Posted by: Jim Adcock | February 20, 2011

A Built-In Audience

No man is an island, or so they say.

You come complete with an audience, even if you didn’t know it. 

You have friends and relatives.  You have a social network that you can present your posts to, people who could be part of your audience.

But it doesn’t end there!  If you blog has a specific focus, you are likely to be involved in a larger sphere of people with similar interests.

Let me give you an example.  On my main blog, one of my subjects is career management, with a particular focus on people struggling with unemployment.  I had a certain amount of experience with this over the last several years with the economic downturn, so it seemed a natural fit. 

I became a member of an organization called Launch Pad Job Club during a previous layoff a number of years earlier.  LPJC helps people who have lost their jobs to get the skills they need to land their next job, and helps them cope with the interim between jobs. The group is very large (over 10,000 people have been members over the last 10 years), with a Yahoo Group that has over 4,000 subscribers. (We might have more, but we require that people attend at least one meeting before allowing them to join the Yahoo Group.)

So when posting about employment issues, dealing with unemployment, and tips for getting re-employed more quickly, I found an easy way to get a couple of hundred hits: send a note to the Yahoo Group.

This also works if you blog about more than one subject. Another example: my other main subject is SharePoint. As far as I know, I was the only SharePoint expert at LPJC. So it really wouldn’t do much good for me to send announcements about my SharePoint posts to the LPJC list – I wouldn’t get readers, and the audience would be trained to tune me out. So I needed to find a different forum, one where my audience was. Since my SharePoint posts are related to my career, I turned to a career-related forum – LinkedIn. So far this year, 403 page views were referred from professional groups on LinkedIn. (And of course, some of those people went on to view other posts besides the one they initially clicked to view – as much as a third of my page views come from people viewing additional posts beyond the one they came to find.)

A final example – I wrote a review of a technology book. At the time I was much more focused on providing content than on getting page views. So I was surprised when Google searches were leading people to my post. I did a search myself to try and understand why and found that my post was ranked third or fourth in the search results. I looked at the other results and found a discussion board with the question “How good is this book?” So I added my answer, “See my post!” Guess what? That URL is the fourth biggest referer to my blog, behind LinkedIn, Yahoo Mail, and Google. From making one little comment.

So what are your posts about? How does that topic intersect with your life? Where that intersection is, you will find people, a potential audience.

Where would you go to find out more information about the subject you are writing about? There you will also find people.

Find your community, and there you will find your audience.

Jim Adcock is a SharePoint Administrator, and blogs about SharePoint at his main blog, Working It Out. He is also Vice President of Launch Pad Job Club, an organization in Austin, Texas, whose mission is help people who have lost their jobs to get the skills they need to land their next job, and to help them cope with the interim between jobs. Consequently, Jim also blogs about career management. He also serves as Secretary on the Austin Software Process Improvement Network Board of Directors. He also wants to know why everyone keeps asking him about sleep…

Advertisements

Responses

  1. […] When I start a post, I have a general idea of what I want to say. I’ve started with an audience, so I know who I am aiming my content toward […]

  2. […] what your audience wants to read.  (You have identified your audience, […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: