Do me a favor and close your eyes (well not yet, but when you finish reading this): Picture your blog on a computer screen, with someone scrolling and clicking and leaving comments. Who is this person? Who are you blogging for?
I was really struck by a statement in a recent article from ProBlogger about blogging for your niche: “don't write about something, write for someone.”
What he means is that even if you pick a specific topic to blog about, you may not be reaching your maximum potential for growth and success if you aren't targeting your content towards a specific audience.
For example, you might want to write a blog that's all about shoes. That's a specific niche without a clear reader. Is your ideal reader a male or female? Is this person on a budget or obsessed with luxury goods? Does your reader enjoy editorials from magazines featuring designer shoes, or expert fit and shopping tips for comfortable footwear?
The next time you sit down to write a post, picture your ideal reader in your mind first. Maybe write down a description of this person that you can look at and remind yourself from time to time. Maybe start with “This is a blog for…” and go from there. Be as specific as you can.
Think about what this person would want to read, what kinds of images would appeal to them, and how they use the Internet. Maybe that person is you, maybe it's a mixture of someone like you and someone you aspire to be, or maybe it's a particular demographic you want to reach.
Clothing companies do this all the time with the way they merchandise their catalogs and lookbooks. Think about the styling, the settings they shoot in, the models they choose. The companies make clothes, but they sell a lifestyle, to you, hopefully. It's the way they present the items and the context they display them in that makes you want to have them, don't you think?
Naturally, not all of your readers will fit into this description, but the more you tailor your content to reach a core customer, the higher your potential to build a loyal, engaged following.