My #1 Tip: The Growth Tip You’ve Probably Never Heard

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What I’m sharing in this post is probably not something that the “power bloggers” of today have ever (consciously) thought about. Because they didn’t have to. The majority of them started prior to 2013, before the blogosphere really imploded. Which means they had a huge advantage to get ahead of the pack. And as with many things in life, once you get to a certain scale, continuing to grow is easier. The hardest thing is getting to that tipping point.

So forget all the advice you read about “working hard”, “making sacrifices” and “finding your voice”. If you are trying to grow your blog right now, this is what you need to know.

#1 Food Blog Growth Tip: The Growth Tip You've Probably Never Heard

My #1 Tip For How To Grow Your Blog

Recently, I wrote about How to Stand Out from 227 million Other Blogs.

And today, I’m going to share my secret for how I believe I managed to grow my blog at the pace that I did. Despite the fact that I only started my blog in May 2014. (PS You can read about my blog growth here – How I Did It – Zero to 1 Million Monthly Views in 8 Months)

And no, it wasn’t about a handful of recipes going viral. “Food porn” might give you bursts of traffic every now and then. But that’s not a sustainable model.

If food porn and viral recipes was how I grew my blog, then my traffic would have tanked after September 2014 which is when I got my first huge traffic boost. But it didn’t. It kept growing.

So here’s my #1 tip.

SOLVE A PROBLEM

What the…..? What on earth do I mean???

Hear me out. When you understand what I mean, this is going to change your mindset forever. And it will change the way you blog forever.

Blogging Is Just Another Form of Marketing

Ultimately, attracting readers and keeping readers on your blog is no different to companies who sell products to consumers. It’s another form of marketing.

And when it comes to marketing, the two most successful ways to sell something are:

1. Inspire and create desire to want something. Whether it be a luxury watch, take a holiday or go to a big game; and

2. Solve a problem. 

Think of all the ads you see – on TV, on your site. 99% of them will slot into one of those two categories. A car ad pitched at a growing family on a budget outgrowing their car. Or a BMW convertible ad, obviously pitched to create desire. OR….and this will hit home….an ad for a course to teach you how to grow your blog.

Food blogging is hard to fit into the “create desire” category. I’m sure there are an elite handful of bloggers in the world that are so cool / classy that they attract readers who are desperate to be like them. (I can’t think of any – can you?).

But more practical – and easier – is slotting into the second problem.

Create a food blog that solves problems.

How Can I Solve Problems with my Food Blog??!

I know, it sounds weird right? But it’s easy.

All you need to do is this: write your blog as though you are writing to help one person. Just one. Model your entire blog around that person. (Not yourself. Because you can’t be objective!)

(And PS I do explain how problem solving increases traffic in the next section, but you need to read this first to understand!)

My person is one of my close friends, Rach. She’s a super busy mother of 3, a big city lawyer, she loves great food, keeps it reasonably healthy (i.e. no deep frying), doesn’t have any dietary restrictions (e.g. gluten free), is very social and has guests around regularly. As busy as she is, doesn’t like take out or frozen meals. And she’s on a budget.

She’s my blog model reader. The reason I chose her is because she’s the most similar to me when it comes to food tastes and how much (or little!) effort she puts into cooking.

So I blog as though my entire blog is written just for her. I focus on solving her meal challenges by providing her with recipes tailored specifically for her. I have a very big focus on easy and fast midweek meals, but still with loads of flavour and without “trendy” ingredients like kale and chia seeds. There’s a focus on make ahead and freezable meals. I throw in party food and brunches so she has ideas for weekends. I make all my sweet recipes super simple because I know she doesn’t have time for fussy and she’s like me – I’ll spend 3 hours on savoury courses and 10 minutes preparing dessert (I do!). And I don’t use fancy ingredients because she’s on a budget.

So, what have I done?

I’ve solved a problem for her. I have an entire recipe collection which is dedicated to making her life easier. For example:

1. The classic 4pm dilemma – what should I make for dinner with the chicken I have in the freezer? (She goes to Recipes > Ingredients > Chicken on RecipeTin Eats)

2. The pre weekend madness – what to make for brunch for the in laws tomorrow? (She browses Recipes > Course > Breakfast / Brunch)

3. Kids birthday panic – crap, forgot I have to BYO a dish to that birthday party tomorrow. I have to make something, I’ll be judged if I bring a store bought dip! 

