Find and Engage With Your Target Audience to Make Profit
mat t hewwoodward.co.uk
How To Find & Engage Your Target Audience Online For Profit
I’m going to show you how understanding, f inding and engaging your target audience online sent me 6,643
unique visitors and $5,826.80 in less than 2 months without spending a penny.
Check out all the income reports to see how things have grown since I wrote this post.
If you rely on SEO and rankings to drive traf f ic and earn money online f rom af f iliate clicks your leaving a lot of
money on the table.
Not only that but purely relying on SEO to provide an income and pay the bills carries its own risks as many
webmasters have learnt the hard way in recent times.
I f ind that a lot of people are so f ocused and obsessed with SEO and link
building they f orget about all of the other ways you can generate traf f ic
online at no cost with less stress.
As you can see in the graph on the right, search engines sent just 10% of
the total traf f ic to my site and that was with no ef f ort on my part.
How You Can Do It
It really is quite easy to do regardless of your target market or niche.
It can be broken down step by step as-
1. Def ining your target audience
2. Understanding your target audience
3. Finding out where they ‘live’ online
4. Engaging them
Defining Your Target Audience
The f irst thing you need to do is def ine who your target audience actually are.
Do you know what makes them tick? What type of questions might they be asking when they arrive on your site
and does it answer them?
For example I recently did some work with an Optician’s website. The design of the site placed white text on a
big picture back drop, it was very dif f icult to read.
As an Optician you would have expected them to realise the site needed to be accessible and easy to read.
But that wasn’t the case and is a great example of someone that didn’t f ully understand their target audience.
How I Identified My Audience
When I was thinking about setting up this blog I wondered what type of people may benef it f rom the content I
create. Obviously it’s pretty much anyone with a website but you can dig deeper than that-
Full time SEO’s
Af f iliate marketers
Each one of those types of audience has dif f erent priority’s. The hobbyist SEO has a f ull time job and a stable
income with limited time where as the f ull time SEO rely’s on the perf ormance of their SEO campaigns to bring
home the bacon.
Then you may have af f iliate marketers and local businesses who know nothing about SEO but want to
integrate it into their strategy.
Understanding your audience and dif f erent types of people in your audience is essential.
I realised that my audience needed content that was easy to understand regardless of experience but without
compromising on how much meat was on the bone.
If you run a health website you may have people that are just seeking out inf ormation or looking f or immediate
treatment. Def ining those dif f erent audiences is important.
Understanding Your Target Audience
Once you have def ined your target audience you need to understand them. Really f ind out what makes them
tick. Why are they looking f or inf ormation online in the f irst place? What questions or concerns might that
person have associated with a specif ic keyword as they look at your site?
Does your site address all of those concerns? If you compare your site against the top 10 results in Google
does it really of f er the best value, can you honestly say your page is the ultimate page on the subject period?
Continuing with the Optician story – they also hadn’t f ully thought about what types of questions a potential
customer might have such as-
Do eye tests hurt?
Will this be covered by the NHS? (UK health service)
Are there any risks with contact lenses?
So when a potential customer landed on the site they didn’t really f ind the answers they were looking f or.
Granted they were looking f or an Optician, which they f ound. But it didn’t address key questions of the target
audience and even if it did there was a good chance they couldn’t read it anyway.
How I Understood My Audience
Luckily as a successf ul online marketer at a number of levels throughout my career and ultimately working as
an af f iliate marketer f or myself , I have a good understanding of my audience.
But all you have to do is browse around relevant blogs & f orums f or an af ternoon and you will see the same
types of things over and over-
People asking questions and getting the wrong answer
People asking questions and getting generic answers that don’t really help
A lot of ‘blanket’ advice that doesn’t get into any real details
Rehashed / out dated inf ormation
I took the time to understand my audience bef ore I created any content. As I went through I made a list of key
concerns / problems / worry’s that peoples had with SEO and online marketing.
Over time they became a list of post ideas that directly address the key questions & issues my target audience
f ace – issues that I knew how to solve and did so on a daily basis in my own SEO activity’s.
Every piece of content I produce has to address all of those questions and concerns to ensure I engage the
If it doesn’t – you might lose them f orever.
Finding Your Target Audience Online
So how do you go about f inding your target audience online? Where do they hang out?
Finding out where they live online is pretty easy and there are a number of tools at our disposal f or this.
Since I f irst wrote this post I have started to use BuzzBundle to f ind and engage my audience online.
