Staying Focused on your Audience

Rachel Kent

Blogger: Rachel Kent

I know from experience that the longer you keep up a blog the harder it is to find a fresh topic. Book marketing ideas can run thin and you might even feel sick of your audience at times. (I am not sick of you guys at all! I love our group here.)

Because it can be so hard to come up with relevant topics, it can be easy to stray from what you should be writing for your audience to what is easiest to write at the time. For example, as a mom of a young toddler, it would be very easy for me to write a blog about parenting here. My days are filled with the word “no” and my daughter throws some amazing tantrums–great fodder for “interesting” posts. And while many of you can relate and would likely have something to say about toddlers, that’s not what this publishing/writing blog is all about. If we were to continually lose focus here on the Books & Such blog, you all might stop coming by to read what we have to share.

Be careful not to let this happen to you. Don’t drift away from writing and marketing to your target audience. Find out what types of posts draw your readers. Who is your audience? What do they want to read about? Why do they want to visit your blog or Facebook?

If you write a mommy blog, focus your posts to moms.

If you write for teens, make sure your Facebook page and posts appeal to teens.

If you write for men and women who enjoy sports, be sure that your marketing and online posts are appealing to them.

If focusing on one audience or one type of post for so long is becoming tiresome to you, think of ways to make your posts fresh. Here on the Books & Such blog, we enjoy hosting a contest now and then and we can write about movies that were based on a certain book or something like that.Β Those types of posts aren’t 100% focused on publishing, but they still are relevant in the book world and our audience (you) enjoys them now and then.

You can also interview someone from your target audience or a professional in a relevant field. And you can always ask your readers to suggest ideas to you for posts that would be exciting to them.

What other types of contests and fun posts could you use to keep your blog and marketing fresh and fun?Β 

How good are you at staying focused on your audience when it comes to social media, marketing, blogging, etc.?

13 Responses

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  1. It’s not hard staying focused; I consider my writing my ministry, and the Man Upstairs seeps the freshness and ideas flowing, as long as I keep myself receptive to them. And I stay enthusiastic. I never have trouble finding a topic.

    One thing that may be significant is that He pretty much dragged me in this direction; I was, and am the last person you’d expect to find writing about relationships. But that’s what God seems to want, and from the feedback I get, I do it relatively well. Well enough to make it worthwhile as a service.

    Avocations, on the other hand…things to which I’ve been drawn…the passion fades, and it’s harder to rebuild.

    One area of work that I pursued as an amateur, and then had the chance to do it as a professional…my enthusiasm eventually fell flat, and while the activity is good, wholesome, and life-affirming, I don’t know if I’ll ever build back the enthusiasm I had, or even a part of it.

    As for contests, I haven’t tried one yet. That’s in the works though. I do try to blend ‘serious’ with ‘fun’ topics, though.

  2. Great ideas, Rachel! I’ve struggled with this on my personal blog from time to time.

    In January I started doing book reviews (mostly because I couldn’t resist the allure of free books). πŸ™‚ I never expected that it would actually help grow my blog readership. To be honest, I didn’t realize so many people actually read book reviews.

    As a result, I’ve shifted the focus of my blog. In my case, that’s probably a good thing. Before, I hadn’t quite pegged what my focus was. My bookshelves are overflowing with books now, so I routinely do book giveaways, and I’ve really enjoyed the interaction with readers.

    I also write for a blog on a women’s clothing business’s website, and that one’s pretty easy. Because of the customers’ wide range of ages and backgrounds, we’re able to cover a variety of topics.

  3. Sarah Sundin says:

    Rachel – if you ever run out of ideas, you could blog on “Top Ten Ways Writers Are Like Toddlers.” Easy topic πŸ˜‰

  4. I tried ‘deep and meaningful’. Nope.
    I tried ‘important and spiritual’. Nope.
    I tried a few things.

    What works for my blog is ME. Just being me. I cannot be Jen Hatmaker or Katy in a Corner, although, oh my word, they are priceless.

    And that appears to be their cachet. They are themselves. They are real. No pretense, no smoke and mirrors.

    And that seems to be how I roll. What you see is what you get. And people like that. I’m forever hoping for the level of refinement that so many other bloggers have.

    We’ll see what that happens…

    You poor dear people. πŸ˜‰

  5. Angela Mills says:

    I agree with Jennifer above. The posts I do that I know will bring in a lot of traffic are great and fit my audience and will be pinned a ton. But the posts I do that are just me being myself, those are the ones I get the most personal feedback from. Sometimes the post is so personal, there won’t even be any comments, but I’ll get a dozen emails about it, so I know it’s resonating. I like to have a healthy mix of fun, traffic-driving posts, and personal, me being me posts.

    Giveaways are fun and I haven’t had one in too long. How-to posts are really popular with my readers, as are anything to do with our homeschool room or curriculum. (All homeschool moms LOVE curriculum!)

    • It sounds like we have a similar focus on our blogs, Angela. I floundered for a while, not sure what to do because I felt like all me was boring. But then I discovered mommy blogs and homeschooling blogs and homeschooling mom blogs. I have six children, four of whom are homeschool-age, and I found my area. There is rarely a lack of inspiration, just a lack of time. πŸ™‚ I would love to focus a bit more on homeschooling, but quite frankly, I’m not sure how much my readers would like that. Perhaps I’ll throw out a couple of posts and see what sticks. It looks like you’ve found a good balance.

  6. Kristen Joy Wilks says:

    Hmmmm…I think I need to actually pick a focus. I mean I did assign things to a specific day, but I’m not sure that is a focus. Sunday=strange things my kids say
    Monday=writing stuff
    Thursday=a link to my post at another blog where I write a devotional.
    Friday=Crazy/Cute thing of the Week my kids do.
    Sometimes on Wednesday I write about what I am reading and sometimes on Tuesday I pen a badly written haiku…but after reading your post I’m not sure that this is focused. Organized, but not really focused. Ah well, live and learn right?

  7. The most challenging thing for my personal blog is finding what my readers are interested in reading. I don’t post as regularly there as I do on blogs where I host other authors. I’ve tried out and out asking on my Facebook fan page and received no input. Right now, I’m toying around with things to see if I can gain more interest. I’ve started uploading some of the Sunday school lessons and VBS lesson plans I’ve put together over the years. I talk about my Scripture reading. I also share what I am blogging about at the Christian Children’s Authors blog. Since I focus so much on other authors on my book reading blogs, I’m trying to limit how much I feature other books unless I am using them as Sunday school resources. We’ll see what happens.

    Thanks for the reminder to stay focused, Rachel. Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

  8. Rachel, this is great! I love what Jennifer said about just being herself. I really don’t have a theme to my blog … I usually share what God places on my heart. And I love parables, as Jesus taught … sharing stories to share the lesson God has taught me.

    And you so inspired me … I’m doing a Mother’s Day/book/basket give-away (not fancy, but sweet) on my Facebook page today. If anyone is interested … πŸ™‚ I’ll try to link it … πŸ™‚

  9. Every day, I have to Focus closely on my middle-grade readers, even though most of the time they look like Walking Zombies.

    Oh, in the last few years, I have learned to love those Walking Zombies – that can read.

  10. Martin Burne says:

    I was involved in the April A-Z Challenge last month. It was a fun way to drive myself to come up with new topics. πŸ™‚

    So I guess, having a list of good subject lines to write under is a good start. Espeically if you keep it interesting by stipulating (for example) that the subject must start with a certain letter, or highlight a point of interest within a ‘supertopic.’