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After two and a half years of blogging, I can not stress enough the importance of creating your ideal visitor’s persona for your blog. This article was first published here in November 2015. I have revisited and republished it with my latest point of view on this topic.
The topic I am going to cover has many names.
Or visitor’s segmentation.
They all serve the same purpose – to define and know more about your readers and followers. If you are a blogger, this means your blog visitors and readers.
For effective and targeted blogging that resonates with your reader, it is important for you to know your audience that you are writing for. Building your ideal reader’s profile will help you to achieve this goal.
I am going to share with you in this article why this is crucial and how can you build the personas of your blog visitors. I am also going to share the 3 “blog audience profiles” that I have developed for my blog.
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Many people have written about this topic.
Kevan Lee from Buffer Blog has written a detailed beginner’s guide on this subject and Darren Rowse of Problogger also wrote about how to create reader profiles/personas to inspire and inform your blogging.
Here is my version and a summary of my understanding.
Effective writing (blogging) is a strategic activity which goes beyond the ordinary effort put forward by many bloggers in today’s blogosphere.
It is based on long term relationships, creating trust with your readers and establishing your brand identity.
And it is not possible if you don’t have an idea about the audience or the readers you are writing for. You need to have clarity about your targeted audience.
Your blog visitors, readers and customers.
Of course you don’t meet them in person and you are not going to talk to every one of them either. However, over the period of time and through different methods, it should be your aim to have as much details as possible about them. To know more about them.
Surveys, feedback forms, emails, personal conversations, commenting, forum chats, community boards, social media, face to face discussions or whatever. Start building a bank of information about them and get more clarity in your mind about your readers.
This will help you to define them in more detail, know about their needs and understand their pain points. This in turn will assist you to write with more clarity, precision and focus.
“The end result is improved engagement, increased trust and loyal readership.”
I believe that at the core of every blogger’s dream is this objective.
Next step is to write it down.
Because writing anything down is more effective than keeping it in your head. Never trust your memory, write it down, it will give you more confidence and clarity. Make it one of your priorities to document your ideal reader’s persona in your blog marketing plan or somewhere where it is easier to find and revisit.
It took me nearly 18 months to understand the importance of this concept. I procrastinated for over an year on this matter and never formally documented these profiles.
I want you to learn from my mistake.
Appreciate how important is this “persona building” and start working on it from today.
If you are new to blogging, the image of your reader in your mind will be unclear and vague in early days.
This is normal.
Start writing it down and keep refining it on a regular basis. Keep adding more detail to it based on your best guess, judgement and opinion. Trust your gut feel. Listen to your heart. There is no right or wrong here.
Write creatively and build an imaginary “reader profile” on paper for your blog.
You may have only one profile if you write in a narrow niche. You may have two, three or more. Only you can decide how many audience profiles do you need to cover your blog traffic. Meera Kothand wrote this excellent guest contribution on Smartblogger explaining the process involved in creating an ideal reader profile.
I am now going to share the 3 personas that I have got for my readers here at REASONTOUSE.
I have one persona each for the three main categories that I have on this blog. Smartphone, PC and Website.
John is from London and 31 years old.
He is an architect by profession and works in a busy office in 9 to 5 routine. His hobbies include outdoor sports, socialising and surfing the internet and everything Android. He is married with a wife and two daughters.
He is a die-hard Android fan.
He enjoys his top-end flagship smartphones and likes to change them every 6 to 12 months to try new models and features. It is his this thirst to try new and high-end Android devices that he rarely binds himself in mobile phone contracts. He prefers buying them in cash and selling the old ones via eBay etc.
He stumbled on my reviews through Google Search a couple of times and since then, he has been a regular visitor on my blog for Android related articles and reviews. He enjoys reading my articles for two purposes.
First, he wants to keep him informed about the latest flagship models and their real-life feedback from someone who has personally tried and tested them.
Second and more importantly, my articles help him to make his decisions to choose his next mobile phone. My reviews help him to know about a particular model in case if he is planning to get one himself or comparing it to a different model. There are a few important considerations for him such as camera quality, design and battery life etc. which he believes my reviews cover in detailed manner.
He trusts me that I write real-life feedback and express my opinion with honesty and without any bias.
He is a silent reader and admirer of my blog and writing. He has never contacted me however, he occasionally shares my articles on his Twitter account.
Chris works with an IT firm in Austin, Texas.
He is in his mid forties and lives with his wife and 3 kids in the outskirts of the city. He likes active lifestyle and loves travelling and exploring different places.
His companionship with computers is over 25 years old from the days when he was doing his degree in networking and systems.
He has been a faithful Windows user for a long time before he tried his first Chromebook as a casual secondary device. This was aimed for his travelling and mobile use. He never knew that he will like them so much that today, most of his computing needs are covered by his Chromebook.
Chris is a fan of everything Google.
He is quick to learn and open to new ideas and innovation. The ChromeOS, its simplicity and intuitiveness have made him a regular user of this device. Two of his kids use Chromebooks in their school and more recently, his wife has shown interest in getting a Chromebook for herself as well.
He likes reading my articles on Chromebooks and Chrome operating system in general. He is not shy to share it with others as he believes that it is something which has a potential to change the way personal computing will be done in the future. He likes knowing about the latest Chromebooks and options in the market.
He is not very regular on my blog because he thinks that the amount of information in the “Chromebooks” section is not very big. Sometimes he feels that I am not producing enough information for him to consume. However, more recently, his emphasis has shifted from the hardware to the software side of things. He loves reading about the quality software and services one can use and enjoy on Chromebooks.
Emma (22) lives in Brisbane Australia.
She is currently finishing her degree in Human Sciences with a special interest in psychology. Writing is in her blood and she enjoys expressing her thoughts through writing on various platforms.
Last year she registered her own domain and started her personal blog on WordPress. Inspired from her friend and something that started as a casual hobby, soon turned into a full blazing passion.
She now considers her blog to be a valuable repository of her learning, experience and skills – shared with her readers.
WordPress is still a significant learning curve for her. She is in constant search of best techniques and tips to improve her blog and get the maximum benefit from the WordPress software.
She is normally in search of real life feedback and lessons learnt from bloggers and this is how she found me while searching on Google.
She is now a regular reader at my blog and loves my direct and conversational style of writing. She thinks that the real-life insights that I share are valuable and she can relate to them. She is not after superficial and thin content, she likes reading detailed and insightful articles related to blogging and WordPress.
Emma has big plans. She sees herself as a famous writer and blogger. She wants to be unique and influencing. She wants to use my experience through my writing to increase her own knowledge and awareness.
She is thinking about sending me a request to write for my blog. She considers herself as a shy and silent member of the REASONTOUSE community and wants to contribute via her articles. To establish her authority and brand identity.
You have got a flavour of how I see my readers as.
I intend to keep this as a live document for the rest of my blogging career. The more I know about you, the more I will keep refining the characteristics of my ideal blog reader’s profile. I believe that with the passage of time, this sketch in my mind will be more and more clearer.
The aim is to know you and help you.
I want you to carry out this exercise too.
Write your “audience personas” and focus your writing further every time you publish a blog post. You will see a gradual increase in user engagement and readership.
Do you agree that every blogger needs to do this exercise and make an effort to know their readers with more clarity?
Share your personal feedback and experience with us if you have ever tried to document your blog reader personas?