Defining 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Edward Mills says
Dawud. I wonder if part of the problem could be one of focus. I see my blog, from a marketing funnel perspective, as just above the top of my funnel. In other words, I fully expect that I’m going to have a lot of people reading my blog that are either not quite, or potentially not even close to the audience I am targeting in my business. And that’s totally fine with me. In fact, that’s the purpose of having a low-barrier-to-entry product or service at the top of your funnel. I think that some folks might assume that none of their blog readers are in their market because the active readers – those who comment and connect via email – are not. But it may be that there are plenty of folks interested who are just hanging out in the background getting to know you.
On the other hand, all of the possibilities you list above, especially 2, 3, 4 and 6 are well worth exploring for anyone interested in clarifying their target audience.
Dawud Miracle says
I couldn’t agree more. I’ve already experienced people contacting me who I never knew were reading my blog who have either developed into business partnerships or become clients.
I think what’s important is that we find as much clarity as we can around our business and our target audience and just keep going forward.
Steve Roesler says
I’ve been tracking Liz’s series and find that all of her questions and guidelines are right on the money, even if painful at times.
There’s at least one more question that occurred to me when evaluating one’s blog:
Are you in the process of writing a book and don’t yet realize it?
I’ve discovered over the past 10 months that my articles add up to a couple of books that have been simmering, as well as some new workshops and speeches.
While producing content for the blog I’ve been producing content for the business.
Adam Donkus says
Great post Dawud. I was just talking to a fellow blogger about the same topic tonight. I will refer her to this post.
Dawud Miracle says
Without a doubt.
I think the blog is a great place to work on content that’s to used in a book. It’s also a great place to work out our thoughts around specific points in a book.
What I write about here is what I do with my clients. Hopefully, it gives people a taste of what it’s like to work with me – and how I can help them.
So are you planning a book, or books, around the topics you’ve been covering on your blog?
Thanks. Please let me know if I can do anything to help. And you’re welcome to suggest to her to ask questions in the comment box.
Steve Roesler says
For sure, Dawud, a book or two are in the works, with one being a collaboration as a result of a blogger relationship.
One of the terrific benefits of online conversation is the expansion of ideas that come from relationships with commenters who offer wonderful insights.
Dawud Miracle says
That’s what I love about the blogosphere – creating relationships. Isn’t it incredible that a little website can have this much power?
I’ve learned so much from the people who comment on my blog – as well as from the relationships we’ve developed. Now I’m teaching others how to do the same. Amazing, really.