Know Your Audience

Written On Day: 23

Before you begin creating your website you need to know who will be visiting it.  Knowing your audience enables you to build the website to suit their specific needs and tastes.  What writing style should you use?  Should you have videos, pictures, flash movies?  The only way to know the answers to these questions is to know who will be visiting your site.  And what they will be looking for.

Knowing your audience also helps determine whether they are likely to clicks on ads.

When I  was thinking about my website’s visitors I quickly realized that I might have a problem.  I do most of the adverting for the website through forums for webmasters.  The problem with webmasters is that they are ‘non-clickers’.

My Ad Non-Clickers

My website is most useful to a new webmaster, or someone considering becoming one.  Someone looking to start a website but does not know what to expect.  By looking at some of the data a aspiring webmaster can get an idea of what the future holds for them.  That is why the forums I visit are motley for webmasters. 

The forums are a great way to advertise my site.  I have the URL of the website as a signature so every post I make my website is displayed.  This is good because the people on these forums are mostly webmasters and therefore will find the website relevant. 

The problem is that webmasters will not click on my advertisements.  The advertisements on my website are mostly about making money online.  “Make 100 in 1 day”, “Work from home and make money”, “Easy money”.  For most webmasters these advertisements are useless – the webmasters are already working online.  And most importantly they have seen these advertisements hundreds of times before.  They have clicked on them in the past and will not click on them again.

So it looks like I have a problem.  My target audience.  The audience that the website is specifically built to serve will not click on my ads.  Of course there will be a few clicks here and there, but definitely not what it should be.  My CPM (clicks per thousand views) should be very low.

But my CPM is not low.  Why?  Because the purpose of the webmasters visiting my site is not to click on the ads.  Their purpose is to forward the website to their friends.  Friends who are not webmasters.  Friends who are thinking of becoming webmasters.  These are the visitors that will make me money.

My Ad Clickers

My revenue generating visitors are not webmasters.  Instead, they are people who just passively use the Internet.  Non-webmasters.   True window shoppers of the web.  They bounce from website to website.  No real direction.  Just going where their friends send them.  Passing the time between dinner and bedtime.

Like most people, they are not happy with their current financial situation.  Like me, they go to work with their heads down.  Their days at work are unsatisfying.  One of their reliefs is to come home, fire up the computer and be entertained by the Internet.  Amusing themselves with the wacky and wild online world.

Then one day they receive an email from their friend the webmaster.  “Here your go buddy, check this link out.  Now you can quit your hellish day job and work online”.  Well…something like that.   It does not matter how non-webmasters end up on my site.  But once there, here is what should happen. 

  1. They see the number on the homepage clearly stating how much the website has made.
  2. They look at a few information/data pages and see what is involved in making money online.
  3. They think to themselves, “Hey, I can do this”.
  4. But then while reading about the countless hours I have spent creating the website they suddenly notice, on the left panel, the statement “Easily Earn 100’s of dollars from home”.
  5. They click on it.

If your reading this post you are probably a webmaster, or at least planning to be one.  You know what to do…(hint: SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend)

  1. January 25th, 2009 at 20:12 | #1

    Interesting difference between the ad clickers and the non-ad clickers. For my blog, I never really thought about who clicks on my ads – I suspect its the people who dont comment.

  2. Ericka
    February 27th, 2009 at 11:49 | #2

    This article is true. I’m a webmaster, and I have yet to click a link, but I come here everyday looking at the great content. My concern for this site is that the ads are the wrong kind. I’m looking for editors for content, pictures and graphics. I’m not clicking ads for starting a web business because I already did.

    This site is really crisp. But I see the issue.

  3. roman
    February 28th, 2009 at 09:07 | #3

    @Ericka

    Thanks for not clicking on the ads. Otherwise I would have to completly rethink this website. :)

    Like you say, most of the ads are for making money online. But they are on the website only. That is where most of the ‘make money online’ newbies hang around.

    Most of the readers of this blog are webmasters so I do not have any ads on the blog. Mostly because I am not sure what webmaster would click on – I assume they have seen it all a thousand times before. And, I do not want to tarnish the blog with materialism.

  4. September 4th, 2009 at 19:39 | #4

    I came here looking for somethin else but your post caught my eye, I agree with above really.

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