Whatever recipe she’s looking for, she knows she’ll find something on my blog. Because I’ve written it entirely for her.

The thing is, she could find recipes she needs from anywhere on the internet. But the world wide web nowadays is so saturated, the problem readers have is finding what they are actually after.

But she always knows that she has a very good chance of finding something that appeals on my blog. Of course she does. Because I wrote the entire blog for her. :-)

Don’t think it’s just about recipes. It’s not.

It’s broader than that. I haven’t delved past recipes yet but I fully intend to. It’s about providing inspiration, useful tips, and helping that model reader of yours to overcome challenges.

I want to do posts to help my readers shop smart and plan weekly menus efficiently. As Rach’s kids start school, I might do a big post on a stack of ideas for interesting kid-approved school lunches. Or maybe I’ll do round ups for dinner recipes that make great leftovers for the lunchbox.

But whatever I post about, it’s going to be aimed at helping my friend Rach overcome her challenges.

How Does Problem Solving Increase my Blog Traffic?

It’s basic human psychology. Solving a problem or challenge makes people buy things. Like a course to teach you how to blog.

So I figured this would work for attracting readers too.

And I figured if there is one Rach, there are probably millions just like her.

Turns out – I was right.

Around 35% of my readership are return visitors which I think, for my level of views each month, is strong. Put it another way – if this 35%  didn’t like what they saw, they wouldn’t return and that would be a huge chunk out of my traffic.

And how many of the remaining 65% of my traffic is from shares or referrals related to the other 35%? I have no idea how to quantify that. I do, however, know that people talk…especially women!

And it’s not just about return visitors, it’s also about attracting new visitors. People like Rach (busy mums with full time jobs) who are on Pinterest and see a recipe for a One Sheet Pan dinner from my blog that they like the look of. They click through and land on my site for the first time ever. If they like that recipe, the next place most people go is the homepage. And if the homepage is filled with other recipes that appeals to that reader (because remember, they are just like Rach!), then they are not only more likely to bookmark your site, but also sign up as a mail subscriber. (Read more about why growing your mail list is more important than any social media).

Solving a problem ties in very closely to my other mantra of selecting a niche. Fundamentally, it is the same thing, it’s just a different way of approaching it. (You can read more about selecting a niche in this post.)

Writing For 1 Person = Writing For Millions

It sounds strange to dedicate to your entire blog to one person. But here’s the thing. No matter what niche your blog focusses on, no matter who that person is, there are millions of others out there just like that person.

Which means your blog is the perfect read for millions of other people. (Remember, there are 7 billion people in this world!)

Seriously, no matter how niche your blog is, there are millions of other people out there just like you who want to find your blog. And when they do, they’ll be stoked and you’ll have a loyal new follower!

I’m Worried my Niche is….too Niche..

I’m not going to lie to you. If your blog is focussed on Food of Satan or something like that, then your audience potential is probably….ahem….a little more restricted than others. :-)

And it’s probably tempting to swing to the other extreme and go for the obvious – one pot meals, pastas, runny yolks, stretchy cheese, gooey chocolate, the usual suspects.

Yes, blogging recipes like that means you have a broader market to tap into. BUT it also means you’re competing against the “big guys”. Surely you’ve noticed? 😉

Besides, it goes to the soul of your blog. If that kind of food really does make you happy and keeps you challenged and interested, then that’s what you should focus on. Because to do anything else would not be keeping true to yourself. In all honesty, I could not model a blog like that on anyone that I know.

So however niche you think your niche is – think more broadly. Authentic Greek food blog. Bite size food blog. Seafood blog. Whatever it is, there are millions of people in this world who want the recipes you share.

And the tighter your niche, the easier it is for them to find you and become a loyal reader. :-)

So don’t be too worried about how tight your niche is. Tight niche is good. At least, during growth stage. You can always expand later. :-)

In a Nutshell..