It is an amazing piece of sof tware that I’m using exclusively to grow traf f ic to the blog.
All you do is enter a range of keywords/phrases to monitor and BuzzBundle will f ind all of the relevant f orum
posts, blog posts, tweets, yahoo answers and more!
To get involved in the conversation all you have to do is click reply and type your message. BuzzBundle
automatically takes care of any account registration if necessary.
It really is a great tool and I highly recommend it!
I also use it to monitor related terms f or previously published content and anytime BuzzBundle picks up a
relevant match I can direct people to my content directly!
Forum Search Engines
One of the best places to engage your target audience is at popular f orums and there are 3 dif f erent websites
you can use to f ind them.
Boardreader makes it really easy to f ind your target audience and help you to understand them at the same
All you have to do is enter a keyword and click search, it will return a list of f orum threads discussing your
keyword. In the example below I did a search f or link building-
This is just a snippet of the results but straight away I can see a f ew opportunity’s to understand and engage
my target audience.
I can jump in to understands peoples views on using RSS f or link building and then join in the conversation –
perhaps I might engage everyone in that thread with a f ollow up post or tutorial on the subject?
There is also a challenge thread f or really usef ul link building tips. The post states how they are f ed up of
seeing the same tips over and over (understanding) and want to see something new (engagement opportunity).
I’m pretty sure I can engage that with any one of my tutorials.
So in just 2 threads I have learnt a lot about my target audience, what problems they f ace, what they want to
see and can engage them directly on the subject at hand.
Its win, win, win, win f rom where I’m standing.
Omgili is like BoardReader but of f ers up a dif f erent set of results.
It also returns a list of related message boards & f orums giving you even more opportunity’s to f ind,
understand and engage your target audience.
Again you can see there are lots of opportunity’s f or me to f ind out what makes my audience tick.
As well as f orums you can look at other corners of the web to locate your audience.
Twitter is also a great way to f ind your audience online. Carrying on with the link building theme search-
Although no one is really asking a question there are lots of links to related articles where I can engage my
audience. Perhaps leave a comment on the blog and put my side of the argument across.
I have covered Google Alerts in great detail so I wont bore you with the particulars.
But you can setup a number of alerts f or your target audience and build up an inbox of alerts jam packed with
places your target audience hang out online.
It takes about 10 seconds to setup an alert so you really have no excuse!
I have written another tutorial comparing the dif f erent f ree web monitoring services.
Engaging Your Target Audience
Engaging your target audience is easy and I’ve already mentioned a f ew ways to do it throughout this article
but in summary you can-
Reply to posts on f orums
Comment on related blogs
Join in the conversation on social media
It might sound like the same old advice but many people don’t realise how powerf ul this is and f ail to put in the
work to directly engage their audience online.
Engage Them In The Right Way
If you are going to get involved with the conversion ensure that anything you post of f ers genuine value not
only to the people reading it but the wider community as a whole.
Quick 2 sentence answers rarely of f er any value to anyone and I’ve already learnt my target audience are f ed
up of seeing the same tips over and over.
It is the engagement in these communitys that will truly ref lect on you and your brand – so take time to write
posts that help.
Reap The Benefits
Engaging your audience like this has a huge number of benef its. First of all you break away f rom the mentality
of getting people on and of f your site via an af f iliate link as quickly as possible.
Your site and brand starts to become something that of f ers key value to your target audience. This has a
snowball ef f ect overtime as people begin to relate and build trust with you.
It is important to build that level of trust with your target audience above anything else.
If you f ocus on creating something that is genuinely helpf ul and usef ul you won’t even have to try and sell
anything to generate prof it.
This blog is living proof of that and has over a 50% audience retention rate and 1 in 5 visitors shares an article
via social media.
All I have done is identif y & understand my target audience and given them what they want.
Where To Start?
First of all you must take the time to identif y and understand your target audience. Take time to think about
that properly bef ore doing anything else.
Once you have done that (no cheating) you should compile a list of places they hang out.
For example I went and built a list of website & SEO related f orums along with how many members, threads and
post they each had.
Once you have that list you can go out and start directly engaging with your audience constantly ref ining your
understanding of them.
The benef it of understanding your audience will shine through the next time you create a piece of content to
address key problems your audience f ace. It really is a circle of bliss.
Remember to engage them in the right way and provide genuine help and advice to solve their problems.
It certainly beats leaving all of your eggs in Google’s basket!