Creating Personas for Adult Brands
There are two extremes when it comes to content creation: Not being able to think of any ideas for posts or having too many ideas that are difficult to choose between. Either of these situations can cause you to freeze up, and then become stagnant. Kayla has written on creating post content ideas before, but if this is a chronic problem for you, personas can be very useful.
What is a Persona?
Personas are essentially characters that represent an example reader. Bloggers, marketers, user experience researchers, and more use them to connect specific audience information to a name and a face, which is easier to wrap our heads around. You may have noticed that when you write to address a question that a friend or reader has sent you, it feels more urgent and personal. Personas can help to create that feeling.
Use Data to Create a Persona
To begin creating personas, you’re going to collect data. Some guides claim you need a lot of demographic information, but I’ve found that demographics like age or location only matter when it’s relevant to your topics or helps you to connect more to the persona.
If you have an existing blog, start with Google Analytics and Google Search Console, both which are free to set up, if not a bit complicated to get acquainted with. In a notebook or a blank document, navigate to the Google Analytics behavior tab and write down tags and categories people click on when they view your blog. Then head over to Google Search Console and write down searches that your blog shows up in. Then start grouping these together into a cohesive story. If pattern recognition isn’t a strong skill, perhaps as a partner or friend to look at the data with you.
Following these method, I found that many people that viewed my erotica later clicked on the public sex tag and the trans man POV tag. In Google Search Console, I saw that many people clicked on my blog after searching for “trans man erotica.” I also looked at the times that these searches spiked and saw that this started after I posted my erotica on a subreddit for trans men to share porn of themselves with degrading captions. To put that into a narrative, I imagine that the people into this content are trans men into porn of trans men being degraded that find erotica via Reddit. That’s most of a persona right there!
Continue to group up the data you wrote down, and, like a private investigator, see if there are trends with how these readers found your blog, when they visit, and so on.
Find Your Potential Readers
Next, let’s look at other information sources. This works well if you don’t have any analytics data yet, yet it’s useful for those that do. Find out where your potential readers hang out online and observe. A great way to start this is to Google a question that you want to answer on your blog. Perhaps, “how to find a dominant” or “how to have good sex after 50.” Once you’ve done so, take a look at the results on social media Reddit, Quora, and other sites that encourage people to ask and answer questions are also useful here. Read these websites frequently and deeply. Take notice of trends and frequently asked questions. Begin to form a picture of these people in your mind.
In my case, I searched “how to find a female domme” on Google and found two subreddits, /r/FemdomCommunity and /r/BDSMCommunity. I started to read the newest posts on each subreddit every afternoon. Eventually, I came to notice that people that posted asking how to find a Dominant female partner often were also afraid of attending public kink events. After some time, I noted that they fell into certain demographics that affected their experiences. Again, this is mostly pattern recognition.
Answer These Questions
With all of these methods, once you have this information grouped together, you’re going to want to answer most of the following questions for each persona. Additionally, if you have friends or contacts that are in your general target audience, ask them these questions directly, as personas are heavily based on one reader or customer.
- Why does this person come to my blog?
- How does this person find my blog?
- Does this person have relationships that affect how and when they read my blog?
- What level of sexual education do they have?
- What questions do they have that I might be able to answer? / What sex & kink topics interest them?
- What demographics are relevant to these questions?
- How long are they willing to spend reading a blog post?
- What would keep them reading?
Now some of this will be answered by your research, and some will be educated guesses. Let me walk you through my process for one of my blog’s personas.
Let me take you back to the example of the erotica from a trans man’s point of view. These guys came to my blog because they were horny and wanted to read erotica focused on people like them. Great start! Looking at Google Analytics, I see that nearly all of them came from Reddit. When I looked into the profiles of the people who commented on the post, I saw that many of them were actively looking for partners on other parts of Reddit. That will definitely affect the way that they read erotica because most people do so when they’re masturbating.
I also discovered that these were trans guys earlier in their transition, so they’re actively pursuing porn about trans men, perhaps for the first time. Finally, while most of the content on this subreddit was short captions, I saw on Google Analytics that most people read all the way through the erotica, so it clearly captured their attention. This is a great deal of information!
Add a Name and Face
The final aspect of creating a persona is adding a name and a face so that you can look at this persona and ask yourself “What content would Mark want to read today?” This can be done with stock photos, doodles, or illustration. Do what works for your budget or skill level!
Moving forward, when you’re stuck with either no ideas or too many, look to your personas. What are their needs? If they could speak, what would they ask you? What secret kink or relationship issue can your blog talk about? Now you can move forward!