Ignore Them at Your Peril

Are you blogging day in and day out and still not earning enough to cover your hosting fees?

There could be one really good reason for that — your content may not appeal to the visitors your blog attracts.

For example, if you are blogging about ‘how to play guitar’ and targeting all the right keywords to get traffic for that keyword phrase, you could do yourself a grave disfavor if the music you highlight is classical and your visitors are all teenage males interested in Lady Gaga’s music.

Here’s another possibility…

Your desert gardening blog is primarily attracting visitors from Canada’s zone 3 where we can’t grow palm trees for love nor money.

Or, goodness forbid, your mommy blog is pulling in the teen voyeurs with too many articles on breast-feeding.

So how do you get to know your audience?

Well, you could check your Alexa stats…

According to Alexa:

“Netprofitstoday.com is ranked #23,036 in the world according to the three-month Alexa traffic rankings. Compared with all internet users, the site’s users tend to be over the age of 45, and they are disproportionately childless women browsing from home who have attended college and have incomes under $100,000. The time spent in a typical visit to this site is approximately three minutes, with two minutes spent on each pageview. Approximately 14% of visits to it are referred by search engines. Netprofitstoday.com has been online for at least six years.”

Or, you can check with Quantcast which in part suggests that following demographics for NetProfitsToday.

Notice how those two ‘authorities’ don’t agree?

What’s the BEST way to find out about your readers?

Communicate with them! Ask them who they are to determine what they need and really want from you.

Here are 7 polls that ask you questions about yourself using the WP-Polls plugin for WordPress which is super simple to install and use.

(See my guesses about your answers near the bottom of this post).

Reader Demographics: Male or Female?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Reader Demographics: How Old / Young are You?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Reader Demographics: Where do you live?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Reader Demographics: Internet Marketing Experience

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Reader Demographics: Do you attend industry conferences?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Reader Demographics: Are you making money online?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Reader Demographics: Your IM experience level

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Reader Demographics: Ethnicity

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

OK, my bets are that the predominant answers to these questions are as follows:

  1. Mostly male by about 5%
  2. Between 35 and 45
  3. Living in the U.S.
  4. 1 – 2 Years of IM experience
  5. Making a little money online
  6. Classifying themselves as beginner
  7. Caucasian by a slight margin

Am I right?

Please respond to the polls honestly. It’s better to be 48 than 45. :-)

Thoughts? How well do you know your audience? What methods do you use to learn about visitors to your blog? Do tell!

Comments

  1. says

    Close!

    I fit into all of your guesses, except the first – I am, indeed, female : ) At this for 1-1/2 years, but still feel I’m just barely scratching the surface. Much progress is thanks to your books and blogs.

    Many thanks,
    Cristin

    • says

      Hi Cristin,

      Nice to meet you!

      Your site has great content. I’d suggest removing most of the ads from your sidebar and maybe lightening up on the color scheme. Definitely want your text background to be white. Perhaps a professional theme from Studiopress?

      Cheers,
      Ros

    • says

      Cheers back to you, Ros!

      You just brightened my day (just before bed!) more than you can imagine! I’m flattered that you took the time to peek at my site – a SLOW work in progress! (I didn’t even know how to make a link in my emails when I got started at this!)

      I just added “Implement Ros’s Theme-Color-Scheme-Sidebar suggestions” to my To Do list, which is rather lengthy – baby steps, right?!

      I will keep following your lead. You’ve given your readers such hope for success and encouragement to keep going. I, for one, can’t thank you enough.

      Gratefully,
      ~ Cristin

  2. says

    This was a pretty cool post. Something I definitely need to do on my own site.
    Thanks for the suggestion, Ros!

    Sandy

  3. says

    Interesting – I fit fairly accurately into your Alexa stats but not so well into reality!

    In reference to your comment to Cristin re removing ads in sidebar – I’m someone with many ads in a right hand side bar and they do NOT convert well at all. I do well with Amazon but through text links on the page, not from the side bar. Am thinking of getting rid of my right hand side bar completely but it is useful for some things.

    • says

      Hi Dawn,

      Don’t get rid of your sidebar completely. Keep it for the email signup form and links to either categories or featured articles. You want people to dig deeper into the site.

      Cheers,
      Ros

  4. says

    Hi Rox, another great articles. thanks.
    I fit into your guesses as well, besides being female :) I’ve had my website/blog since June of last year and have seen a slow yet steady increase in visitors.
    So far I’ve only used google analytics for the site and insights for my Facebook page to gain more information about my visitors. I will definintely try the suggestions you mention above (Alexa and Quantcast).

  5. says

    Polling data is interesting, but at the end of the day I’m not sure how reliable the data is. There have been many polls show that people lie on polls. Without taking the time to get to know each visitor well, (impossible) we can only get a general idea, at best. I’m not saying there is zero value, but it’s kind of hard to hang your hat on, so to speak. I’m sure certain demographics are more likely to answer poll questions than others. Just one of a thousand variables that could distort reality.

