When developing relationships with other people, it’s important to know beforehand just who those other people are. Of course, you want anyone and everyone to read your blog, but are those who are reading it who you want specifically to read your blog? Which leads to the question, who do you want to read your blog?
To treat your blog and social media plan haphazardly leads to haphazard results. You know the common phrase, “You get out of it what you put into it?” This phrase holds for blogging and social media. [That’s not to say you must work hard all the time. Working smart is much more preferable to working hard.]
So, what are you putting into your blog? Is your content written specifically for a particular type of person? Is it the type of person who you are trying to reach? Does every element of your blog ~ not just the blog posts ~ contribute to targeting your intended audience?
With every bit of content, advertising, and design decisions that you make with your blog, you need to identify who you want to target with your blog. Then you build it or modify it. However, unlike the movie, not everyone will come to your blog once you’ve built or modified your it with your target audience in mind. You know, just like that. *snaps fingers* [Otherwise, I’d be out of topics for this blog. ;)]
So, how does this breakdown for you? Just who is your target audience?
Obviously, you are looking for cousins, but what kind of cousins? All of your cousins? Your paternal cousins? All of them who are named Smith? All of them who are descended from the Smiths of Iowa? Well, which Smith family in Iowa? Which time period? I think you get the picture about these cousins. Do you have somewhere on your blog where you’ve identified the surnames you are researching, and is it detailed enough so that it can be determined what family you are researching? If your blog content encompasses all of your researching, that’s okay, but you still need to identify those specific families, not just the surnames.
This one may seem a little obvious too. Genealogical societies utilize blogs to try to meet the needs of their current members, but they use them to attract new members as well. Going deeper, there are different types of members. For instance, there are both local and long-distance members who are current or potential members. There are also those who join and just give money and no time. There are those who can afford to be more generous with their time, and this type of member can be broken down further into subgroups based upon their unique abilities and talents. Therefore, a society isn’t just trying to target members ~ current and potential ~ but they are trying to target very specific types of individuals with their blogs. Does your current genealogical society blog reflect the specific types of members that you are wanting to attract to your society?
The target audience for a professional genealogist is going to depend on what particular niche you’ve carved out for yourself as a professional. Currently the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) has a listing on their home page of the different types of professional genealogists that it recognizes with the understanding that many professional genealogists can fit into more than one category. What type of professional genealogist are you? Does your blog reflect that? Does it reflect the specific type of work you do?
No matter the type of blog, if you’ve decided that your blog is going to be used to achieve specific goals, then you must blog with purpose. In this case, your purpose is to attract a particular kind of reader in every way possible with your blog. After all, you only have so much real estate on your blog.
Take a look at your blog.
Are you using it wisely to attract your intended audience?
Who is your intended audience?
I've added a poll to the sidebar on BloggingGenealogy.com. If you have the time, please go answer a few questions concerning blogging. Thanks!