Why bloggers should consider audience

January 11, 2010

You know what irks me? It’s been a year since I posted on my travel blog, and it still gets more hits than this writing blog.

Okay, not quite a year. Since January, I’ve posted twice on Inkslinging in Africa — once in March and again in May. But I’m working hard to increase readership for this blog, and I can’t even keep up with my dead travel blog.

During just the month of December, the travel blog got nearly 15,000 hits. With no new posts! You know how many this writing blog got? Not quite 3,000.

(In all fairness, part of the reason the travel blog still gets so many hits is because one of the maps I included in a blog post is uber-popular on Google.)

But there’s a lesson here — other than how using images can drive traffic to your blog. The success of a blog depends largely on audience.

This writing blog is aimed at people who want to learn what it’s like to write and publish a book. Most of my readers are writers embarking on a similar journey. The audience ain’t that big.

My travel blog, however, has a huge potential audience. Other travelers read it, but they’re a small piece of the audience pie. Inkslinging in Africa, like my book, is aimed at people who are interested in what it’s like to travel alone as a woman and/or in Africa. It also appeals to people who dream of taking a leap in their own lives, like I did when I left my job to backpack for six months. And who wouldn’t want to leave the nine-to-five life behind to pursue a dream? That covers a whole lot of people.

So. The lesson. If you’re about to start a blog, or already have one and want to increase readership, ask yourself about audience. Are you blogging about a topic that has a lot of potential readers?

There’s also a lesson here for me personally. I should think about blogging again on the travel blog. If I’m hoping to use these blogs as a vehicle for selling my book (First I’ve gotta finish writing and sign with an agent and find a publisher. Minor details.), I should use the blog that has more readers.

Why aren’t I doing that already? Because I want my travel blog to be about me traveling, and right now I’m living in upstate New York writing my book. For me to pick up my travel blog again, I’d need to go somewhere.

Sounds like a good reason to embark on another extended trip, don’t ya think?

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    0 Replies to “Why bloggers should consider audience”

    • Jamie says:

      Sounds as good a reason as any to pack your bags again.

    • Karen Walker says:

      Yeah, I do think. This is such a wise post, Alexis. Consider revising in Africa, where it call began!!!!!

    • Hadley says:

      Hambidge, watch out! We’re coming back!

    • Definitely a good reason to travel! I recommend Hong Kong. It’s like New York-meets-China with beautiful, beautiful scenery. Lots of history, more people speak English there than in other places in China, and it’s quite clean, from what I remember.

      On the other hand, if you find yourself in Texas, let me know! 😉

      (Hong Kong is way more glamorous.)

      Good luck with managing your travel blog and with building this one; thanks for the wisdom and advice!

    • Jamie says:

      I remember reading a travel story about a couple who went on a pie tour of America. They actually just drove down route 66 and ate pie on the way. That is my kind of tour.

    • wifsie says:

      In my experience, traveling is more pleasant than writing. I do both and I find the latter much harder. Audience is important but blogging should also be about fun and posting what makes you come alive. Another trip? Why not, if that’s what you want! enjoy!

    • jessiecarty says:

      sounds like you should be applying for some of the overseas writing opportunities 🙂

      last trips i did were to kyoto and to the normandy beaches (of course different trips) and the blog hits on those are always high but i just keep one blog so i might be crazy doing it that way!

    • Jennifer says:

      Sounds like a fabulous reason to take up the old backpack again. Oh I would if I could. I have always dreamed of taking off and just…going.

      Good luck with this! I understand about shifting gears and priorities in blogging. I’ve recently retired one of mine (not the writing one, another one) because of focus, readership, and shift in priorities.

      Happy Tuesday,

    • I think once you have the travel bug, you find all sorts of excuses to take off, but blogging is one of the best ones I’ve heard lately. Maybe you should finish your first book and take off on a new adventure to dig up material for your second.

    • Rebeca says:

      My book review site gets more traffic than my writing blog, and I haven’t been as gung-ho with it as I was a year ago. But I guess people are always looking for something new to read and that audience is larger than my personal writing trials and tribulations.

      I’m hoping all that will change once I have the novel finished, and agent and publishing deal (you’re minor details) then maybe the blog will have a larger readership.

    • spyscribbler says:

      Writing blogs have a limited audience, and my personal belief is that one should never use a writing blog to sell one’s writing. My pseudonym would never dare speak of writing techniques. Her readers aren’t interested in HOW she writes; only in the world she writes in. And who wants to see the wizard behind the curtain, you know?

      So come to Arizona! Lots going on here at the Tucson border. Most manned and deadly sector. But it’s gorgeous. I’m in love.

    • Mindy says:

      I love both blogs! Maybe you could add details on your travel blog about trips within the U.S. Upstate NY is routine for you, but you never know…there might be people who are looking for interesting things to see!

    • Lindsey OConnor says:

      Alexis, I think this post dovetails with your post on Gilbert’s Committed.

      You (and lots of readers) want the story and reflections on the story, without the reporting and history getting in the way. Tracy Kidder is a master at this.

      But why can’t you do this again on your travel blog? I think you’re right that you need to be blogging where your bigger audience is in order to build up your platform for when your book comes out. But I don’t think that necessarily means you have to do a whole new trip in order to blog. I’d love to hear more about your thinking and reflections since the trip, about the trip. Your thoughts on planning future trips, etc. I think there’s lots for you to write about on that blog that will build your future book audience — even before you take your next trip.

      And I love how you analyzed your two readerships. “People who dream of taking a leap” is the broadest audience in your Inkslinging blog, and I think it’s also the topic that made Eat Pray Love so popular.

      Thanks for this post. It helped me as I’m working through the audience and focus of my own blog in development.

      Lindsey O’Connor
      Author, Journalist

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