Last Updated on by Michael Brockbank
There are plenty of ways you can find your target audience for any blog. However, sometimes creating a visitor persona can do wonders for keeping your content on track. Today, I’ll show you how to set one up and how it works to your advantage.
And at the risk of sounding a bit geeky, it’s essentially a character sheet of your ideal website reader.
In fact, I’ll even share the one I use for all my blogs. It’ll be in a zip file at the end of this article. Feel free to make modifications to it as you see fit.
What is a Visitor Persona?
A visitor persona is essentially the breakdown of the ideal person you want reading your website. This details an individual’s needs, behaviors, and interests.
From this sheet, you can focus more on search intent to help this fictitious person achieve his or her goals.
The idea is to create content for the target audience that is more centric to their needs. By keeping this “person” in mind, the content begins to have more of a natural flow and is easier to absorb.
Of course, this also depends on how well you write and how good you are at keeping a visitor’s attention.
How to Make a Visitor Persona
When setting up your target audience “character sheet,” you need to have an idea of whom you are focusing on the content.
Now, you can get some of this information from tools like Google Analytics. However, I prefer to set up a specific individual who needs certain information to solve an exact problem.
Age and Gender
Age groups and sexes are all going to be somewhat unique to every blog.
For instance, if you’re creating a site focusing on men’s health, obviously, you want to focus on the male gender. That’s because men and women have unique needs, such as internal organs, fitness regimens, and far more. You wouldn’t promote prostate cancer information and materials to a woman.
So, a fitness blog for men over 40 is more focused on that market than it would be for women under 25.
But, what if you’re blog doesn’t have a specific focus for age and gender? For example, WriterSanctuary helps anyone of any personal demographic. That’s easy, just don’t define these two elements.
Where is your ideal visitor from? Are they located in the United States or in a different country? Perhaps you want to focus on your local city.
There’s no doubt that you’ll have visitors from a variety of locations around the globe. Even though WriterSanctuary focuses on the US, a large portion of visitors come from the UK, India, the Philippines, and Canada.
That’s because a lot of what I create is for writers making money from home regardless of their location.
Employment or Job Title
What kind of employment does your visitor persona have? Do they work in a massive corporation or own their own business? Is your visitor looking to quit his or her job at McDonald’s to work for themselves?
These are all questions that can easily shape a variety of blog types. Although it depends greatly on what your website is about, knowing what someone does for a living helps deliver focused content.
My ideal visitors are freelance writers, bloggers, and anyone else who wants to write any type of content. So, mostly self-employed readers.
What is this person’s primary goal in life? Do they want to expand into a different market or look for a new job?
This is probably one of the most influential elements when creating your blog posts. It all centers around what this person is most interested in reading.
For example, your visitor’s primary interest could be something like, “Wants to build a blog to improve retirement.” This can give you ideas about writing content for monetizing a website, setting up a savings account using AdSense, and a slew of other topics.
Likes and Hobbies
Likes and hobbies can also help fine-tune your blog posts to fit a specific audience. As long as it’s all relevant to your blog’s niche, a list of things your ideal reader enjoys can help shape the content you create.
Take ColoradoPlays.com, for instance. The visitor persona for that blog includes gamifying fitness as a “like.” Other hobbies include playing outdoors.
Your ideal visitor can have plenty of likes and hobbies, and it can open the doors to all kinds of content ideas.
Now, a psychographic profile is a bit on the advanced side of things when building your visitor persona. Essentially, you need to understand the psychology of who is visiting your website.
So, an example would be: “dislikes get-rich-quick scams.” If your blog is about fitness, perhaps he or she: “dislikes weight loss supplements.”
Set up about three to five character psychographics of your ideal visitor. And don’t worry, this part is probably the most time-consuming. You may have to come back to this at a later date as your website develops.
Primary Challenges to Answer
Having an idea of your target audience’s primary challenges is one of the most prolific for improving search intent. That’s because you have an idea of what this person wants from your content.
What does the person need help accomplishing? What kind of questions does he or she have regarding your niche? How are you able to solve a problem?
In my case, I try to answer challenges such as building a website with WordPress or finding legitimate content mills that will pay you to write.
The more specific these challenges, the more focused your content becomes.
Are you writing for beginners, intermediate, or advanced users? This section probably won’t work perfectly in a wide scope of niches. However, it can still be quite useful to keep in mind when writing blog posts.
It can also lay the groundwork for the type of verbiage you use in the content. Will you need to explain certain phrases, or does the audience already know the terminology?
I usually try to keep things on the easy-to-understand side as my target audience is mostly a beginner level.
Preferred Methods of Content
And lastly, what kind of content does your ideal visitor like to consume? Are they looking for short, quick, and easy answers? Do they enjoy watching the content as opposed to reading? Are they most interested in long-form, highly detailed articles covering the topic?
Perhaps your ideal visitor enjoys updates through social media.
The type of content your ideal reader wants will shape how and when you post any kind of material.
Your Visitor Persona Will Change Over Time
An important thing to keep in mind is that this visitor persona is not set in stone. You may find yourself changing a few aspects depending on what works best with your specific website.
Perhaps your idea of the type and length of content isn’t proving effective.
And then there is the risk of niching down too far. Focusing too much on a very specific topic may draw a few engaged readers. However, you may be missing a market for something else you can offer.
Take my YouTube channel, for example. I get most of my views from Textbroker videos. But, I am more than just an expert at one content mill. So, I need to branch out. And using a visitor persona can help me decide which way to go with the videos.
My point is that you’ll most likely change a few details about your ideal visitor based on your site’s performance.
Target Audience Profile Example
Let’s say that I want to build a blog that helps men over 40 lose weight. In fact, this is what CrossingColorado.com is probably going to focus on in the near future.
My target audience profile would look something like this:
Yes, I am a bit of a dork when it comes to setting things up like this. Call me creative.
As you can see, I have a pretty good idea of the type of target audience I’m looking to engage. It helps with overall search intent optimization while giving me plenty to work with in terms of generating blog ideas.
From this sheet, I can see that I need to focus content on certain criteria. For instance, a blog post about burning calories while playing golf would interest this person.
A listicle about effective home workouts would also pique “his” interest.
From this one sheet, I can come up with a vast array of topics that are ideal for this person to read or watch.
The Visitor Persona Defines the Target Audience
In reality, the types of users you want to attract will drive the success of your blog. Do you need to use something like a visitor persona to be successful? Nope. But, it will help you get an idea of the type of content you want to create.
As I said, this will definitely change as time marches on. However, it’s a good practice to get into if you’re trying to connect with a specific target audience.
Whether it’s your blog or your YouTube channel, a “character sheet” can go a long way.
I put together four different file types for the document I used above. This way, you can use a wide variety of word processors to create your own.
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