Writing For A Target Audience
There is nothing worse than a boring blog post or an internet article written in a stiff, prescripted, logical manner. This type of writing lacks spontaneity. It lacks whimsy. It lacks flesh and blood. And, predictable, wooden content won’t make your readers want to return to your site to see what else you have to say.
The Easy Way to Write
The easiest formula for writing internet content is to write as if you were talking to a real-life friend or acquaintance. When you are writing for a specific person, one who fits into your target demographics, you will discover a natural flow that will entice your target audience back for more. Actually, the laziest, but most effective, style of writing springs forth whenever you are writing for a specific person, who likes what you like and knows what you know.
Your Target Blog Audience
When blogging, you should pick a target audience that consists of people like yourself. These people speak the same lingo as you. They laugh at the same insider jokes. They understand your doublespeak and innuendos. They get what you are saying. If they don’t, they will move on.
Name Your Friend or Acquaintance
While drafting your blog post, you should use the name of your targeted friend. Later, you can edit out your friend’s name and tweak your words to form an intriguing generalization. This method is the easiest way to keep your writing real. Here is an example of a first draft geared towards a younger baby boomer.
“Cherie, you missed out on the fun of being a hippie. You missed the crazy clothing, the rocking live music, and the full-on camaraderie of living from day to day. All you got was disco.”
For the actual upload, edit out any name (or names) and, if you need to lengthen your post, add more detail. Here is an example.
“All of you younger baby boomers missed out on the fun of being a hippie. You never wore purple velvet capes or fringed miniskirts to shock your parents. You never saw Jimi Hendrix pulsate his guitar while somersaulting on stage. You never experienced the full-on camaraderie of living day to day on a commune. All you younger boomers got was disco.”
Would a thirty-year-old man be able to write a trendy blog geared towards baby boomers? Would a baby-boomer woman be able to speak convincingly to a thirty-year-old gamer? You know the answer.
Your Target Audience for Online Articles
An article is more formal than a blog. When you are writing an online article, pick a topic that you know; then, write the article in a way that makes you stand out from the crowd. Any writer from the United States, India, Scotland, the Philippines, or the Falklands can copy information found on page one of Google or Bing and formulate that information into a cohesive matrix of sentences and paragraphs.
What makes you different from them? Do you know something about a topic that they don’t? If so, you should be writing that article.
Writing Outside Your Area of Expertise
Writing on subjects you know nothing about is a time-consuming chore. In the long run, you are better off avoiding articles that require a boatload of research. If you find yourself mired waist deep in gobs of information and you feel burdened by a steep learning curve, toss that article into the sea and write about what you know. Then, learn more about “what you know” to become an expert.
You Are an Entrepreneur
On some level, you must always remember that your articles and posts, no matter how obliquely veiled, are teasers or advertisements meant to sell a product or a lifestyle. Well, how do you know if you can attract an audience that will lust after that ski boat or buy into that wanderlust lifestyle?
The right answer is that you are a guy who keeps a ski boat in your garage or you are a retired woman who, finally, has enough time for travel. Alternatively, compelling blogs and articles can be written by authors who long to own a yacht or wordsmiths who daydream about accumulating enough mileage to hit Dubai, London, Auckland, and Machu Picchu. However, you should never try to con your readers into believing you are something you are not. Your words will ring hollow; and, eventually, Google will downgrade your webpage.
So, unless you love a major challenge, you should write about what you know and write for people like yourself. Consider the option of writing under a pseudonym, if you must, but bring your audience into your life. Give your readers tips and tidbits that they are unlikely to know. And, if you dole these enticing morsels out in small doses, you will amass a fan base that keeps coming back for more.