Who’s My Book Blog’s Target Audience?

Hi there, fellow book blogger! Or… Are you just an everyday reader who stumbled upon this post?

Even now after months of book blogging, I’m unsure of who my exact target audience should be. In other words, I’m conflicted and confused about what group of people I should tailor my posts for. Should it be the general population? Other book bloggers? A mix of those two?

As a book blogger, I believe that writing my posts for the right target audience is important. Sure, writing blog posts should be mainly for myself since this is my hobby after all. However, I still want to help others through my posts, and there’s also some level of interaction that I’m looking to generate on my blog. That is, after all, why I chose to start a book blog and not a diary. I want to identify the target audience so that I’ll benefit the most people through my reviews and discussions, as well as have the most meaningful interactions.

 

What I’ve Been Doing

As you can see from the list of Thursday Thoughts I’ve had so far, I make my posts fairly broad. When I started book blogging, I assumed that my posts should be understandable to a range of people – I’ve been making my posts general enough so that anyone who enjoys reading can relate to my discussion topics.

I’ve also been making my posts more general because I think they’re better in the long run. I think general posts stay relevant longer and are more likely to pop up in the future, compared to posts that are specific to book bloggers. This in turn increases your book blog’s search engine ranking since more people are reading your posts, which attracts even more readers.

Since I’ve been trying to make my posts more understandable and relatable to the reading population as a whole, I haven’t posted many blog award nominations or bookish tags. In fact, to this day, I’ve only posted one. This is partly due to a lack of time on my part, but it’s been largely because I’m afraid it’ll deter people who aren’t very involved in any bookish communities. That being said, I want to post more of those, which is why I’m questioning who I should really be targeting my posts towards.

 

What I’ve Noticed

Over time, I’ve realized that my audience is a mix of other bloggers, authors, and people interested in reading on the side. If I were to place percentages on this mix, I would roughly estimate my subscribers are the following mix:

  • Book Bloggers: 80%
  • Non-Book Bloggers: 10%
  • Authors: 5%
  • General Population: < 5%
  • People I know in real life who are only subscribed to support me: < 0.5%

These estimates make sense since most of the people who are subscribed to my blog are WordPress subscribers. Since most of my blog subscribers are WordPress subscribers, and therefore fellow bloggers, does that mean I should tailor my posts for (book) bloggers?

From consistently staying up-to-date with other book bloggers, I’ve noticed that a lot of book bloggers tailor their posts to their fellow book bloggers. It’s therefore made me question if my approach to writing more general posts is ideal. I’ve been more wary of usingย examples of situations that only book bloggers would be in and terms that only book bloggers would know (e.g. DNF, OTP, etc.), but should I just forego all that and write my posts for other book bloggers? There are pros and cons of any chosen target audience, and I’m not sure what’s the best.

 

So… Who Should My Target Audience Be?

Looking at my rough subscriber estimates, the answer to who my target audience may seem obvious. Other book bloggers are most of my subscribers after all. However, I think there are a few questions that should be kept in mind when determining an ideal target audience.

Who will get the most out of my posts? Book reviews are the primary drivers of book blogs, so it’s important to keep in mind who will actually read and act upon these recommendations. Book bloggers read more than an average person, so it’s more possible that they’ve already read (or are already planning on reading) the book that I’m reviewing.

Which target audience is the most loyal long-term following? I don’t have actual stats, but it’s not a secret in the book blogging community that a lot of book blogs fade out in a few years, and maybe even a few months. Book blogging is a lot of work that doesn’t pay, so it’s hard to keep it up if life gets too busy or if reading becomes more of a chore. I’m crossing my fingers that this fade out doesn’t happen with me – I’m hoping this fade out is unlikely for me since I’ve been a reader ever since I was old enough to learn the alphabet.

Who will interact with me more? This includes comments and social media interactions. I’ve noticed that book bloggers interact the most with other book bloggers, which is really great. Why don’t other groups of people engage in more interaction?

What are the options for my target audience?

