So you have a blog, and you add posts to it regularly. Which means you have an interactive online presence. But who is your audience or intended audience and why does it matter?
It matters because depending on your focus or the goals that you have regarding blogging your audience will be entirely different. And whichever type of reader you hope to attract dictates many other aspects of how you blog.
There are almost endless types of blogs and blogging styles. But for the sake of simplicity let’s talk about a couple of fundamental differences.
First, of course, the biggest difference is between blogs that are part of websites and or are part of a business or professional profile. Secondly would be the personal blog that is not intended to be representative of someone or something professionally or perhaps even by name publicly. This distinction is quite important and dictates many variables.
Blogs that are intended to be professional in nature obviously need to be focused in the following ways:
- They provide informative posts and articles related to the business or person that they represent. And or provide a representation of the type of work that the company or individual does.
- They need to be indexed by the search engines, thereby following at least basic SEO guidelines so the public can find them.
- They need to have a social media presence particularly on the social media platform most used by their target audience. This presence also helps boost search engine indexing and credibility. (unofficially)
Personal blogs don’t have as many variables to consider, but each blog owner may still have their own goals. Here are a few things that personal blogs need to find:
- Why you are blogging, is the first and most important question.
- Do you want to share something that you think would be helpful to other people?
- Do you want to have an online journal of you, your life or an event in your life?
- Are you hoping to connect with new people and make friends?
- Perhaps you’re looking to join a group who share a common hobby.
The only above scenario where it might be beneficial to promote a social media profile and ensure a search engine listing is if you aim to share something helpful to others. Then, of course, the significance of your topic would dictate the amount of effort required in this area.
All reasons that include connecting with a group, community and new friends can be fulfilled very well within blogging platforms such as WordPress.com or Blogger. These communities are also great places to share hobbies such as photography or poetry.
Having an online journal type of blog requires you to consider a couple of things. Should the blog be private? If you will only be posting journal types of entries, then this is probably your best option. You can then provide access to friends as you desire. The public or larger community probably wouldn’t be the best audience.
In the past, I wrote a post that touched on these points and received some criticism from someone for writing about these differences in blogs, their related focus, needs and relevance. Three years later I still stand by the above guidelines.
I am not criticising any one type of blog. I am merely pointing out the differences and the most appropriate type of blog that matches each blogger’s goals. It serves no one and often sets people up for heartache if they have unrealistic expectations or understandings of what blogging encompasses. And if you are hoping to get a real public audience and following the hard work that is involved.
Hopefully, some of the above points will help you make informed decisions regarding your blog and consequently ensure that your blogging experience is that much more fulfilling.