    • says

      Hi Pat,

      You’re so right. Not only that but folks can vote twice and skew the results. Fortunately, I know that all my readers are mature honest people so that would never happen here! LOL

      Cheers,
      Ros

  6. says

    Hi Rosalind, Have been enjoying your blog for a while now. Being new I think the info presented is really good and I feel as though I’m learning much.

    I really like your advice on this topic. Stats tell a story but it’s just better to ask and know for sure.

    Thanks for the great content.

    Kind Regards, Jim Heid

    • says

      Thanks very much for your kind comments, Jim. I’m currently working on the site to make it better organized so you’ll be able to find content even easier.

      Cheers,
      Ros

  7. says

    Roz,

    I just about fit the bill to a tee. This is an important post most people overlook. If you are writing to one crowd, but actually being read by a whole different crowd what do you do?
    Do you ‘love the one your with’ and keep on with your current demographic and cater to them?

    Blessings,
    Brian

  8. Tom says

    Ros !

    53% of your internet family are making money on line !!
    39% are just starting out !!!

    The 39% are in the right place !!!!

    Hug the pooch and ‘what’s his face’ ….. you all deserve it !!!!!

    I gotta get me into the 53% right quick.

    Tom

  9. says

    I am 33 years old male.

    I have been reading your book and blog to implement ideas on my site. Still not much progress, it is paying off my hosting bills but still not getting far… still hoping for the good.

    Thanks for your tips and information.

    • says

      Hi Leo,

      Travel is a tough go in this economic climate but if you concentrate on deals and discounts and pick up some local advertisers there’s no reason you shouldn’t do very well with your destination blog. :-)

      Cheers,
      Ros

  10. says

    Hi Ros,

    You were right on only 3 of your guesses about me. I’m am Canadian and just barely over 45. At this for about 3 years with some moderate success.

    I enjoy your blog and find it quite helpful as well. I have not done much with WordPress yet though.

    Tom

    • says

      Hi Tom,

      Well I hope you join the WordPress revolution soon, especially when you add multiple page websites and content. They’re so good for drawing search engine traffic!

      Cheers,
      Ros

  11. says

    Well, as a female I miss one of your categories, but basically you know your audience. I have signed up for Alexa but I guess my site is too young for much detail yet, so I will just have to keep checking.

    Thanks for the heads-up!

    Betty

  12. says

    Hi Ros,

    Well, I’m a little bit older, female, and from Canada.

    Presently working on two websites; started a rhubarb site (the first) in 2007. (yes, there are people who love the stuff like I do) I love this “educational journey/hobby” – I really do. Your book, (first thing I bought)along with my other resources inspire me, and has taught me alot, however, I still really feel like a newbie. I sincerely want to make it all successful someday.

    In response to your question, I find it’s very helpful to allow people to submit questions. It’s easy to spot a pattern of interests. It’s helpful to have technical tools that tell you what people are searching for, and what pages attract people the most. Invite people to tell “their story” in a given subject as well.

    People like to share experiences good and bad, brag a little about an accomplishment or yes, even challenge a point of view. It’s all good material and adds interest. This also indicates how passionately some people feel about certain subjects and again, indicates what people are looking for.

    I think that in order to effectively know your audience, one needs to constantly educate themselves in the ways of the web. Learn about the tools that are out there that can be implented on your site, read up on “what’s going on” in the way of trends, technology etc. If you don’t, you won’t have any way of knowing if you are on the right track or not in the first place in terms of monitoring/pleasing or even attracting an audience at all. In other words, right off the bat, it’s not enough to just put up a page and then do nothing else but “hope’ and I know many people who do it. Be open to all forms of education as you go. It’s a never-ending process. There isn’t a day that I don’t learn something else to do, or change something I’ve done incorrectly.

    • says

      Hi Jane,

      I remember your rhubarb site… ’cause I love it too! :-)

      And you’re so right about “It’s a never-ending process. There isn’t a day that I don’t learn something else to do, or change something I’ve done incorrectly.”

      Although I probably don’t change the stuff I do wrong often enough. Just look at it, shake my head and go on alot. :-)

      Cheers,
      Ros

  13. Viviane says

    Hi Ros:

    Afraid I don’t quite fit either, but 2 out of 7 ain’t all bad: Also female, 56-75, living in Canada, at it 3-5 years, intermediate IM level

  14. says

    For me i have 8 subscribers but 11,000 visitors a month so it’s kind of tough to do a poll although I like the idea. According to alexa and the like I have a sharp split between young women and retirement age women which makes content a bit tough to write for both demographics searching the same keywords. Since I’m a young person it’s easier to write for the younger crowd yet it’s the older crowd that can spend more on higher ticket items. Catch 22?

    My questions is not who visits my site but who is buying and what are they buying. I use popshops which only shows me what shops people click on not what items. I have a new plan to write more specific product content- Hopefully that will help. We’ll see…

    • says

      Hi Debbie,

      Cool niche! Suggest you move your email signup form to the top of the sidebar and get rid of some of the ads. Too, you should show only excerpts or limit content on your homepage so that visitors will move deeper in the site.

      Hope that helps!

      Cheers
      Ros

  15. says

    Six out of seven are true of me. The only one that isn’t a fit is that I’m over 60.