  1. Book bloggers
    This would mean: Having more blog award nomination posts, tags, and discussion topics that all book bloggers could relate to, but not necessarily people who aren’t book bloggers
  2. Anyone who enjoys reading books enough to visit a book blog
    This would mean: Keep doing what I’m doing now
  3. Everyone, including people who don’t read
    This would mean: Having posts such as how to get into reading, what fantasy young adult books to start with, etc.
  4. A mix of any of the above
    This would mean: Alternating the scope of my posts between the above three groups every now and then

For any website, your target audience is what you make it, but sometimes it can be determined for you based on your site’s traffic. Although a lot of this discussion topic has focused on what the ideal target audience is for my discussion topics, having a target audience also applies to book reviews and book recommendations.

Honestly, I don’t think there’s really a “right” answer to the question of who my target audience should be. It probably changes with time and it’s probably best if it’s a mix because of variability. As a whole, I think having book bloggers as a target audience generates more interaction, but I also think that the general population can benefit more from posts. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!

 

My Questions For You:

Do you think I should continue with mainly general discussion posts? Should I add in blogger-specific posts to mix things up, such as blog award nominations and tags?

If you’re a book blogger, who do you primarily talk to through your posts and why? Has your target audience ever changed throughout your blogging journey?

If you’re not a book blogger, what do you think about posts that are aimed towards other book bloggers? Do these types of posts drive you away? Do you prefer more general posts (e.g. a discussion post on hardcover books vs. paperback books) or do you appreciate more specific posts, even it it’s not aimed towards you (e.g. a discussion post on the struggles that all book bloggers can relate to)?

 

As a side note, there are many other ways to bring this discussion, such as the ideal target audience age. Should a book blog’s target audience be school-aged? Teenagers? People in their 20s? Older? All ages? A target age group in particular is something else I’ve also been pondering, but I didn’t write it out in-depth because it can be a whole new post in itself. That being said, let me know down in the comments what age group you think book bloggers should target as well! ๐Ÿ™‚

25 thoughts on “Who’s My Book Blog’s Target Audience?

  1. librarygurl

    I like the idea of a book blog for book bloggers. I am interested, as a fellow blogger, what I should be doing. My blog is a mix of readers advisory rather than book reviews. I discuss other things, but of the three posts each week, 2 are for that audience. I feel that you should pick the audience you want, rather than what you have. Think about what you like talking about. If you want to write for book bloggers, you can write book reviews for us. Tell us about news related to us. Engage us in conversations about our issues. I have enjoyed these posts so far in your blog.

  2. Huriyah

    I agree with Librarygurl, you can pick the audience you want.

    You can kill two birds with one stone by writing for people who like reading books and book bloggers (the same thing, no?!) As a book blogger, I follow and keep up with book blogs that review books because first and foremost, I love books! I want to know what you’re reading and what you think. You can combine this with posts specifically for book bloggers too, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t. WordPress is your oyster (or something like that!)

  3. Shannon @ Clockwork Bibliophile

    This is such a thought provoking post, thank you for sharing! In all honesty, I’ve never really thought of my target audience as book bloggers, authors, general population etc… What I do is go by age range, so my blog is primarily for YA and NA reader (I generally try to stick to reviewing books only in this age range too, to remain consistent). Doing it this way means that anyone who enjoys YA or NA books can enjoy my blog, but maybe not people who enjoy adult books, for example.

    Whether or not you should post awards or tags etc is completely up to you. I do post them because I think it’s a good way to get to know other bloggers and for my readers to get to know me since you answer questions about yourself. I can understand where you’re coming from though, that you want to keep your blog posts general, however a little variety never killed anyone!

    At the end of the day, you need to do what makes you happy and feels right. As you’ve said, this is your hobby so if you want to post a tag then do it. I find that these things make my blog seem more fun and grasps people’s attention ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Sophie | Mind of a Book Dragon

    Hi, Jorlene! I’m a blogger, and I talk to whoever comments. That being said, they’re mostly other bloggers or general book lovers. I think you should do posts/tags if you want to do them! They’re fun to do and talk about. It gets some good chat generated as well. Love your blog btw ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Briana

    I think most of the audience for a book blog tends to be other book bloggers. It’s also the most visible audience because general readers often don’t comment or sign up for accounts to comment.

    I think it makes sense to talk to readers in general. I honestly don’t think there are too many topics that can seem blogger-specific, unless you’re literally writing a post about blogging or something that happened in the blog community. A general reader of your blog might even be interested in a book tag, if they just want to know more about you as the owner of the blog

  6. Lost In A Good Book

    I think the old saying goes “variety is the spice of life”. Also, write what makes you happy. If it becomes a slog then what is the point? Write what interests you and people with like minds will gravitate to you. I write primarily for book lovers, whether they are bloggers or not.