Phew! That’s it! Blew my 1,500 word quota, so I’m going to be concise with the summary! In a nutshell:

1. The blogosphere is completely saturated. Which is making it harder and harder for people to find relevant content that they are after.

2. Readers are becoming more savvy and the focus is turning away from just “cool” content / food porn to “useful”.

3. Choose a friend or relative, or invent a fictitious model reader. Create a blog that provides solutions for that one reader by populating it with recipes, tips etc that your model reader will find useful. By doing that, you are creating a useful blog for millions of other people, just like that one reader you model the blog on. Because you are solving a problem for them.

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Now, it’s YOUR turn!

Finish this sentence in relation to your blog and share it in the comments below!

“My model reader is _____________.

Here’s my homework submission!

“My model reader is a young mother who has kids and works a full or part time job. She loves food and is really social, but is always super busy. She is on a budget – though not overly tight, she doesn’t shop at gourmet stores. She loves to find new recipe inspiration because she gets bored of bolognaise every week. Because she has young children, she mostly makes food that is family friendly.”

– Nagi x

If you found this useful, share it with your friends!

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Comments

  1. says

    Hi Nagi! I love your site and always find your blogging advice helpful and thought provoking. I’m here on this page today because my blog has been stuck with a very small audience for years! I feel like I am doing something wrong and thought that maybe I should give this homework a try!

    So my niche is allergen free, gluten free vegan cooking. I don’t do alot of sweets and the ones I do tend to be raw and healthy-ish.

    “My ideal reader is in her late 20’s-50’s, loves fitness and yoga, natural health, and is vegetarian and gluten free (or aspires to be more so). She is very health conscious and interested in organic food and natural ingredients. She is probably on a budget, but places a premium on her health and is willing to spend a little more time cooking if it means she has a cleaner diet. She may be trying to heal from a condition or help others become healthier through diet. She believes that what you eat has the greatest impact on health than any other factor.
    She reads about health and probably visits/reads sites about health and wellness. She reads labels and shops at health food stores and co-ops. She may have kids, and wants to introduce them to healthy eating habits. She definitely doesn’t want to feed them sugar and chemicals.”

    Whew! Thanks, Nagi! I appreciate you so much!

  2. says

    Love the idea of having someone specific in mind to write to. I’ll definitely be implementing this! My model reader is a woman who’s and new to paleo or new to autoimmune paleo and wants some tasty, non-intimidating dishes that will still wow her and her family. She loves finding new veggies at the farmer’s market, likes to be adventurous in the kitchen, and is willing to spend a little time trying out something new. She’s health conscious and doesn’t want any added sugars or processed stuff in her diet, so she’s on the lookout for recipes that are squeaky clean and good for her.

  3. Hirut says

    Hi Nagi, thanks so much. your ideas are marvelous. I am thinking of starting my own blog and trying to find my NICHE and also my model reader. i have found helpful indications. thanks again.

  4. says

    Hi Nagi, I’m finding your blog so useful- thank you! I’d wanted to start a blog for a long time and finally started one last year, mostly writing about things I wanted to, which has been enjoyable for me but discouraging when not many people have been reading it. Your advice is fantastic. I have now implemented the 50/50 rule for my blog and am thinking about my target reader. My target reader is a working mum with young kids, who is time poor but values nutrition, needs very easy to put together recipes with consideration of dietary requirements. (Oops, I just described myself…) Did I pass my homework? :)

  5. says

    I love this! My model reader would be a pescetarian woman who loves to cook, loves gourmet and ethnic foods way more than American food, but is on a fairly tight budget. She’s okay with going to a gourmet store occasionally, but wants most recipes to be simple, with only a few steps and ingredients. She’s health conscience and doesn’t want to use many pre-made ingredients or faux-meats.
    Is that too specific? I’m trying to narrow down to specifically what my “niche” would be (how to describe that), and have been working on updating old photos to make them better quality / more appealing.

