How to Perform High-Level Market Research When Starting a Blog

How to Perform High-Level Market Research When Starting a Blog

Most people start a blog without doing much research on their target audience. Unfortunately, this is often what prevents them from being successful. The good news is you can circumvent this problem by doing your research.

The Need for Market Research

When most people launch a blog, they do all of the “fun” and creative things first. They get laser-focused on the domain name, blog name, logo, color scheme, headshots, website design, etc. And while all of that is fine, the reality is that it’s not worth anything if the content isn’t up to par.

Believe it or not, the secret to high-quality content isn’t to perfect your technical writing skills and develop a better command of the art of copywriting and persuasion. The key to high-quality content is relevancy. In other words, you have to deliver a message that your audience wants/needs.

If you’re only focused on the aesthetics and surface-level details of your blog, you’ll never do the important work of understanding who your audience is on a deep level. Furthermore, you won’t create content that resonates with them emotionally.

This is where market research comes into play. Detailed market research will help you understand who your audience is, what their biggest desires are, and what their biggest fears are. If you can tap into these things, you can be an average writer and still have a very successful blog.

4 Market Research Tips

As you think about market research, there are several things you can do to improve your results. (Note: If you don’t have the time or internal resources to do these things, you can hire a digital marketing agency to do your market research for you.)

  • Pick a Niche

The first step is to pick your niche. In most cases, people already have an idea of who they want to target when they start thinking about launching a blog. If you’re in between multiple potential niches, drill down and get focused on one. Ideally, it’s a specific group of people that you can target.

A generic niche is something like “people between the ages of 25-40 who make $100k per year.” That’s definitely an audience, but it’s hard to go out and find those people. You want something like “nurses in California” or “stay-at-home dads.”

  • Go Where They Are

Once you have a specific niche, your task is to find out where they spend time online. This may include subreddits, Facebook groups, other websites and blogs, podcasts, etc. Make a master list of all of their hangout spots and start visiting them frequently.

  • Copy Their Words

As you “lurk” where your audience spends time, you’ll start to get a feel for all of their biggest frustrations, desires, and challenges. This is literally what they post about. You’ll see comments, message board threads, and links to other information. You’ll feel like a detective piecing together information.

But don’t just lurk! Pull open a spreadsheet or document and copy and paste their words. Start building your own internal resource. You aren’t going to use their exact words in your blogging, but this does give you some ideas of language you can use, terminology, and potential topics.

For best results, organize this document with different headings. For example, you might have headings that read desires, frustrations, hopes, knowledge gaps, and real-life stories.

  • Choose Smart Topics

Now that you’ve got a pretty good feel for the pulse of your audience, you can start choosing a blog name, domain, logo, color scheme, and (most importantly) content strategy.

Launch your blog with at least three “pillar” posts. These are massive 2,000- to 5,000-word posts that each address one core problem or desire your audience is experiencing. Then, as you grow your blog, you’ll create sub-posts that dig into individual parts of the pillar post. This allows you to create a web of related content that satisfies both your readers and the search engines.

Give Your Blog a Head Start

If you follow this formula, you’re going to get much better results than simply following the advice of researching demographic data and information from the latest census. Your future readers will tell you everything you need to know – just listen!

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