  7. Kourtni @ Kourtni Reads

    I think most of the people who read book blogs do tend to be bloggers themselves. Thinking back to before I had started blogging, I had barely heard of book blogs and I rarely, if ever, read them. The majority of my own followers are also bloggers with maybe just a couple of “regular readers.” For that reason, I think targeting your posts towards bloggers is the best way to go. But at the same time, I think many of the topics that interest bloggers would also interest readers. The only exception I can think of would be any posts you make that address blogging specifically (for example, if you were to do a post on how to increase traffic to your blog). Then again, what you want to do with your blog and who you choose to target in your posts is entirely up to you and if you’re one of few bloggers who target general readers that may work in your favor.

  8. Katherine @ Fabled Haven

    I completely agree with Kourtni’s comment – I think that, due to most readers of book blogs being book bloggers themselves, your best bet would be targeting your posts more towards bloggers. But then again, this is your blog – you have complete freedom when it comes to what you post, so feel free to integrate both general and book blogger based posts!

    For what it’s worth, I started off reading book blogs before becoming a book blogger – and I’m pretty sure, based on what other people have told me, that I’m in the minority there. But when I would read other book blogs, I loved being able to read book tags and blogger awards – just like how I really enjoy watching book tags on Booktube. If there are people like me out there, I’m sure that general readers would be just fine with your posting more tags and awards. If you’re really curious about how this would play out into your stats and traffic, you could always have a sort of ‘trial period’ – in other words, try out a 2 week period or so where you post more book tags and more blogger awards, and see how they affect your traffic, or if they affect it at all.

  9. DarlingLauren

    This post is really intriguing. I have never really thought about my target audience before. I right my blog posts with (future) me in mind. This is because I have a really bad memory, and I like to go back and read my posts, so I know what I was doing, how I felt about a certain book.

    My audience has definitely changed since I started my blog since it focused on movies in the beginning with occasional posts about books, that has shifted and now my audience is mainly book loves instead of movie lovers.

    Age group is hard. I have no clue what age people are who read my blog, though I do put warnings if the book I post about has mature themes. Other than that, I aim my posts at my age (20’s), as if I am telling a friend.

    Thanks for the really interesting post, I shall be thinking about this for a while.

  10. healthyeatingeveryday

    I like the variety your blog offers now. I get tired of focusing on one thing, Life is full of surprises and I like to hear about them book related or not. I think a person should stay true to themselves and write what they want to say/read/share, regardless of age or background. If your mind is full of blogging awards and information then you should post it, it is who you are. Best of luck

  11. Iridescence

    A lot of times I struggle with this issue as well. In my blog, I book blog mainly but also have Journal posts and writing posts along with basic blogging things. As far as it goes, my blog isn’t completely for books and therefore I have a mixed audience. In my posts, I generally talk to “readers”, as I address them. In reviews, I keep more of a neutral tone.

    I think there are hardly people who aren’t bloggers and follow book blogs. I don’t think it is utmost required for you to keep in mind a certain age group. Many people like reading other age groups’ books.

  12. Michelle @ Addictively Turning Pages

    I’ve only started book blogging last summer with a bunch of friends and we really really focused on audience and what content to post to get ALL types of readers from book bloggers to food enthusiasts to fitness lovers. We had a short hiatus until I picked it up again solo with my own blog, one that was specifically about all things books. In my (very little) experience, I found going into different subjects and targeting different ages and audiences on the old blog helped me figure out what I actually like to blog about and what I find easier to delve into. Going into too many subjects did give that old blog lots of views and different types of followers but found comments to be minimal, and not as much loyalty for the lack of better words. I really prefer a specific audience: book lovers and to talk and interact with other book lovers: book bloggers and non book bloggers to be amazing!

    Book blogging became something for me and now, a hobby. I write for me (and for all those book lovers) BUT that’s not the point. I think whatever you do, be it the tags or the general posts, Jorelene, you will absolutely give us some awesome content either way. If you want to change things up and continue what you’re doing, I say go for it! I’m looking forward to see what you have planned for us in the future!!

