Are We Targeting The Wrong Audience?

November 24, 2015 discussion 16

Talk To Me

is a no-nonsense discussion feature on this blog. No-nonsense means I’m too lazy to make it look pretty. It’s exactly what the title suggests: I’m going to pose a question or tell you my own opinion about something, and I want to know what you think about it! Obviously feel free to write up your own post on the topic and link it in the comments.


Topic

This post is inspired by a discussion about why reviews receive less comments than other posts on These Paper Hearts. In it, Stephanie raises the question of whether we are too focused on catering to fellow bloggers instead of readers who don’t have a blog themselves. As this is something I’ve been thinking about myself, I thought I’d start a discussion.

My Opinion

I am horrible with blog statistics, so I mainly measure the success of a post by the comments it receives. However, it’s mostly other bloggers that leave comments, so I have no clue whether people who don’t have blogs themselves read my blog or not. I see other bloggers’ comments, so they’re much more present in my head than someone who simply reads a post and then leaves. That is not to say there is anything wrong with reading a post without commenting. I do it all the time myself; I’m just trying to rationalize why I mainly think of other bloggers when I write my posts. I am fairly positive that it’s mostly other bloggers who return to my blog on a regular basis, but part of that may be based on my own experience. I did sometimes return to and comment on blogs before I had one myself, but mostly I stumbled upon a blog via Google search, found out what I wanted to know and then never went to the site again.

I’m assuming that readers without a blog come for one or all of three reasons:

1. information
2. advice
3. entertainment

The most obvious example for information on a book blog would of course be book reviews, but it could also be a BEA review, author interview or any number of things that enhance the bookworm experience. Advice can be pretty much anything: How do I ask for ARCs? Why does my red lipstick always end up on my teeth instead of my lips? What’s the HTML for inserting a link? Often you find what you’re looking for on a blog and, if the writing is entertaining or the post changed your life in a significant way, you might come back for more, but mostly you’d just read that one post and then leave again. The reason that makes me return most often is if I find something entertaining and/or relate to it. If someone’s writing style makes me laugh, I’ll want to read more. If I also like someone and they share similar interests, even better!

So should we think more about our non-blogger audience? Yes, definitely. Just look at the way I phrased that and the title of this post – the “we” automatically excludes everyone who doesn’t have a blog. I did it intentionally this time to make a point, but it also came naturally, and I’m positive I phrase my posts like that a lot without even giving it a second thought. I want everyone who stumbles upon my blog to feel included! I mean if we don’t share the same interests, you only came here for one specific thing, or you simply just don’t care for reading blogs that’s perfectly fine – but if you come to my blog and are interested, I want you to feel welcome.

Your Turn!

Do you agree with me, or do you think it makes more sense to focus on your blogger readers? If you don’t have a blog yourself, have you noticed this phenomenon? What do you think would be some good ways to include non-blogger readers? Do you think there is a difference in what people look for on a blog related to whether they have a blog themselves? Let me know in the comments!

16 Responses to “Are We Targeting The Wrong Audience?”

  1. Cait @ Paper Fury

    Hmm, I totally do see what you mean, but I guess it depends?! Like a review, for me, is a review! I have no idea if it’s aimed at readers or bloggers because I just write my thoughts about a book. XD But I do a lot of blogger-based discussions *nods* which I try to make sure is balanced with reader-discussions too. Like “book blogger problems” is obviously for book bloggers, buuuut if I did a post on “reader problems”, then it’s more for everyone, right?!
    Cait @ Paper Fury recently posted…Wherein I Pause My Normal Dastardly Deeds And Shriek “THANK YOU” And Recommend Copious ThingsMy Profile

    • Vlora

      Vlora

      I think reviews definitely work for eveyone who’s interested in them! I was mainly thinking of how I just sometimes assume my audience are other bloggers without really even making a conscious decision. Then again, a lot of the people who read my blog ARE other bloggers, so I guess it just comes naturally.

