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 using 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?
- 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
- Anyone who enjoys reading books enough to visit a book blog
This would mean: Keep doing what I’m doing now
- 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.
- 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! 🙂