  13. Marie @ drizzleandhurricanebooks

    This is such an interesting blog post, thank you for sharing this! I have to say, it’s got me thinking, and I wonder exactly who my target audience is. I’m mainly focused on books, and I try and do a lot of book discussions, and things that a lot of other book bloggers can relate to -struggles of book blogging, for instance, book tags etc, even if I do think that book tags can be read and enjoyed by anyone who loves reading.
    However, I expand my posts by talking about travelling, and trying to mix book bloggers, and travelling with some new idea of mine. So I’m guessing travelling bloggers, anyone interested in travelling could also be interested…. ?
    Do you think, in your opinion, that we should stop at one specific target audience? I think I have most of all, book bloggers interacting on my blog, but I want just people passionnate about the same things to interact ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Lauren @ Wonderless Reviews

    This is a really interesting post, Jorelene. I’ve never even thought of this before. I always just presumed that the only people who /would/ be reading my or who would /want/ to read my blog are other fellow book bloggers. I actually don’t think I have anyone else besides bloggers follow me (except for a few authors who books I’ve reviewed).

    As for what you should be posting I agree with what pretty much everyone else has said. Like, for me, currently blogging is just more of a hobby so I’m just posting things I enjoy and posts for me and haven’t really thought too much about it. Sometimes I get worried that I’m posting too many memes/tags and not enough discussions, but ultimately I have fun with the tags and they actually seem to get more interaction and traffic than any other post I’ve made.

    I think a variety of posts is a great way to keep a wide range of readers interested. Whilst I only follow book blogs I love when there’s also posts about other entertainment mediums or travelling ect.

    Also like other people have said your blog is fantastic and I’m sure that whatever you post it’ll stay that way and just keep getting better ๐Ÿ˜Š

  15. quillable

    I’m still working on the engagement bit! I know I need to comment more but I usually chicken out. Which is crazy because I’m hiding behind a computer screen and no one can see me!
    So here’s a comment:
    Mix it up! Keep it fresh. Don’t focus on one at the expense of another. Maybe you’ll convert a casual reader over to us on the dark side ๐Ÿ˜‰

  16. Fatima @ NoteablePad

    These are all questions I’ve been asking myself since I started my blogging journey, so it’s nice to know I’m not alone on this one! ๐Ÿ™‚ Personally though, I’ve come to terms with reviewing/writing discussion posts for myself. While keeping a target audience in mind is important, it’s also crucial that you keep in mind why you started blogging; that is, was it (a) to get non-readers reading, (b) to engage in discussions with readers about books that YOU like, or (c) to cater to all readers and give them a place to talk about the books THEY like. In all cases, the outcome is different. Honestly, I don’t think posting more blog awards, tags and reviews for non-YA books will scare off your followers; more of your personality will come through and make people eager to read your posts. I think having ranged discussion posts is also worth looking into ๐Ÿ™‚ I was quite nervous about doing that until recently, when I posted about an experience of mine, and although it wasn’t book related, it still sparked an interesting discussion in the comments. My point is: blog for yourself. Your blog is amazing, and we’d be willing to read anything you have for us! After all, as you said, this is your hobby and you enjoy reading, so you shouldn’t feel the need to blog to make us happy. That would make blogging more of a chore. It would mean you blog for your readers, and not for yourself.

    These are just my thoughts. Regardless, I love reading your posts! <3

  17. JohnRH

    Hmm. Consider, if you will, who your target audience already IS. Your audience mix percentages don’t reflect the majority gender demographic, which from the repliers here appears to be women, and it may be that because the majority of the books you review, recently at least, appear to be YA and romance oriented. There is nothing wrong with either but you’re not likely to attract general readers or book bloggers, and who is a general reader anyway. Most have particular interests. You’re doing what you do well. Keep up the good work.

  18. Ioana @ booksreenchanted

    Wonderful post, Jorelene! I find that basically 100% of the people who leave comments on my blog are other book-bloggers. For non-fiction books I’ve reviewed, I get some hits from outside the book-blogging community (which I can only tell because I track my traffic using statcounter).
    I think discussions posts directed at book bloggers are a great idea because they (we!) are such a large portion of the audience, BUT this does not have to exclude non-book-bloggers. Your posts are always so friendly and inclusive I can’t imagine you excluding anyone, even in writing for a specific audience, I know you will find a way to make any discussion appealing or definitely not off-putting to anyone.