  2. Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

    This is hard. On one hand, YES, I want everyone to feel welcome! And I do try to talk about stuff that would appeal to everyone most of the time. But if I had to choose? Like, it’s Sophie’s choice, and I have to choose Randos Versus Bloggers? Bloggers will win every day of the week. Because sure, other people are reading. Absolutely. BUT since I am talking to you on the regular, I know you and I care if you are happy and want to come back. Random internet stragglers? Not as much.
    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight recently posted…Review: Instructions for the End of the World by Jamie KainMy Profile

    • Vlora

      Vlora

      Yes, I absolutely understand! The people you have an ongoing conversation with are usually other bloggers and people who leave comments, so of course they’re more present in your head when you write something. I don’t think it’s a choice anyway though; I just thought it was interesting to think about, because I noticed I was doing it without really thinking about it!

  3. Joséphine @ Word Revel

    I try to make my posts a good mix of posts that cater more to bloggers and posts that cater to bibliophiles in general. For the most part, I think many of us book bloggers blog with other bloggers in mind because they’re a very visible audience through comments. Passive blog readers are much harder to understand in terms of the kinds of posts that they are interested in reading.
    Joséphine @ Word Revel recently posted…Is a DSLR Necessary for Book Photography?My Profile

  4. Jackie

    Ya know, when I write my posts, the audience that I have in mind is other bloggers. Which is unfortunate. When I first discovered book blogs my senior year of college, I was a non-blogger. I probably followed book blogs for an entire year before starting one myself, so I’m fairly certain that I have non-bloggers who read my blogs too. I just have no idea how to even measure that readership or what sort of posts pique their interest.
    Jackie recently posted…Feeling CraftyMy Profile

    • Vlora

      Vlora

      Oooh that’s interesting! I didn’t really read any book blogs regularly before I started blogging myself, but I did stumble upon them when I looked for reviews or other book info, so mainly I just stayed for one post and then left. I guess you could look at stats and see what gets the most hits, but I don’t really look at stats very often and they’re way less informative than comments in most ways.
      Vlora recently posted…Ten Feel Good Movies For When You Need Some Light EntertainmentMy Profile

  5. Karen Blue

    I try to balance for both. I always want to appeal to people who are just reading blogs about books, but sometimes I have to write directly to my blogger followers. I know my reader base is mostly bloggers, so there’s that. We are all book fans, so I try to appeal to that.
    Karen Blue recently posted…Read This Round-Up #60My Profile

    • Vlora

      Vlora

      I didn’t start out with the idea of targeting book bloggers or even readers either! I just tried to think of something that I could write about whenever so I’d stick with it (because I had a travel blog before that, and it’s kinda hard to write about travelling all the time when you’re not even travelling) and I came up with reviews and random life stuff and then somehow I ended up in the book blogging community haha. It’s interesting how these things develop!
      Vlora recently posted…Ten Feel Good Movies For When You Need Some Light EntertainmentMy Profile

  6. Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    I’ve thought about this a lot myself recently. A lot of my discussions, etc. are really aimed more toward bloggers than casual readers. I DO have one or two dedicated non-blogger readers who comment on my posts with some regularity, but other than that it’s other bloggers. So, I guess my enjoyment goes up with the posts that appeal to other bloggers because I personally blog for the connections more than the numbers (not that I don’t get excited to see a post get a lot of hits, don’t get me wrong). Conversations (mostly with other bloggers) are what make blogging fun for me, so they’re what keep me going and what I often focus on. Of course, reviews are important to me, and I plan to keep writing them – but often blogger based discussions are the most fun!!
    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction recently posted…Sunday Post & Giveaways Galore – 12/6/15My Profile

    • Vlora

      Vlora

      I completely understand what you mean! It’s so rewarding to connect with people and have a conversation with them and the majority of that happens with other bloggers for me as well. It’s just really nice to recognize people and their blogs and to have an ongoing conversation with them. I love comments on reviews, because it usually means I get to talk about the thing I liked (or didn’t like, but I post reviews of books I like more often than books I didn’t like), but it’s true that general discussions get more comments.
      Vlora recently posted…How Often Should I Post?My Profile

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