Every time I speak about the need for a business plan for a book or blog—or a blogged book—someone asks me the same question: How do you find the market for your book and analyze it? The short answer is: Google it. But there’s more to it than that.
First, understand that you need to conduct a market analysis as part of your business plan or book proposal. You do this if you plan to write a book, blog a book, or book a blog. You also do this prior to starting a blog.
Identifying your market allows you to target your ideal readers with content they need and want—content they are searching for on the Internet. And you need to know if there are enough potential readers (i.e. buyers) out there to justify writing a blog or publishing a book.
Who is Your Ideal Reader?
To determine the market for you book, write a profile of your ideal reader. Include demographics. Figure out for whom you are writing or to whom.
Who are the people interested in your topic and why?
Later this knowledge will help you write your book. Right now, it will help you identify your market.
How Many of Your Ideal Readers Exist?
Now you need to determine how many of these ideal readers exist in the world or in your country. To find this information, as I said, turn to Google. Search for statistics or studies that indicate the size of your market (the number of potential readers interested in your topic).
For example, imagine you are writing a book about how to stop smoking cigarettes. You might discover the that the Center for Disease Control says “an estimated 42.1 million adults in the United States currently smoke cigarettes.” Additionally, www.sharecare.com reports, “About 1.1 billion people—one in every three adults—are smokers, according to the World Health Organization. China is the world’s largest producer and consumer of cigarettes, with more than 350 million residents reporting being current or former smokers.”
That’s a large market. How do you know that? The numbers paint a clear picture!
If you can’t find these types of statistics, look for the number of people who purchase books, subscribe to magazines, or join organizations related to your topic. These can indicate the size of your market as well.
Also, check out forums, social networking groups and places your ideal readers gather offline. These not only provide a picture of your market but tell you where to find your readers when it is time to promote to them.
Evaluate Your Market
With some sense of the size of your market, you can determine—just like a publisher—if enough people would be interested in reading your blog or your book. A small market means few potential buyers or readers. A large market means your book might sell a large number of copies.
Your evaluation might include a comparison of books on the same topic—competitive titles. See if you can find any information on sales or bestseller status. Large numbers of sales or a long time spent on a bestseller list indicates interest in your market.
Also examine competing blogs. Do they seem to have a lot of engagement, subscribers, or fans? If so, that means people are interested in the topic.
However, your evaluation must include finding a way for your blog or book to stand out in the blogosphere and publishing-sphere. It must be unique and necessary. You must get creative and craft the most marketable book possible no matter if you blog it, book it or write it.
A strong market analysis can convince you—or a publisher—that your blog or book idea is a viable one. Not only that, it can help you promote your book successfully. That’s why it’s worth taking the time conduct one prior to starting any blogging or writing project.
To learn more about how to conduct a market analysis, watch this video.