  6. says

    Our homework is a little overdue 😛 but here is our ‘model reader’ for our homestyle global recipes blog:

    “She is 20-35, works full time, and lives alone but is very social. She is not a busy mum and has the time, interest and desire to try new things. She likes authentic recipes from the source/country that are easy to replicate. She is adventurous with new ingredients/flavours, and while she is money conscious, she is a foodie who doesn’t mind spending a little extra on some new spices. She likes to cook these new cuisines to impress friends and family on the weekend. As she cooks for herself during the week, she likes to make a big batch that she can freeze for weeknight dinners and work lunches.”

    Phew. That was a good working session. Great idea, thanks. It’s been really helpful to go through this process. 😀

    • Nagi says

      Woah. I love that! In fact, that actually really describes ME! That’s very much me. And off the back of this, I’m popping over to check out your blog!

    • Nagi says

      I was just on your blog….is there a way I can sign up? I’d love to follow your travels and see the recipes you share, it’s my kind of food!!

      • says

        Thanks for your feedback Nagi! We’re excited to hear it appeals to you, and even more so we’re looking forward to getting involved with FBC and making Wandercooks the best it can be! 😀

        We’re working on our mailchimp newsletter at the moment. You can now find the link on our side bar to sign up or head to http://www.wandercooks.com/subscribe while we sort out all that fun technical stuff haha 😛

  7. says

    Uh, you’re a GENIUS! My mind is blown right now. My model reader, I will admit, is kind of me except I don’t have kids (yet). A young, busy mom with kids who likes to focus on food that is healthy with fresh ingredients AND most importantly delicious. She still wants to enjoy all the delicious comfort food of holidays and in general but without the millions of calories, and so ideally she likes making swaps for healthier ingredients without comprising on taste. She never wants to feel like she is on “diet” food. She wants dinners that her kids and husband will ask for more of, knowing that what she is feeding her entire family (including herself) is delicious but always healthy. And of course, she’s vegetarian. :)

    • Nagi says

      Hi Jessica! I LOVE this!! I can kinda of envision her – in fact, she reminds me of one of my friends!!

      I do hope you keep “her” in mind when blogging. You will be amazed what a difference it makes to keep your blog focussed! N x

  8. says

    I love this article, Nagi!!! My model will be me and to all those working women who come home at 4 PM stressed and tired from work yet need to prepare dinner…. I want 15 minute meal, healthy food as I am very conscious of my health and I also want that while the food is cooking, I will be lounging on the couch. Maybe crock pot food or freeze able foods. I also want a breakfast that not too heavy and portable and an easy to prepare pack lunch:::: gosh where shall I get ideas for this?

    • Nagi says

      Shobelyn, I think you just described 70% of the women in the world!!! Now just make sure that when they first come to your blog, they know straight away your blog is aimed at them!! Sure fire way to build your blog – N x

  9. says

    This article is wonderful. I realized that my model reader is a mom of school aged kids who on one evening has to drop off one kid at the ball field at dinner time and another at the pool for two hours of practice right after dinner. So no one is sitting down at the same time for a family meal. But other nights everyone is home for dinner. I am trying to create recipes for that mom who has a half an hour to pull dinner together with ingredients already in the fridge or pantry. She needs easy recipes for picky palates but also for those willing to try something new. My site motto is simple ingredients and fresh ideas. Hopefully I am on the right track!

    • Nagi says

      I LOVE this! You literally described 100 million women around the world…. GREAT market you’re tapping in to Ali! I wrote another post about Solving Problems – have a read of that, with your readership, I think it will really resonate with you. :)

  10. says

    Hey Nagi…! Too many good tips on this site!!

    My model reader is a woman in her 30s-50s, uses the internet relatively frequently, likes simple but healthy gluten-free/grain-free recipes and also loves to read.

    Does that just encompass the entire world blog reader world? ha, hope not!

    • Nagi says

      I love this! It’s really specific and that’s what makes your blog one that people will instantly recognise as one they want to follow :) N x

  11. says

    I spent all of last night reading your posts and drooling over your recipes! How do you have time to do it all! Holy cow, you blog every couple days and really quality stuff. Your recipes are new and fresh. I really struggle over recipe ideas…maybe I am thinking too hard? Thanks for sharing all you have learned…very generous and very helpful!

    • Nagi says

      No worries! Happy to help :) I was so lost when I started, I really am happy to share what I’ve learnt / figured out with others.

