A to Z of Blogging: R - Readers

Our blog readers are perhaps the most important part of our blogging experience. They’re the ones who inspire us with their comments and emails. Their feedback helps us improve, and their encouragement keeps us blogging. (In fact, if it wasn’t for them, my blog surely would have never recovered from its so many untimely “deaths”!)

That is why, it is essential that we must know our blog readers. If we know our blog audience, we can

  • publish content that they can relate to.
  • promote our content via channels that they’re comfortable with.
  • offer subscription/following options that can be of use to them.

So what kind of information do we need to know about our blog readers, so that we can connect better with them?

What to Know About Our Blog Readers?

Reader Demographics

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Geographic location
  • Ethnicity

Reader Behavior

  • Device/Operating System/Browser used
  • Day-of-Week/Time-of-Day of their visits
  • Source/Medium of Traffic (Search/Social Media/Direct/Referral)
  • Most popular content (posts, tags, search phrases)

And how do we find out all this information about our blog readers?

How to Know About Our Blog Readers?

  • Analytics Tools.
    Google Analytics gives us data about their location, as well as the technology they use, source of traffic, and the search phrases that bring them to our blog. Alexa also gives information about their age group etc. I find Histats pretty useful to track what day-of-week and time-of-day my readers choose to be active.

  • Surveys/Polls.
    I do this at times, especially when I’m making some changes in the blog design. It is always best to ask our readers directly about their likes and dislikes.

  • Blog Comments.
    The comments section can also provide a lot of information about our active readers, viz. who they are, whether male or female, their feedback, their queries, etc. We can start conversations with them through the comments, and get to know them more personally. Eventually, we can carry the relationship forward onto emails.

  • Other Channels of Interaction.
    Many of our readers don’t like to comment on our blog directly. Instead, they give their feedback on social media sites, like Facebook and Twitter, when we promote our posts on those sites. Some email subscribers prefer to just email us directly. By keeping a track of these little details, we can understand what social media channels are used more by our readers, and promote our content accordingly.

  • Observant Reading.
    Many of our blog readers are bloggers themselves. So the best way to know them better is by checking out their space, i.e. their blogs, and by paying attention to what they write about.

In business, the rule is “know your customers”. In blogging, it is “know your readers”. Better understanding of our audience helps us deliver content that is better appreciated. If we’re blogging to make money, this translates to more effective monetization. If we’re blogging for the networking and for making friends, this helps in forming stronger connections with our readers.

So who are your blog readers? Do you use any of the above ways to understand your readers? Do you use any other ways to do so? Does knowing your readers help you in deciding what to post?

This is my 18th post for 2015 AprilAtoZ.
Link to the previous post: A to Z of Blogging: Q - Quality.

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Want to Add Something?

Shilpa Garg said...

Interesting pointers! I have only comments and my observations to tell me about my blog readers. I am definitely checking out Analytics Tools post A to Z Challenge! Thanks for yet another insightful post, Kadambari! ♥

blogoratti said...

Well that was a nice and interesting read, thanks for sharing!

Vinay Leo R. said...

Interesing post, Chicky. Though I would analyze statistics, I don't think writing posts based on them would be my cup of tea.

It is important to continue writing what we are, because that is what got them to our blog in the first place, right?

I know my blog readers because some have been there since long, and have added them on FB too. They help me write better for sure, be it by complimenting what I write, or by giving positive criticism. :)

Debbie D. said...

Google Analytics is a good tool, but I still haven't totally figured it out.
I've tried doing surveys and polls. but haven't had much success with them. I should try a Poll Daddy widget, instead.
Comments are a good way to learn more about your readers. If only more of them would comment, yes? ☺

the little princess said...

I thought I left a comment here..

Aditya Sinha said...

Nice piece of information.
Check my takes on A to Z challenge

Chicky said...

Shilpa! I don't have any readers currently to check out any tools! :P

Chicky said...

You're welcome, blogoratti. Glad you liked it :)

Chicky said...

True, Leo. Fair points!

Chicky said...

Haha, Debbie! :D I know... if only more would comment! ;)

Chicky said...

princess, this is all that I got from you for this post!

Chicky said...

@Aditya Sinha: Thank you for dropping by. I will surely check out your blog. :)

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