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Getting To Know Your Target Audience

This post was most recently updated on August 2nd, 2016

Getting To Know Your Target AudienceGetting To Know Your Target Audience is the surest way to build rapport with them, and better serve their needs.

You might think that you already know what your target audience wants.

The truth is, you probably know some of what your audience wants, but you’ll never know it all.

You’ll certainly never know enough.

The more intimately you get to know the people who follow you, though, the more successful you’ll be in your business.

Sure, you can do the trial and error approach.

You can write blog posts on topics, create products for people to buy or build an email list and promote various affiliate products to it.

Then, all you have to do is see what works and what doesn’t.

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Which blog posts do people prefer over others?

Which of the products you create are successful vs. those that crash and burn?

Which promotions do well, and which ones don’t result in hardly any sales?

It should be clear that the more you KNOW about your target audience, the less time and money you’ll spend just guessing.

Think of how long it takes to create a “digital product”.

Do you really want to do that 3 or 4 times before you “get it right?” (if you ever do).

How much money will you spend on ads to get people to join your email list?

Do you really want to alienate these people by offering them things they are not highly motivated to buy?

Do you really want to see your list turn stale and unresponsive?

That’s exactly what happens when you send folks emails on topics they have little interest in.

Sure, you can try it again, but first, you have to build a new email list.

You see, the “hit and miss” approach is very time consuming, expensive and makes people think you don’t really know your business.

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Know Your Target Audience

Getting to know your target audience is what we call “market research.”

It’s simply a matter of doing the research required to learn what your market wants.

Clearly, market research is extremely important to the success of your business.

To do this right, you’ll know, not guess, that you are offering and reviewing the right products and services to your target audience.

These are the products that they want to purchase.

You’ll even start learning about the price they are willing to pay for it.

Know What You Don’t Know

I recommend that you write a list of what you really want to know about your target audience.

Are they interested in knowing how to write sales pages?

Do they need to have a system for running social media campaigns?

Answering questions like these will help you figure out exactly what kind of help your target audience wants and needs.

This is BIG.

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Most marketing revolves around providing solutions to problems.

You must know what problems people want solved.

Once you’re figured that out, you need to make a second list.

This time, you’ll be writing out all the things you can do to solve these problems.

It doesn’t mean you must personally be able to solve them.

You can also offer solutions via affiliate products and services.

Believe me, people don’t care HOW you solve their problems, they just want them solved.

But you don’t know what their problems really are until you do some market research.

That will help you to know things that you didn’t previously know about your readers, subscribers and customers.

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Getting To Know Your Target Audience


Now that you know you need to learn more about your target audience, you have to answer some important questions.

What methods will you employ to gather this information?

What people comprise your “target audience.”

Remember, an audience is not a thing, it is people.

So you need to turn to the people in your audience to find out what problems and desires they have.

But how do you do that?

The answer pretty much lies in learning to use tools and techniques to do the market research required.

Market Reseach Tools and Methods

Secondary Research

Many big companies spend large amounts of money to do market research.

You can use the results they’ve come up with to tip you off as to the needs of your market.

For instance, if your niche topic is ebook publishing, you can research companies that offer ebook publishing services.

Study their sales pages and promotions.

What problems are they trying to solve for their customers and prospects?

This is what we call “secondary market research.”

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It’s not a research of YOUR customers, but it will give yo ua good idea of what “typical” customers in your niche want.

Primary Research

It’s better if you can do “primary market research.”

That means you actually ask YOUR customers what they want.

Your customers are not just “typical” customers, they are your actual customers.

So, they are the ones you really want to build your business around.

It makes good sense, then, to ask them what they want.

Here’s a few ways to do that.

Social Media

Locate people in your target audience on your favorite social media sites.

Engage them in conversation.

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Ask them directly what their problems are and what kind of solutions they’d like to see.

So, if you’ve found a Facebook group where people are interested in writing ebooks, you could spend some time reading conversations.

You’ll start seeing what issues people are having, and what solutions they’re finding.

You could then get involved.

Ask them more detailed questions about the problems they have with this system or that technolgy.

Why do they like it, or not?

Over time, you’ll start getting a good idea of what your “ebook audience” wants.

Now, just figure out if you can solve their problems, and how.

Then do it.

There are some tools to help you reach out to people on social media.

“Typeform” is one such tool.

It’s actually a form creator for collecting information from your audience right within your social media posts.

It only gives one question at a time.

This draws people progressively deeper into the conversation, and builds real rapport with you as a source for solutions.

Email Auto-responders

You can email questions to your subscribers.

