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Writing For Your Target Audience
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Unless your blog has visitors (that hopefully come back regularly), you are doing nothing more than writing a personal journal. This isn't an issue if your aim is to practice your writing skills or create a body of work, but it's a problem if your intent is to market yourself or build a reputation.
Whenever you plan, write or edit a blog post or article, always keep your target audience in mind. The following points will help to achieve this:
Write Content That Is Easy To Read
No matter who your target audience is, you need to make your content easy for them to read. That means you need a clear structure, simple language, and formatting that breaks the blog post up into blocks of text. You also need to carefully edit your work and ensure it flows.
Your articles or blog posts should be more than just a jumbled compilation of your ideas. It should be structured with a clear beginning, mid section and ending. If nothing else it should be broken into short paragraphs and have sub-headings to create further definition.
Spelling and grammatical errors are distracting and reduce your credibility in the eyes of your target audience. They take away form your authority on a subject even if the content is of high quality. At the very least, use a spell-checker and read your content over a few times to make sure you catch any mistakes.
Adding some graphic formatting such as images, bold text or bullet points will help make your articles easier to read. Once you have a draft of your text, go back over the work to see where you can add in some additional formatting to make the piece more appealing and emphasise key points to your target audience.
Consider Who Your Target Audience Is
It's essential to have a grasp of who your target audience is. Are they new to your niche? Have they years of experience in the particular subject? Answering these questions will affect everything from the topic of discussion to the way in which you deliver the content. The style in which you write will be completely different when delivered to a novice than it would be for an expert.
It's fair to assume that in most cases your target audience will be beginners. This doesn't mean that your articles need to be aimed solely at someone who is just starting out, just consider that some readers will have limited knowledge.
In the past I have looked at comments on subject matter and assessed the questions being asked to get a handle on what level of expertise the target audience has. This can help when deciding which particular segment of your target audience you will direct your writing to.
Use The Right Language
You wont always write in the same style, it will depend very much on your target audience. You will write in a very specific style if you article is meant for the local patchwork club. Consider how different your approach would be if you were writing for the local motorcycle club.
If your content requires technical jargon to fully explain a particular point, consider your target audience and what you may need to explain to them. If you're writing about blogging for example, not every reader will know the term "widget" and you may need to make some explanation of just what a widget is.
Take into account that your target audience may be worldwide and the use of Australian idioms or catchphrases may not make any sense to someone in the UK or the USA. The Internet provides you with an international audience so always consider this when choosing your content language.
The more you consider whom you are writing for, the more successful your efforts will be. Your target audience is often smarter than you may give them credit for and they will catch on quickly. Write to inform and never be condescending. Your readers will always appreciate a conversational style in preference to a lecture. Write as if you were explaining something to a friend and you will engage with your target audience and have them coming back for more.
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