    I never considered the possibility that I’m not making money because of demographics. Thanks for the heads up.. as with all of your posts it’s valuable information. I’ll check out the WP plugin.
    Cheers
    John

    • says

      Hi John,

      Thanks and yes, you definitely need to attract a demographic with some disposable income in your niche. That of course applies to every niche, but I’m guessing that younger men would be your target audience. Just a guess.

      Cheers,
      Ros

  16. says

    hi, there is one flaw in the blogpost, if your site/blog isn’t do well you won’t get much statistics from alexa or quantcast at all… you need to be quite high in traffic to get some statistics.

    Oh well, I kinda have given up on getting any money with my site, I tried it all, social bookmarking, backlinking, SEO,… no use.

    • says

      Hey Teun, I looked at your site. You say you’ve tried everything yet your sales page, which you call “shoppy” , according to Yahoo has zero backlinks. I hope before you give up you will learn to do SEO marketing the right way to drive traffic to your site. Good luck!

  17. says

    HAH !!! I love it! A bunch of old guys just like me trying to figure out a way to supplement their social security. I feel right at home.

  18. says

    Well, I just cast my votes….why was I the only 98 year old ???

    This was an awesome exercise…and I’m so glad I dropped by to check it out. What’s interesting…my thoughts would have been more in alignment with YOURs versus what the stats were telling me the results were.

    How did you setup that survey? That rocks and makes me want to do it for me site…

    Glad I dropped by on a Friday night at…ummm…1 hour after putting kids to bed. :)

    Take care,
    Brandon

  19. says

    Hi Ros
    Just 2 out of 7 for me but I love your blog and have been following you for a few years now. I have your ebook which is great. Also had mentoring from great Canadian company back in 2007 and still follow them. In saying all that I haven’t made a cent yet online.

    Reading through your comments above it seems that it is a must for me to change my Home page. I’ve gone with my internet training and put up a sales page but it’s not working. Also the ads on the sidebar are totally ineffective. I just wonder where one puts ads on the theme I have other than on the sidebar.

    I get a lot of positive comments about my own articles that I have posted on the site and that’s great but I don’t think these viewers are on my site with the intention of making a purcahse.

    I am determined to make the grade and am in the process of setting up two more sites but of course I realise that whatever the niche, the site won’t be profitable without traffic – and that’s what I lack in a big way.

    Will continue following your blog.

    Cheers
    Valerie

  20. says

    Hi Ros,
    It’s been a few,,, since I last commented on your blog.
    (Remember when you experienced an online “meltdown” and lost some content, backups, and the like? The actual cause and effect escape me now…) We, your fans, shared a giggle at your expense; and you were such a “good sport” too, an inspiration then, as now. Bye for now.

  21. says

    I ran an 8 question survey in January and February using Survey Monkey. I was pleasantly surprised with the number of visitors who took the survey (460) and now have lots of ideas for new content and for a couple of ebooks. It also made me aware that I wasn’t directing my visitors to my main affiliate product that solves the main problem most of my visitors have. I loved using Survey Monkey and their reports are great too: easy to cross-reference responses and to filter responses based on any question response.

    I also get my visitors to ask me questions which also gives me an idea of who they are and what they’d like help with.

    What I’m still trying to work out is how to successfully sell clothes and accessories as an affiliate. I have your Super Affiliate Handbook and it has been a useful reference, but I feel I need an intermediate/advanced ebook with lots of examples of how to successfully implement different types of affiliate products (for example, seasonal items such as clothes and how to find relevant ones faster vs perennial ebooks), using datafeeds and so on. I have great visitor numbers, but now need to focus on better monetization.

  22. John says

    bought your book a couple of years back and want to know if there has been an update I need to get now that I am wanting to get serious about online money making.

    also, I have changed my e-mail from grandejohn@aol.com to grandejohn69@hotmail.com and want to continue getting your emails. can you change it from here? Or let me have the link to your e-mail sign up

    thanks
    John

  23. says

    I fit nicely into your stats. I have a pet website and blog too, so I thought an affiliate network makes sense.
    I keep a copy of The Super Affiliate Handbook next to my latest bestseller. Currently reading Women Food and God. so if work doesn’t keep me up at night thinking I have other obsessions that will.
    i think you are one of the best voices out there for internet marketing.

  24. says

    As a 57-year old female of both advanced age and experience, I didn’t fit your demographic projection at all — but it was nice to see that 56-75 year olds make up your biggest category in that field.

    Thanks for the plug in tip. I’m going to start adding it to relevant blogs.

  25. says

    Hi Rosalind,

    I am African American Female

    in my early 50′s

    I live in the USA

    I am an affiliate marketer. I have been at IM for about 5 years, making a little money. (I have meany sites (some doing good, some not so good)

    I am learning more about SEO marketing and I am also moving into implementing video marketing to increase my traffic.

    I love IM and my goal is to teach people in my community how to start thier own IM business.

    I realize that it takes time and patients.

    P.s This message is for Teun, never give up. Teun, it’s about having the right frame of mind. When you find something you want to accomplish you go after it with everything you have and you don’t stop until you see success no matter how long it takes.

    Wishing you all success.

Disclosure: We are compensated for our reviews. Click here for details.