Ask them what they want to know, what kind of emails they’d find valuable, what sorts of products they’d like to get access to.

You can simply ask them to respond to your email, or make things easier by linking to a survey form.

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Survey Monkey is a good survey tool to use, but many auto-responders have built-in survey forms integrated into their systems.

However you do this, the important thing to understand is that your email subscribers are probably your most engaged “following.”

They are truly your target audience, so their feedback is more valuable than just that of just casual social media contacts.

If you don’t have an email list yet, understand that building one will help you tremendously with your market research.

Heat Maps

Heat maps is pretty cool software to use.

It simply shows you where your audience spends the most time on your blogs and websites. It lets you know what they’re looking at (what’s hot), and what they’re bouncing away from (cold).

This is a great way to see what your actual visitors and readers are finding valuable, although it’s not as specific as surveys.

HeatMapCo is one heat map software that I’ve heard good things about. There are others, too.

Facebook Insights

Use the free Insights tool on your Facebook page to see the precise demographics of your viewers, the breakdown of your audience by interest, and much more.

Google Insights

Similar to Facebook Insights, Google Insights can help you uncover lots of information about your target audience.

You can even use the information to create custom infographics. Share these on blogs and social media to make further inroads to your target audience.


Avatars are elaborate “personas” or “customer profiles.”

Developing detailed profiles of your target audience will help you learn more about the people you need to relate to.

“Personapp” is one tool you can use to create personas representing your target audience, using real life statistics.

Tools like this can help your visualize your audience so you can better relate to their needs..

Your Blog Is A Sales Funnel

Conducting marketing research is the only real way to know for sure what your target audience wants and needs.

Using the right tools will make it easier to do this kind of research.

It helps you focus on what’s most important to your audience and help you avoid making vague assumptions about what your customers and readers truly want.

The more you learn more about your target market, the better equipped you’ll be to create products and services that they truly want.

Do you spend time in your business Getting To Know Your Target Audience?

I’d love to see your comments below.


Donna Merrill
Donna is a well known blogger and creator of "Blogging Magic" - an intensive guide to blogging. "Blogging Magic" is for beginners who are trying to figure out how to bring their blogs to life with tons of visits, comments and social media interaction. It's even for advanced bloggers looking to reach new levels of authority and engagement with their audience.

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56 Responses to Getting To Know Your Target Audience

  1. Elphin October 17, 2017 at 7:19 am #

    Hi Donna,

    Superb Blog as always. Getting to know who you are writing your blog for is an important aspect of blogging. Thanks for the article.

  2. Maria Tayer
    August 16, 2017 at 2:56 am #

    Hi Donna,

    Once you know what motivates your target audience. it’s time to formulate ways to help them accomplish their goals, thus helping yourself achieve your own goals. Very well written and explained.
    This is the most useful article I have read about the topic. So many great pieces of advice!


  3. John Marc Ramirez July 18, 2017 at 5:14 am #

    Hi Donna, this is another great article you have shared with your readers. 🙂 Thank you so much for this. I learned a lot about targeting the right audience. 🙂
    John Marc Ramirez recently posted..Take over Search Queries with Plural Comparative IntentMy Profile

  4. Narinder Kumar December 5, 2016 at 11:23 pm #

    Hey donnamerri thanks to share a great article. i have been reading your blog first time. your article getting know target audience has helped me a lot and i actually got more benefit.just wanted to say ‘thanks’

    keep up the great work
    Narinder Kumar recently posted..How to choose the right keywords for SEO?My Profile

  5. Anand September 29, 2016 at 5:06 am #

    Hi Donna. This is one of the things that a lot of bloggers tend to ignore. Knowing your target audience is actually the first thing you should do, since it will help you focus your efforts on things that your audience want to see more about. I fully approve of market research as a start, and then regular use of an analytics tool to keep track of what’s happening on your website. Good post, as always.
    Anand recently posted..Lucep Traffic Analytics vs Google AnalyticsMy Profile

  6. Arpit singh
    August 20, 2016 at 2:40 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    Valuable read, finding a target audience for a business is a tricky task but your tips will surely help me out in this. I really enjoy reading your information. Thanks for sharing

  7. Donna Merrill May 2, 2016 at 12:01 pm #

    Hi Sherman,

    Indeed, not knowing your target audience will lead to pulling your hair out lol.

    I love Facebook Insights…use them all the time especially when boosting a post or doing an ad.

    Email is a fantastic way to get to know what people want. I love it when the open rates are high and the engagement is going on my list.

