Success isn't just about having a successful blog—it's about understanding your audience. Without a complete understanding of your audience, your blog can be difficult to monetize. Even more dangerously, it can be difficult to anticipate how your readers will react to changes. Here are five key ways you can begin analyzing (and appropriately utilizing) your blog’s reader base.
1. Reviewing Your Statistics
How many users are viewing your blog? Where are they from? Modern data analytics can tell you an extraordinary amount about your readers, ranging from their age to their interests. But not every blog has a singular audience: you may find that you're actually reaching out to multiple demographics. That requires digging deep into data mining services such as Google Analytics. Google Analytics will give you all of the information about your readers that you need to separate them into easy to connect with demographics.
2. See How They Engage With Your Site
How are users flowing through your website? Where do they go when they land on your site — and how often do they visit? How much time do they spend on each page? Do they ever bounce away quickly? These are questions that are very important, as they'll tell you key things about your website's UI and whether you're giving your readers what they're looking for. From this information, you can also determine what information on your website is most valuable—and from there you can bolster those areas of the site to draw in additional readers.
3. Conducting Reviews and User Surveys
What are readers really saying about your business? Companies such as OpenTell make it easy to find out what verified users really think. It may not be enough to simply ask them: your results will be skewed by what your readers want to say to you. That makes third party review sites and user surveys especially useful. User reviews can also be a good way to follow up with readers and especially to find out what they liked (or didn't like) about specific events and content.
4. Looking at Your Social Media
Social media interactivity is a critical component to any blog presence today. By monitoring your social media, you can see two things: who is following you and how your blog or brand is being mentioned. You can connect to your audience with a unique level of intimacy through your social media accounts. Responding to and engaging with your readers is the perfect way to build a relationship. Social media sharing will also give you a very easy indication of how popular your content is and whether it's resonating with your readership.
5. Connecting Your Readers to Sales
The 80/20 rule (also known as the Pareto Principle) is an important one in sales. It says that 20% of your readers are likely to be responsible for 80% of your sales. Understandably, this isn't a hard and fast rule; it's simply a way to say that a very small amount of your clients are probably going to be offering the majority of your revenue. Identifying these readers is extremely important. Using reader relationship management suites (or simply tracking readers through your blog's own platform) is a good way to identify these high value readers and offer them rewards, such as loyalty programs.
With a better understanding of your audience, you'll be able to reach out to your readers and monetize them like never before. It just takes a little bit of extra work, data crunching, and due diligence.