      How do I do it? Hmm….I type fast? He he! I don’t sleep much. And I eat what I blog as meals which makes my cooking / blogging schedule more streamlined!

      I get recipe ideas from everywhere. And I DO find that when I think about it too much e.g. trying to do a posting schedule, I am always stumped! I blog without planning what recipes I make because most of the time it’s based on things on special at the store OR an idea I got from Pinterest or a magazine or TV show. I also like to browse Gourmet Traveller online and get ideas – but of course my version of their recipes are always much easier!! :)

      Thanks for reading!! Have you joined our Facebook Group? I hope you have, would love to get to know you more!

  12. Christine says

    #Ihearthomework <3 Here's mine for Mid-Life Croissant
    My model reader is a 30 to 45 year old home cook who’s stuck in a rut and wants to get out. They enjoy cooking but feel overwhelmed by logistics and need a little inspiration. They’re health conscious, budget conscious and focus on real food. They like entertaining and are not above wanting to impress but want to be in the room with their guests, not stuck in the kitchen. They’re looking for something they ‘ve never seen before, exactly how to make it, and assurance that it’s not complicated. Just different.

    • Nagi says

      I love this! I was just on your site and I totally “feel” that your recipes slots right in with this model reader you describe! :)

  13. says

    I love FOOD OF SATAN…
    Nagi…here is who I blog to…

    “I am blogging for Laura. Laura is young, super social and health motivated. Laura loves to cook and eat fresh real food where flavor is never compromised. Laura has basic cooking skills and would love to learn some cool tips and tricks on how to make wholesome, healthy and delicious food for her, her family and friends. Laura wants to be able to create meals and dishes that blow everyone away with their gourmet characteristics yet were a breeze to put together. Laura needs food that is fast, freezer friendly and healthy for the most part.”

    • Nagi says

      I love this Mila! I especially love your point about tips and tricks because I really associate your blog with getting awesome new hacks!! Because you have special knowledge that most people don’t have, I love that you use that as your point of difference. :)

  14. says

    Great writing here Nagi, thanks. Now on to the homework!

    My model reader is someone who doesn’t like the same meals over and over again. They want something they can put together in around 30 minutes, is big and bold in flavor and is adventurous.

    From sweet to savory, they can find international tastes and easy to follow recipes usually with step by step photos if needed. I try to convey it’s not as hard as they might think to be creative in the kitchen and use, for the most part, everyday pantry items.

    They know I will explain a new spice or technique and it’s something to add to their culinary tool belt to impress the family and guests. Life’s too short to be bland.

  15. says

    “My model reader is a dessert lover who loves to make/bake beautiful desserts without crashing the bank and being in the kitchen for hours. She is probably a Mom and has limited time and sees baking as a hobby, a time to do something that she likes. She might also be interested in blogging about her desserts and needs helpful tips to start and run a desser blog and to take awesome photos too!”

    • Nagi says

      Oooh! You know what clicked with me for this? Not being in the kitchen for hours. Because there are many baking blogs out there that do lots of fussy technically difficult desserts that ordinary people can’t make. Now YOUR blog is definitely more for normal people like me! Love it. :)

  16. says

    Hi Nagi, great post as usual, I have only been in this group for a short period and already I have learned so much. Thanks. Anyway, My model Reader is a woman 30-45 she has 2 or 3 kids, probably works full time, she loves Italian food lol, and of course desserts. On the weekend she loves to cook and bake and occasionally has guests for dinner. During the week she needs something quick and appetizing.

    • Nagi says

      I LOVE this!!! The focus on Italian food lovers is gold :) Having that Italian focus is really great because people will remember you as a source for Italian food! :)

  17. says

    Great post Nagi! I also love connecting with my non-blogger readers to check in with them to see what they are looking for. I write them personal e-mails and they love the interaction. (I also love connecting with my blogger buddies too) I have found that many of them also have many dietary restrictions. They are looking for healthy meals that are adaptable to fit their doctor recommended diets. I understand completely how overwhelming this can be for a patient that is a newly diagnosed diabetic, celiac, high cholesterol or anyone with food allergies as an example. I write my posts to help give them recipe ideas to work within their doctor recommended guidelines. Sharing and sending smoke signals.