    Good seeing you!

    Donna Merrill recently posted..4 Ways To Write More Blog Posts, And Write Them Better And FasterMy Profile

  8. Sherman Smith April 29, 2016 at 6:16 pm #

    Hey Donna,

    Knowing your target audience is very important. Not knowing this can have you pulling out your hair.

    I still have yet to use heat maps. I’ve heard a lot of good things about them and how they leave clues as to what your traffic clicks on the most.

    Two tools that you listen I use the most are email autoresponders and Facebook insights. With email I can get a direct answer which they appreciate the direct engagement even more. With Facebook Insights leaves those online bread crumbs as to which post was the most engaging.

    Besides that, I use the most popular blog posts on my blog and the infamous Google Analytics via metrics to break down the traffic even further.

    Thanks for sharing Donna! Knowing your audience will keep you in the loop and progressing!
    Sherman Smith recently posted..Diversify Your Shares With The Social Warfare WordPress PluginMy Profile

  9. Michael
    April 29, 2016 at 3:49 pm #

    Great post, Donna! I am slowly getting to know my audience. You have given some great tips. I need to be more proactive about determining what my audience wants. I am going to dig a little deeper in this area.

    Michael recently posted..One Dollar Vanilla Malted MilkshakeMy Profile

  10. Jennifer Giacoppo
    April 27, 2016 at 11:34 pm #

    Hey Donna,
    some new things in here for me-Heat maps sounds cool-never heard of that one before.
    I think it takes time to find out what your audience wants and to keep listening as Ryan has said.

    Really listening to what they want and honing in on what that is, is part of the secret I believe.

    I love facebook live ATM and I love showing my face to people-It just feels more personal.
    I love how you use video as well. Definitely looking around and seeing what works for one is the key. I love helping people and finding them in the right place is targeting to me.

    I think having that passion helps you to seek out where your audience is and getting them excited is key to getting noticed. Of course I say these things keeping in mind that is should be natural and fun.

    Always enjoy your content and thanks for sharing your info-Jennifer

    • Donna Merrill April 28, 2016 at 1:46 pm #

      Hi Jennifer,

      I like heat maps because they are more intuitive and that’s how I can understand things.

      Doing all the face to face videos that you do is an excellent way to communicate and engage with others. I always find it fantastic for the know like and trust value. As I believe people are all intuitive, like attracts like and what better way than to do it via video.

      Thanks for stopping by,

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Anatomy of a JV Giveaway EventMy Profile

  11. Donna Merrill April 27, 2016 at 1:26 am #

    Hi Teresa,

    Thanks for stopping by.

    Knowing our target audience is imperative if we want to do any kind of business. Good to know you have found yours.

    Donna Merrill recently posted..Anatomy of a JV Giveaway EventMy Profile

  12. Teresa
    April 25, 2016 at 6:32 pm #

    Hi Donna, I am new to your blog and I love it 🙂 This post is spot on and I think its very important to know your target audience. I think I have finally found mine. The are great tips 🙂

  13. Emi April 24, 2016 at 5:40 pm #

    Hi Donna,
    Very helpful post.Finding your target market sure takes time, but is the best thing that you can do for your business, it will save you tons of time and money.
    I haven’t use the Google Insights, but definitely will check it out.
    Thank you for sharing!
    Emi recently posted..Toxic languageMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill April 24, 2016 at 10:40 pm #

      Hi Emi,

      Although the research of finding your target market does take time and effort, in the end, it does make things easier. And…will save you a heck of a lot of money!

      Google insights is a pretty cool tool to use.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..7 Things Top Bloggers Never Stop DoingMy Profile

  14. Neena
    April 24, 2016 at 11:35 am #

    Fabulous, fabulous post, Donna! I was just thinking about this same topic.

    Knowing your target audience is important because if you don’t it can be paralyzing. When I get a new idea for a post or offer – I am always second guessing whether my audience will like it – and sometimes it holds me back.

    The better you know your audience the more confident you can be.

    Thank you also for the tools and strategies that you mentioned.

    • Donna Merrill April 24, 2016 at 12:38 pm #

      Hi Neena,

      Sometimes, even if you know your audience, putting out a new idea or offer is OK. I’ve done it myself and some people responded to it. Like the old saying goes: “you never know until you try.”

