Believe it or not but there is a certain art when it comes to getting the right audience to your content. When I first started I always thought that the more visitors the merrier, however, this is not true as it turns out. You can pretty much say this about your blog posts, videos, and even your newsletter.
It is key to understand your audience and to focus on the right audience from the get go. I made the mistake that I was overfocused on getting my numbers up, I forgot that getting your numbers up is one thing but getting them up with sustainable traffic is another story.
How I stumbled upon a new traffic source
Let’s go back to the beginning of 2016. I had just read an article how blogs could rapidly increase traffic with Stumbleupon. I was immediately enthusiastic and I started to “Stumble” some of my most popular articles, the results didn’t lie and I almost instantly saw a spike in traffic that would continue over the course of weeks.
In the picture above you can see exactly how much my traffic increased from just the one stumble that I did. My article went nowhere near viral and based and was only shared by a couple of other people. Yet it drove much more traffic to my website that I was used to at the time.
But something else happened too. When some of the excitement cleared I noticed that these visitors were actually pretty useless for this website. They were not engaging with my content, not sharing or providing me with any valuable feedback.
Analyzing some of the data of their behavior gives more insights as to why these visitors are not useful. Average time one site was only 12 seconds my bounce rate over 95%! That is depressing and all of sudden so clear why I was not getting anything from this traffic.
Focus on natural traffic
Sure it is good that your site is exposed to something like Stumbleupon to a couple of more potential loyal fans, but don’t get too excited and all riled up because your numbers are high. In my experience, natural traffic is always more valuable. Tropical U.P currently has more page views than it had during my Stumble experiment, with considerable less unique visitors but with significantly better numbers. I am very happy about that.
Attract the right crowd to your email list
I have discussed before that having and running an email campaign is vital to the success of your business. As you might know, most email service plans are being invoiced based on the number of subscribers you have. This means that who is on your list is of the utmost importance.
Many of us focus too much on getting as many people on our list as possible, without thinking to get the right people on our list. This does not directly hurts your business, but it could potentially have a big impact on your wallet. A subscriber does not equal a mutually beneficial relationship.
Personally, I can admit that I have made a big mistake when it came to growing my list. As you might know, I also have a YouTube channel that is still growing. Part of a tutorial I made about creating one-page websites, I designed a child theme for the WordPress default twentysixteen theme. At the time, I thought it was a strong incentive to sign up for my email list if you could receive the child theme for free.
That worked and from that tutorial hundreds of people have subscribed to my list. Most of them to not open a single email that I sent, that’s a bummer. Now they could still be valuable for different campaigns and you could argue that I should tinker around with my email marketing plan to make it work. That is true, but still I have the feeling a large percentage of them only cared about the free theme.
So how to attract the right audience to your content?
So now that have established that attracting the right audience to your content is very important, I will share some personal tips and insights that push you in the right direction.
1. Don’t focus on numbers, seriously don’t!
If it was not clear from the personal examples that I have provided above, but seriously do not focus on numbers in the beginning. Try to first nail down what and how you produce your content and that your message is clear. Focusing on numbers too much will either falsely give you the impression that you are doing the right thing or vice versa.
Overtime and gradually your numbers will increase, most likely after you stop obsessing about them and start focussing on what actually matters.
2. Go back to Marketing 101
Define who the right audience is for you, in other words, who are you targeting and what are their characteristics. Where do they hang out on the internet, what are their other interests and what is their behavior online.
If you talk about a topic that you are interested in yourself this could be easier, easily when you share similarities with your target audience. If this is not the case it might be harder to define and you need to get back to the basics. Try to talk to some of your target audience, see how they engage with content that is similar to yours, get a general feel of what drives your audience.
3. Use multiple channels
There is nothing wrong with experimenting with different traffic sources and channels to find the right audience for your content. I have discussed before that I have experienced great results with Quora as a traffic source and to find a new audience.
My YouTube account is also a very strong and growing traffic source that has resulted in many people engaging with my content. I think it is safe to say that Tropical U.P would not have seen this exponential growth without my YouTube efforts.
4. Don’t be afraid to experiment
Don’t be scared to try and see different ways to find the right audience for your website. There is no golden ticket or a one trick will work for everyone when it comes to just about anything. Different types of audience react to different signals, perceived value and marketing campaigns.
There is nothing wrong with bumping your head a few times, throw different things at the wall and see what sticks.
5. Be patient
Perhaps the most important lesson is to stay positive, focus on your content, and the rest will follow. Remember that finding the sweet spot with your type of content, positioning between similar sites and content and matching needs of your desired audience takes time. Don’t expect to hit a homerun on the first pitch. Stay true to yourself and to your mission and the rest will inevitably follow.
So how do you find the right audience for your content and what types of strategies do you use? What works for you and what doesn’t? I am looking forward to hearing more from you below, thanks for your comment and stay awesome!