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Weekend Project: Get to Know Your Audience

Posted By Darren Rowse 5th of May 2012 Miscellaneous Blog Tips 0 Comments

Many of the bloggers I speak to tell me about their audiences. They know their ages, their locations, and how often they visit and comment on their blogs.

But as we all know, there’s a wealth of other information that we can access about our blogs’ readers. But actually getting hold of that information, and then using it to build out our understanding of our readers in a helpful way can be difficult.

Then there’s the question of getting to know the readers you haven’t yet attracted to your blog—that’s a whole other challenge. But as Greg McFarlane pointed out earlier this week, attracting an audience from beyond your blog is essential to selling products. Of course, it’s essential to any blog’s growth—whether you’ve got something to sell, or you’re just trying to grow your readership and reach more people with your message.

So this weekend, why not dedicate yourself to finding out more about your current readers, and your would-be readers?

Today and tomorrow, we’re running a two-part special feature on audience research. The first part helps you research the audience you want to attract to your blog. The second delves into finding out more about  your existing audience. If you can find a few hours to implement this advice this weekend, you might just find that your plans for the coming week (or month) come into a sharper focus!

Before we begin, I wanted to get a feel for what you use as your key sources of reader information. Do you rely on Google Analytics, or some other stats package or plugin? Or do you go further, getting information from social network interactions, comment moderation tasks, and things like competitions, polls, and surveys?

I use a combination of these methods, but I’m interested to know how you use the information you have to paint a clear picture of your readers. Let me know in the comments … and I hope this weekend’s project is helpful!

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
  1. Hi Darren
    My blog is currently hosted at WordPress and I use their built-in stats page. Its pretty useful for what I want at the moment, but I fully intend to start using polls and surveys.

  2. This sounds awesome! This special feature is going to run on your blog, or I need to subscribe to your newsletter?

    Melissa from MelissaAgnes.com

    • Oh, and I have a WordPress blog, I use Google Analytics but I also try to have convos via Twitter and other platforms to get to know my readers better.


  3. We use Facebook Insights. We haven’t found anything for Twitter, yet.

  4. Hi Darren.
    I’m running a self hosted blog in The Netherlands and because it’s limited reach in The Netherlands for the English speaking audience, I targeted the US as my blogs with resulted in a big increase in unique visitors. The visitors cab roughly be divided into two groups. People I know from Twitter and other Social Networking Platforms and ‘other’.
    I noticed, that mostly people I got to know using Twitter comment on the topics covered in my blog. The ‘other’ group doesn’t really interact on my posts.
    I have tried polls and an attempts at guest-blogging but still there is not much communication going on, so I tried out a new layout and commenting system. That helped a lot in the number of pageviews, but there’s still little interaction.
    I believe that’s because people that blog are more used to this way of communication. Visitors that are looking for a certain product need the information they are looking for now, and do not want to come back for an answer.
    I’ll figure it out. Never say die is one of my motto’s.

  5. We use Google Analytics and also ask for feedback through email and video. We are always trying give our subscribers what they want and this has worked pretty well. We have also done some surveys through Survey Monkey. With all of that said, we are always looking for ways to improve and learn! Thanks for this post Darren!

  6. Hi Darren, I’m using Google Analytics and WordPress stats to know more about my traffic. Thanks for running this weekend project. I’m sure it will open me to what other possibilities out there. Will come back for more updates! :)

  7. So very true….my site is only 1 month old and im pulling in way more traffic than I had anticipated. I am now im a position where I have no idea of the demographic of my readers – and therefore, what products to sell them lol. Thank god for split testing! :) …I think ill start running polls this weekend. Anyways, as usual, thanks for the tips. -Nathan J

  8. My blog is relatively new, so I primarily use Google Analytics and the WordPress Stats plug-in.

  9. I’m very new to the blogospere, so most of the interactions with my readers are still happening through their Facebook comments. Having a bit of a challenge getting them to comment on the actual blog. I do have Google Analytics set up, but still getting used to the software.

  10. Hi Darren, one source only… Google analytics (at the mo). Would also love to hear thoughts on how to analyse the reports better!

  11. Hi Darren
    My blog is currently hosted at WordPress and I use their built-in stats page. Its pretty useful for what I want at the moment, but I fully intend to start using polls and surveys.

  12. Google analytical gives almost technical stuffs regarding the visitors. Their location, what they r searching for, their devices, their interests etc. So, along with it, i use kissinsights simple plugin for wordpress to know more about my readers. After puting disqus plugin for commenting, i feel like majority of people have complications with it. So, this plugin is giving be personalized data of what sud be my next step!!

  13. I agree with you on this one. It is very good to know your readers!

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