      Donna Merrill recently posted..7 Things Top Bloggers Never Stop DoingMy Profile

  15. Robin Khokhar
    April 24, 2016 at 7:40 am #

    Hi Donna,
    Superb post, I was looking for this kind of knowledge. Going for the targeted audience sometimes becomes a lot difficult and we struggle with the same. But you have come up with an amazing post, thus solving many of my problems.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Robin Khokhar recently posted..11 Things That Hurt SEO And How to Avoid Those Mistakes?My Profile

    • Donna Merrill April 24, 2016 at 12:30 pm #

      Hi Robin,

      Good to know you enjoyed this blog post. When looking for information about target audiences, it can get so confusing. Statistics, a long list of plugins to purchase, on and on people go. I know, I’ve read them all lol.

      Here, I just wanted to make things simple enough so that everyone could understand and apply.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..7 Things Top Bloggers Never Stop DoingMy Profile

  16. Atish Ranjan
    April 23, 2016 at 2:40 pm #

    Hello Donna,

    I loved the topic, and the content as well. Knowing target audience is the key to success of any business. Even in blogging, until you know your target audience, you cannot offer right affiliate or own product to them. Therefore, it is very important to know what your audience really needs and wants.

    A blogger who knows his audience can surely make the most sales. I use to find out my target audience using Google analytics and Facebook insights. I get fair ideas from them.

    Thanks for the write-up, Donna.
    Atish Ranjan recently posted..Tips To Maintain Your Health While BloggingMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill April 24, 2016 at 12:28 pm #

      Hi Atish,

      You said it well: “A blogger who knows his audience can surely make the most sales. ” so true.

      When it comes to marketing a specific niche product, it is so important to do our homework. It took me a few months before I rolled out with an e-com site. Just to research so many things. I put it up and 24 hours later made some sales. Woo Hoo

      Donna Merrill recently posted..7 Things Top Bloggers Never Stop DoingMy Profile

  17. Moumita Ghosh
    April 22, 2016 at 12:37 pm #

    Hello Donna,

    We should know our readers or audiences. It helps to get success from blogging and make a blog brand. If we provide content which readers search then the engagement of visitors on your blog is increased and if you sale a product through your blog, then the product can get more customers.

    This article is really a good guide to understand blog audience. Thanks for sharing this article.

    Thanks & regards,

    Moumita Ghosh
    Moumita Ghosh recently posted..Top 20 Social Media Management Tools for Your BlogMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill April 24, 2016 at 12:26 pm #

      Hi Moumita,

      I’m so glad you liked this. You are so great at researching and understanding your audience. Your blog is fantastic and I always learn something when I visit you.

      It is so true…provide good content for our readers…engage…then introduce our product.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..7 Things Top Bloggers Never Stop DoingMy Profile

  18. Vikash Sharma April 22, 2016 at 9:55 am #

    Hi Donna,

    This is my first visit to your blog and I am fortunate enough to find this. I have found so much of useful articles and guides.
    Now, about this Post, I agree with all your points here. This is really very important to know your targeted audience to be successful.
    Thank you for writing such in-depth article.

    • Donna Merrill April 24, 2016 at 12:24 pm #

      Hi Vikash,

      Welcome to my blog. I am so glad you found this information useful for you.

      It may time some time, but the more research we do to find our target audience the better we become at marketing.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..7 Things Top Bloggers Never Stop DoingMy Profile

  19. Ben
    April 21, 2016 at 5:20 pm #

    Hi Donna. Knowing who you are writing for is vitally important of course. Nobody wants to spend all of that time writing and not receive any benefit from it.

    Most of my product traffic comes from Google Search, so I go to Google to find out who my audience is. Google Analytics keeps track of all of the keywords that people search for that get people to my pages. By looking through those keywords I can see exactly what my audience is looking for. Most people will enter a keyword phrase but sometimes people will enter a full-blown, properly worded question. I keep a list of those questions and answer them in my blog posts.

    Great post as always Donna.
    Ben recently posted..How to Keep Strong BonesMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill April 24, 2016 at 12:23 pm #

      Hi Ben.

      Doing a Google search the way you do is so wise. Google Analytics does keep a good track of the keywords people search for.

      I do that too when I’m on Instagram believe it or not. I need keywords that people are attracted to for a specific product. I just put it on a document and use it when I post.

      And yes…it gives you great ideas for blog posts!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..7 Things Top Bloggers Never Stop DoingMy Profile

  20. Stella Chiu
    April 20, 2016 at 5:30 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    Impressive information in your post.

    I did little market research. However, I do play attention to FB Insight now because it was talked in the affiliate program of YDF that I was in. It really open up my eyes the value of FB in marketing.

    I will start to implement to ask questions directly on FB Page. I am starting to play attention to the conversations in the groups.