  19. theorangutanlibrarian

    Personally, I’m a book blogger, but I’m subscribed to all sorts of different blogs. I think, naturally, most of my followers are book bloggers too- but that’s a by product of my being a book blogger and not cos I tailor my posts specifically for them. Obviously my blog is specifically tailored to talking about books, so pretty much all of my audience are readers too, but if you want a broader scope then that would be just as good. Personally, I decided to make my blog about ust one thing- which is a good thing, cos without that discipline I would be *very* tempted to talk about anything and everything that came into my head- while books are definitely my favourite thing to talk about I actually love doing/talking about a gazillion other things. But every blog is different and for what it’s worth I like your blog as it is ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. Anne

    Excellent post!! I keep wondering myself as well. Variety is what keeps me interested as a reader, though. Don’t be afraid to mix things up! As a blogger, I think I’ve decided I’m just writing as me and not targeting a specific audience. For example, there will occasionally be some cursing in my posts, but I have no intention of using a profanity filter just because of my teen readers. Everyone can decide for themselves if it’s too offensive, or just not up their alley. So I think it’s important to just be you, write whatever you feel like and your true audience will be the ones who keep coming back for more :).

  21. The Genre Minx Book Reviews

    lol, its been days since you posted and I spent a bit of time mulling over the questions. I liked your insightful post and I can see that the issue is important to you and you want others opinions. So here are mine:

    1. Do you think I should continue with mainly general discussion posts?
    As mostly everyone has already commented…why are you blogging? What are your plans for your blogs future? Do you want to grow? For me, I like to read blogs that have reviews BUT also posts about things we encounter in the blogging world. For instance avoiding copyright infringement, making blog headers, what books are upcoming etc. Should you do book tags, nominations etc? That’s a personal thing, I think they are fun for everyone and they also spread awareness of the other bloggers out there. I mean seriously, no matter what your age, everyone likes to play a game of tag every now and then, lol. ๐Ÿ™‚

    2. If youโ€™re a book blogger…..?
    I am a newbie book blogger (HECK YEAH!!!) and I love it! Just love it! With that commentary which has nothing to do with your post but I am just excited about blogging….my moniker is The Genre Minx because I made the decision when I started blogging that I would challenge myself to dip into most genre’s and that I would not focus on just my favorites. I wanted to read everything and give honest reviews, especially if it is outside of my comfort zone. So my HOPE is that I am all across the board in terms of age, race, genre….thats why I am a minx..lol. My only preference is that my viewers would be above the age of 16, due to some of the books I read are for mature audiences and my reviews are written in a voice for that crowd. So who do you want to reach? Once you are certain in that then how you review will fall into place. Cheers!!

  22. Summer @ Xingsings

    Thought provoking post, Jorelene! Thinking about a target audience is certainly beneficial!

    Personally, it really hasn’t been a thought that’s crossed my mind. I’m a consistent but very spontaneous blogger. I blog when I feel inspired (not that I’m saying that people that tailor their posts to a certain audience don’t), I suppose. Which is why even though I’ve blogged for some time now I’ve only created 5 (I think?) discussion posts which is definitely a lot less than most bloggers. I know that that’s my most viewed and read posts, but I’m actually okay with the rate I publish them.

    I’m glad that you addressed in the beginning that you still blog for you all the while keeping the idea of who your audience are. I know this isn’t really the focus of your post… But I also think it’s important to not lose sight of why a blogger began to blog and that he/she should do it for themselves well. ^.^

    As for more blogging related discussions, you should totally do those if you feel inspired to and think it’ll be useful to your audience!

  23. daleydowning

    All very good questions/points… My blog is more general, and sometimes covers topics that aren’t about reading at all. The main thing to remember is – what’s your ultimate goal? To have a successful blog…or to be a book blogger? If you keep your posts more “general,” then probably you’ll develop a loyal following, and bring in different groups of readers, and this encourages more searching, more sharing, etc. – as you mentioned.

    If you tend to write a lot about what you read – because it’s what you want to post about – then go for it. Would sticking to “strict book blogger rules” be too much for you? Think about what works best for your life/situation and plans.

What are your thoughts?