the first place – let alone having an interested audience that interacts with you.

Next, take a look at your blog, website and marketing message. If you’ve been trying to reach your niche market and have ended up with a different audience, there’s a number of things to consider:

  1. Perhaps you’ve not been found by your niche yet. It is possible, especially in the blogosphere, that you have a large audience of bloggers who just like you, your writing, your perspectives on things but that don’t need your services. The easy answer to this is you have to hang out where your niche market is hanging out.
  2. Perhaps you’re a little off on who your niche is. It’s easy to go off track. As a business owner, you should periodically review your marketing message with who your targeting versus who’s responding. Often, it’s just a few tweaks that can get you back on track.
  3. Perhaps you want to write for your niche, but are influenced by your traffic reports. It’s so easy to redirect your blog’s focus a bit because of traffic. It may feel great to write about off-niche topics that get you Dugg, that get large volumes of traffic or that generate lots of comments (I love it too) – just be sure to ask if your business needs are getting met.
  4. Perhaps you don’t know your real niche yet. One big advantage to blogging is that you’ll be writing often on topics related to your business. This gives you ample opportunity to explore who it is you want to work with. You may find that what you thought was your niche market really isn’t.
  5. Perhaps your niche isn’t your passion. When you blog daily on a topic, it can get old quickly. So watch yourself. See what you really have love for writing about. You may find that your niche market isn’t your true passion. If so, I’d suggest re-evaluating your niche market.
  6. You could, simply, be in the wrong business. It does happen. You set out to start a business in a certain area only to find that the it doesn’t fit. Or maybe what you thought you could provide your niche, you really can’t do. Don’t dismay, simply take a look at whether you’re in the right business or not. You can always change what you’re doing.

These are some of the things I’d want to discuss if a friend – or if you – contacted me for help.

There are many facets that go into having a successful business. One is the way your feet are facing when you begin the journey. That’s why it’s often good to stop, pull out the map and take a look around before you end up lost.

So Liz, what would you suggest my friend do if they looked around and found themselves lost with their business?

Of course, the answer I give and the question I pose is not just for Liz.

Should You Get A .com Domain Name At All Costs?

questioning.jpgFinding the right domain name can make a difference between a successful website and one that’s stuck in the pit of mediocrity. Okay, maybe it’s not that dramatic, but there is some truth here.

The question is, how importat is the .com? Should you get closetowhatIwant.com or should you get exactlywhatIwant.net or even mybusinessname.biz?

Alex King has been facing this exactly question as he renames his business from King Design to Crowd Favorite. Of course, he couldn’t wrestle crowdfavorite.com away from its current owner. So he came up with either using crowdfavorite.net or crowdfave.com.

Which would you choose? And why?

Alex polled his readers and got mixed feedback with crowdfavorite.net winning out by a small margin. Which was good because he had already decided to use crowdfavorite.net. But as he said it, “the response to crowdfave.com has gotten my attention. This decision is holding up a number of things, but I want to make sure I've thought it through completely.”

Personally, I’ve always held the position that the .com was ultimately better. And unless you really couldn’t find one you like, you should always choose a .com.

A couple of the comments Alex got made me think about this position, though. Brian Warren of Be Good Not Bad suggested:

…i'd rather have a .net domain and have it be the name of my company than have a .com and have it not.

Others had similar feedback. And there’s some great advice “out there” on selecting a domain name:

But what do you think? Is a .com the only way to go? Or does the extention matter that much today?

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