    Stella Chiu
    Stella Chiu recently posted..3 Keys to Have Good Life EffortlesslyMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill April 24, 2016 at 12:20 pm #

      Hi Stella,

      Oh my I love to market on Facebook! Once you learn how to do it, its fantastic. Good to know you understand it.

      When you implement asking question in groups, you sure do make a lot of connections.


  21. Raaja Anandhan
    April 20, 2016 at 9:54 am #

    Hi Donna,

    Knowing our audience is an important thing for a blogger who interested in selling or promoting their product. This concept not only works for affiliate marketers, even we can implement this in our business for selling physical products. All the tactics you mentioned here are very useful and must to follow.

    HeatMap is a great tool to find out, what our readers want. For this, am using SumoMe plugin in my blog. To use this tool in SumoMe we have to go for premium version and it is an awesome tool to use.

    Thanks for sharing this great write up. Very informative post indeed.
    Raaja Anandhan recently posted..Help others as much as possible – Live and Let LiveMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill April 21, 2016 at 11:04 am #

      Hi Raaja,

      Welcome to my blog! Indeed, knowing our audience is important, especially if we want to monetize it in any way.

      I love that tool SumoMe….especially the premium version. For me it is very easy to use. It is so helpful and thanks for mentioning that.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..7 Things Top Bloggers Never Stop DoingMy Profile

  22. Enstine Muki
    April 20, 2016 at 4:06 am #

    Hey Donna,
    This is a topic that helps many entrepreneurs build a solid and thriving business. It’s better to know your audience and narrow your business to a small and targeted responsive group than address a larger audience where you are not sure of positive results.

    The heatmap tool you mentioned is something I have studied and used with a huge dose of excitement. It really helps discover what’s attractive on your website and that can instantly help in taking fruitful decisions.

    I used Hotjar to do a survey on my blog in the past. It ran for a couple of weeks and the results were really amazing as I was able to see what my readers prefer most. As a matter of fact, I will be posting details on my blog any time soon.

    Very informative post Donna. Thanks for always making it beautiful each time I’m here on your blog.
    Enstine Muki recently posted..5 Types Of Blog Home Page templates ~ Which is yours?My Profile

    • Donna Merrill April 21, 2016 at 10:53 am #

      Hi Enstine,

      Knowing our target audience before rolling out is so important to do. I made the mistake when first started to blog and had no idea. But learning from a mistake is something that is never repeated.

      My newest blog that will be rolling out soon is an e-com site. I had to do a lot of research before making the decision. I don’t want to wait a long time for it to catch on and need to know specifically who will want to come to this site.

      Almost ready to give it a go…….

      As for the heat map…I love using it and I remember how you showed us all in an older blog post of yours how well it worked.

      It is amazing to be able to see what our readers like most. Looking forward to seeing the results on yours.

      Thanks so much,

      Donna Merrill recently posted..7 Things Top Bloggers Never Stop DoingMy Profile

  23. Rachel
    April 19, 2016 at 6:41 pm #

    Hey Donna,

    Thanks for sharing so many great ideas on this subject. When I first started blogging I began reading about targeting your audience. I really thought this was hogwash. However there were a few of you talking about it that had been in the biz for a while so while I kept my thoughts to myself and I kept an eye on this subject.

    I have come along way since that way of thinking. I have written profiles for who I believe my target audience is. My message is becoming clearer to me. I always try to do one topic to one person per post. Every now and again I mess it up.

    I am becoming more familiar with my people and enjoying it. I know its called a tribe but as relationships start to develop I like to think of them as my people – those who I will watch over and support. Be there for them. I am not at the stage where I ask them directly what I can do for them, they seem to share so much with me that I take away ideas and write for them anyway.

    Thanks for the many great tips.


    • Donna Merrill April 21, 2016 at 10:44 am #

      Hi Rachel,

      When I first started I didn’t even hear the term target audience lol.

      Seems like you already know who your target is…those wonderful people who you are hanging out with already.

      I do believe that like attracts like. We don’t have to be so niche specific and so tight ended. We start growing into it. Blogging encompasses so many things. Each niche can be inter-woven with another when you think of it.

      But…if one wants to monetize quickly and is using a blog, the necessary research has to go into it. If I’m selling umbrellas, I know my target audience won’t be people living in a desert area. It is just stuff like that that we need to keep up with. 🙂

      Donna Merrill recently posted..7 Things Top Bloggers Never Stop DoingMy Profile

  24. Ikechi
    April 19, 2016 at 1:47 am #

    Hi Donna.