    • Nagi says

      Now THAT is a killer Bobbi! Doesn’t get any more specific than that. And there are gazillions of people in this world that your blog would totally connect with. I really love that!! N x

  18. says

    Hi Nagi, brilliant brilliant post here! It makes so much sense. I think I do follow the basic concept of what u said… like my model reader is my sister..And I always think of what she would like..a working professional who doesn’t like spending too much time in the kitchen and wants to spread her net beyond the safety or dsl and curries…I do have Indian food of course..but those are mostly family recipes passed on from granny. It’s not too clear on the niche yet except that I’m not big on sweet things… 😀
    love,
    S :)

  19. Jane (Limeade Gal) says

    Thank you Nagi! This is fabulous! Thoroughly enjoyed doing my homework

    My model reader is a celiac, owns a small home based business and works a full time job. They keep busy juggling work and family, there isn’t much time for anything else. Sitting down with the family for a home cooked meal is very important.

    • Nagi says

      I LOVE that! It’s so concise and I can totally “picture” your reader!! :) And there are millions of people like that. I personally have 3 friends who slot right into that category. :)

  20. says

    My model reader is any age or marital/family status, but someone who wants to learn how to incorporate healthy and delicious, made from scratch meals into their life. Some meals are super duper simple, some, though never complicated, may take more time when this reader has the time for that meal that is truly impressive. I want recipes on Good Dinner Mom to be something any novice can make and also that same recipe being attractive to a seasoned cook looking for something fresh.
    Thanks Nagi! You rock. 😉

    • Nagi says

      I love it! Reading that, I instantly know that my friends who lean slightly more towards healthy food than what my blog offers are your type of reader. I bet you have more salads on your blog than I do. :) Am I right? N x

      • says

        I actually don’t focus so much on salads as just every type of dish in general. :) Even though I don’t have a specific “Rach” that I write for, when I’m writing, I always think of some of the readers who’ve taken the time to comment about a recipe, especially those who’ve said it was so easy and everyone raved making them feel so great. A military wife who commented on my freeze-ahead green bean casserole (no condensed soup here) sent me the comment of a lifetime about how this dish was so special to the “boys” away from home on their first Thanksgiving and how she didn’t think she could make the recipe, but did and loved it.
        Thanks for really impressing me to write TO these readers, Nagi. xo

        • Nagi says

          I love it. See, that’s a perfect example to me of really connecting with readers! :) (How great does it feel when you get comments like that, right??!) N x

  21. says

    This is a really great tip Nagi! I’m definitely going to complete the homework (been a while since I’ve had homework haha!), gonna need a while to have a think though.
    My problem is my blog is dedicated to sweet things and I’m not sure who I would mold that around, since it’s more about indulgence rather than fulfilling a need! I think maybe it’s too broad in that sense, but I don’t want to limit myself or my creativity.

    It’s definitely something I need to think about because I want to put together an ebook as an subscription incentive, and obviously it would make the most sense to mold that around my ideal reader!

    • Nagi says

      Hi Michelle! Actually, you are lucky because sweet things is a niche in itself. :) So it’s just working within that and creating your model reader because there are definitely different “types” of readers who love sweet things, if that makes sense? Are you about easy baking that anyone can make? Do you make your recipes easy to follow so even novices can make anything on your blog? Or is it more for experienced bakers so you don’t need to spell out basic baking skills like what beating egg whites to stiff peaks means?

      For me, I would be very interested in a blog that (mainly) shares super easy sweet recipes. Because I don’t bake with gelatin and yeast etc, things that are easy to use if you are comfortable with them but most people are scared of them, if you know what I mean? N x

      • says

        Thanks Nagi, I’ve never thought about it like that but you’re right. I like to think that I share recipes that anybody can make, some are more difficult than others (for example I have French macarons and danish pastry from scratch on my blog) but I do my best to make them manageable for anybody. I just find it hard for me to judge what’s easy and what isn’t because baking is something that comes naturally to me so something that I think is easy might be hard for somebody else!