    Wonderful post as usual.

    You discussed a very important topic and one that most blogger ignore.

    Market research is so important to be able to know your audience. I have taken this aspect serious but have been trying to figure out how to go about it.

    So this post is golden. I have used Google insight and heat maps but I never considered them as tools. You have given me a structured approach to market research

    By the way, about the push notification Ryan talked about. I tried it on my blog too but I have been on the fence about it. So I switched it off but I am willing to give it a try again.

    Thanks for sharing. Take care

    • Donna Merrill April 21, 2016 at 9:57 am #

      Hi Ikechi,

      Our target audience is something that we cannot take for granted. We always have to be aware of that and sometimes it changes a bit. So we need to put out the content that they want.

      As for those push notifications? I’m on the fence with that myself. It is like a pop up that asks if you want tit to continue or not. It feels like a polite pop up he he he.

      I don’t have it here, but on the other blog that is almost ready, I think I will install it there. It is an e-com one and the notifications would be good for the user if they want to know the “sale of the week” on that site.

      I’ll test it once it is all together.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..7 Things Top Bloggers Never Stop DoingMy Profile

  25. James McAllister
    April 18, 2016 at 8:14 pm #

    Hi Donna!

    I notice a lot of people ignore this vital aspect of marketing and think they can make up for mediocrity in volume. Sure, that’s one way to go about it but it sure as heck isn’t the most effective. Much better to have this sort of thing figured out before you add traffic to the equation so you can really make the most out of it. This ensures the greatest return on time and money invested later down the line.

    Although I have made improvements in this area with blogging and still have a ways to go, I really realized how powerful knowing your target audience is when I started development of my first physical branded product for another company of mine. I spent $500 to run surveys to better understand what buyers of this type of product value, and have been able to use this information to differentiate our product in the market. Manufacturing is taking place now so I haven’t been able to really see the results in effect, but the data we collected was very surprising to me, and went against a lot that I would have predicted. The direction we’ve taken with this product is quite different than what we originally had planned, and I have no doubt we’ll do a much better job appealing to buyers with this new version.

    Just goes to show you don’t really know as much as you may think until you take the time to ask, and really do this sort of in-depth research.

    So thanks again Donna for sharing this advice that we all need to know, and for making better marketers out of all of us!
    James McAllister recently posted..Pay-Per-Click Advertising For Bloggers: How, Why, And WhenMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill April 21, 2016 at 9:53 am #

      Hi James,

      Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful comment to add to this topic.

      I look at a blog as a process in the making when first starting. And even if we did all the homework its still a learning curve for us all.

      But..If I knew then what I knew now, I would follow the advice I have given. When I started, I didn’t even know the term “target market” so I gave it the best I could, but I went through many growing pains.

      Knowing our target audience is a powerful thing. Developing your first physical branded product especially requires tons of research. I’m sure the money spent on surveys is money well spent.

      I’m very excited for you and on the edge of my seat to see your product. Indeed, once it is out of the manufacturing stage and you put it on the market…more research is needed. I know you will be putting it in the right hands.

      He He…James, we all are learning every day and know things as we do them. Research is part of a marketer’s day. And because of all the variables, we have to be on this learning curve constantly. It is great to know you because that is what you always do.

      This is just a “sketch” of what needs to be done, but as you well know, if I were to go into each topic it would be a long long book.


      Donna Merrill recently posted..7 Things Top Bloggers Never Stop DoingMy Profile

  26. Mark
    April 18, 2016 at 5:04 pm #

    Thanks for sharing these tools and proven advice Donna!

    Nothing like trying to hit a target you haven’t clearly defined!LOL!

    It’s funny you mentioned using heatmaps as a way of discovering, exactly
    which pages our visitors are spending time on.

    This is one particular tool I’ve been contemplating using.

    And now seeing it being mentioned on my Coaches list, well that kinda
    settles that!LOL!

    For sure, we’ve got to get crystal clear about what our audiences want
    or they’re so gone!LOL!

    Thanks for sharing some extremely practical advice, as usual!
    Mark recently posted..So How Come More Small Business Owners Don’t Use Strategic Cross Promotions To Create 250% Better Results?Part TwoMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill April 20, 2016 at 12:43 pm #

      Hi Mark,

      I don’t know why, but my brain can figure out heat maps better than numbers. It all depends on what suits our needs when doing our research.

      I do rely heavily on feedback people give me, but when I am putting out product after product out there, I do need to rely on research.

      I was never good with numbers and stats. Now I just love stats because I find it interesting where people are coming from….what they are interested in and all that kinda jazz.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..7 Things Top Bloggers Never Stop DoingMy Profile

  27. Dana
    April 18, 2016 at 4:24 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    As usual, this is timely for me.

    I haven’t put a lot of time into market research. Didn’t really know how to go about it to be honest.

    I DO know how many people struggle with what I’ve been able to achieve, so I’ve gone by that. Conversations with others and feedback of coaching people using my methods.

    But I haven’t done any extensive research, so I appreciate the ideas you’ve shared here.

    I’ve put so much into the content I write, but there’s obviously so much more to it.

    I’ll start implementing these.
    Thanks for sharing all of this.
    Dana recently posted..How I Use Well-Being As A Tool For Personal EmpowermentMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill April 20, 2016 at 12:41 pm #

      Hi Dana,

      I know how hard you have struggled and you are doing such a great job. The feedback you are getting from coaching others is just fine for now.

      Whenever you have the time to do the research…that will be great. You don’t want to put too much on your plate all at once. There is only 24 hours in a day my friend.

      This can always be an add-on at a later date when you deem it necessary. Right now you have to do what you are doing.


      Donna Merrill recently posted..7 Things Top Bloggers Never Stop DoingMy Profile

  28. Marquita Herald
    April 18, 2016 at 4:18 pm #

    Terrific advice as always Donna! I also think it’s worth emphasizing the value of periodically reviewing reader demographics. I have no problem admitting I was caught off guard recently when I was going through an audit of my site that included analytics and discovered the average age of my readers is younger than it was just a year ago. This means different priorities, so I decided to cut to the chance and added a simple request at the end of my welcome email for subscribers asking them to hit the reply key and tell me why they joined and what they are hoping to get from following my website. I only did this a couple of weeks ago and the information I’ve received already is priceless! Such a simple thing. 🙂
    Marquita Herald recently posted..Healthy Boundaries Equal Healthy RelationshipsMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill April 20, 2016 at 12:29 pm #

      Hi Marquita,

      It is surprising when we realize our readers demographics are not what we thought. It happened to me too.

      And is sure means different priorities that we need to be giving. What a great idea you had to request asking your subscribers to tell you why they have joined. This does give you a good way to gauge what you will be writing.

      Good to know that in just a couple of weeks you are having great feedback!


  29. Joy Healey
    April 18, 2016 at 11:02 am #

    Hi Donna

    Sadly, I have had the experience of spending time and money on an eBook that failed – sadly more than once, yes I should have learned from the first experience.

    What I did learn from both experiences was that it wasn’t a business model I wanted to repeat. As you say in your post, I’ve learned that I can’t solve everyone’s problems, so where I know that there are better solutions available than I can offer, I think it’s more ethical to point someone in the direction of an affiliate product.

    I have to confess that knowing my target audience is an area I need to work on still. So I’m looking forward to using some of the techniques and tools you describe to find out more about my audience’s problems.

    Joy – Blogging After Dark
    Joy Healey recently posted..Low Risk Businesses To Start From HomeMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill April 18, 2016 at 12:19 pm #

      Hi Joy,

      Keep that eBook….there is no such thing as a failure my friend. You may want to market it differently or take pieces of it and elaborate on it to make it several eBooks. So don’t get bummed out.

      Whenever we spend time and money on something that didn’t work, we can ALWAYS re-work it.
      Sometimes it is just a tweak or glitch in a sales copy.

      I know your target audience just by reading your blog posts lol. You do have a few…so do I but choose one and run with it.. If it is weight loss and wellness you are the go to gal.

      If it is someone that needs a blog post done for them…you can do that too.

      I know the feeling quite well. We just have to be clear to each target and fine tune things. Knowing more about marketing strategies is the key!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..7 Things Top Bloggers Never Stop DoingMy Profile

  30. Corina Ramos
    April 18, 2016 at 10:55 am #

    As always, great advice Donna. Out of all the things we have to do as bloggers, getting to know our audience is in the top three for sure.

    I prefer to do a primary research. Out of all the methods you shared, the one I haven’t done lately is Google Insights – I normally just check my analytics page. I like the idea of using that data to create infographics. 🙂

    I also haven’t used heat maps in a while. I had the plugin installed but it was slowing down my blog’s speed…it is a great tool though. It was cool to see where my visitors were clicking.

    Ever since you wrote about visualizing our audience that stayed with me. I’ve never heard of the Personapp, I’ll be checking that out too.

    Have a great day and week Donna. Thanks for sharing!