        I’m gonna have a little think about this and get working on my model reader!

        • Nagi says

          I know what you mean about what comes naturally to you!! Which is exactly why I choose to model my reader on a friend, not myself, so I have that objective angle. Macarons are a great example. If I blog one, then I know that Rach would need step by step instructions and explanations for everything. :) Whereas if I were just writing without writing to her, I would skip a lot of those. :)

          • says

            Thank you Nagi, you’ve been a huge help as always – making me look at things in a different way! I’m really excited to start working on blogging for my model reader and seeing how that changes things!
            And, as promised, here is my homework:

            My model reader is my friend Amy! She enjoys baking, particularly for other people, but wouldn’t consider herself experienced. She’s very busy with lots of social hobbies, so likes easy bakes that will impress and her friends will enjoy. She likes to bake more elaborate desserts for birthdays and special occasions (she made a hobbit cake for her fiance’s 30th!), but usually needs a bit of help with the more difficult parts. I blog for Amy, to help her along with more complex baking adventures, but for the most part keeping it fun and easy so she doesn’t lose her enjoyment in baking.

            I’m gonna write this out on and stick it on my stand mixer I think haha!

          • Nagi says

            I love this Michelle! It’s so specific. :) And I really like the part you honed in on about her level of experience. I really focus on that on my blog too. For example, my readers don’t know Asian ingredients very well so when I use things like Tamarind puree or even if I use a specific type of soy sauce, I always include notes. So many readers have commented on how helpful the tips are. And if you always keep Amy in mind when you’re writing your recipes, you will naturally find yourself dropping in tips or providing more specific steps for the more difficult parts. :)

            I’m so glad you found this helpful! N x

  22. says

    My model reader is a working parent with two children, involved in extra curricular activities and managing a time / money budget that doesn’t allow for hours in the kitchen or fancy ingredients. The recipes need to concise and simple; the ingredients available pretty much anywhere.

    Good, filling food that doesn’t take a lot of time or money.

    That’s my target reader and the focus of my blog.

    • Nagi says

      Bang on. I LOVE it. Without going to your blog to check, I bet you share really simple but tasty recipes with few ingredients so it’s perfect for busy parents who need family friendly food. Our model readers are quite similar but I and guessing that your food is even simpler to make than mine, and mine probably has stronger flavours because I like to cook using spice rubs, Asian condiments etc. And I bet a higher % of your recipes are family friendly without having to alter the recipe, like removing spice (which I often use). And I bet that many of your recipes are made using ingredients that are standard weekly shopping items.

      Am I right? 😉

  23. says

    though I have read so many times about the solving a problem, but how exactly i wasn’t sure.. Ur idea of choosing that one person is mind-blowing… it has activated all my grey cells in the brain. Though I do have chosen a niche, but i just love this idea of blogging around a single person.. lemme think of one and get back to u.

    • Nagi says

      Great Fareeha! I’d love to hear who your model reader is :)

      I know, the problem solving concept is not new in the marketing world, that’s for sure. But applying it to the blogging world is a new concept. Just need to twist it a bit to make it work. And it really does! N x

  24. says

    Thanks for sharing this, Nagi! I have been struggling with a direction for my blog because I keep feeling the stretchy cheese and gooey chocolate is winning Pinterest. I’m off to brainstorm my ideal reader :)

    • Nagi says

      I don’t deny I do stretchy cheese and gooey chocolate. But I can promise you, that does NOT build a loyal readership. Honestly, I love cheese and chocolate but I would never follow a blog that only posts food porn. It dulls your taste buds (and eyes!) and is completely impractical. :)

      People who do that are doing sprints, not marathons.

      I’d love to hear where your thoughts are at with your blog! What are you thinking? :)

  25. says

    This is brilliant Nagi! I’ve been thinking about that alot recently too! I think my niche is quite specific which worries me and I don’t know how many people are out there like that… but I have to keep at it right? :) Thanks Nagi!

    • Nagi says

      You know, it is more worrying if your niche is broad. Seriously. Because then you are just one fish in a VERY big pond. It’s better to be a fish in a small pond.

      Describe your niche and model reader to me!

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