    Corina Ramos recently posted..How to Get People to Read Your PostsMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill April 18, 2016 at 12:08 pm #

      Hi Cori,

      I too haven’t used maps for a while but started to a while back here and there. For me it is sort of intuitive and I can “get it” more than numbers. Make sense?

      Aha..you remember that one about visualizing your audience. Since I wrote that, I do believe that link is a paid one now so I found Personapp.

      I teach that to all my students because it is so important. Once we go through a long list and then put the person image to it, we can identify more strongly. And it is a good reminder on our desktop every time we write anything. It does keep us focused!

      Have a great week ahead,

      Donna Merrill recently posted..7 Things Top Bloggers Never Stop DoingMy Profile

  31. Ryan Biddulph
    April 18, 2016 at 9:39 am #

    Hi Donna,

    Careful listening helps us know our readership.

    Just watching, observing and responding makes the difference.

    Example; 5 minutes ago I enabled push notifications on my blog. Took 1 minute to do.

    Listening to my readers and hell, seeing the 432 million gazillion people in NYC on their phones, and on tablets, woke me up.

    People consume more data on mobile than ever. I hear this from my readers, but see with my own brown eyes.

    Also, when sending twitter videos from my tablet, I see the convenience of getting push notifications. So quick. So easy.

    I figured if my readers are on mobile and love getting their fix quickly I’ll make things easier for them.

    Excellent post Donna.

    Signing off from sunny NYC.

    Looks like it’ll hit 80 today 😉


    • Donna Merrill April 18, 2016 at 12:02 pm #

      Hi Ryan,

      I just went to your blog and seen that push notification. I like that we can have a choice to do so or not. It is a very hot topic right now and I was on the fence with doing it myself or not. Because there is a choice I just might do so.

      As we are all on our phones and tablets and we are accelerating how we receive information, I do find that the push notifications can get the job done well.

      I was just discussing this with David and now, after seeing it on your blog…I may give it a shot.

      Wow 80? Still nippy in these parts … up to 65 today.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..7 Things Top Bloggers Never Stop DoingMy Profile

  32. Manidipa Bhaumik
    April 18, 2016 at 2:51 am #

    Hey Donna,

    You have shared some cool tips about one of the most important topic. knowing your target audience plays a vital role in the success of any blog. Most of the time people forget to focus on this and only target on how to get more traffic and hence conversion.

    Until unless you are aware of your readers’ need, the efforts you put to see results are actually half done. Great to know about heat maps and how it can help to understand the users’ behaviour.

    Thanks for the share. Take care and have a great week ahead 🙂
    Manidipa Bhaumik recently posted..15 Killer Blog Post Ideas that are Proven to WorkMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill April 18, 2016 at 11:58 am #

      Hi Manidipa,

      Whenever we write anything it has to be to others. From our blog posts to just about anything we do on social media. It is all about sharing to those we choose to be our “target” audience.

      It does take some research and also trial and error, but as long as we keep on going forward and don’t give up, we will be successful.

      Have a wonderful week!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..7 Things Top Bloggers Never Stop DoingMy Profile

  33. Igert
    April 18, 2016 at 2:50 am #

    Hi Donna

    Finding your target audience is no easy task. Where do you aim to make sure your magic bullet finds the right target?

    Your typical newcomer to Internet marketing often do not come from a business background. Market research is a term that does not really hold a meaning for him or her. Yet it is vital to understand who you want to reach when you get involved in this complicated world.

    Thanks for the tips and tools outlined in your insightful post.

    It is clear that so many of us underestimate and underutilize social media. We press a button to make friends and than never communicate with them. This post has opened my eyes to the need of walking that extra mile to find out more of the people I call friends and followers. I may just have something that they need. Reaching out to others may go a long way in solving not only their problems but my own as well.

    Great post as always.
    Igert recently posted..How to use your websiteMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill April 21, 2016 at 11:56 am #

      Hi Igert,

      Newbies may not know the “term” marketing, as you point out, but they sure better learn the essence of it pretty fast if they want to build an online business or blog.

      That’s why I try to make it simple to understand. It’s just so important to grasp if you’re going to get any kind of a following, any subscriber base and, of course… buyers and clients.

      You’re spot on about social media, too.

      It’s such a powerful “marketing” tool, but so many people just go out there and “hang around.”

      You can do that, and it’s fun 🙂 I do it, too.

      But you’ve also got to have some kind of bigger business strategy behind it all or else it’s just a distraction from your main task of building a successful online business/blog.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..7 Things Top Bloggers Never Stop DoingMy Profile

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