On Writing for a Specific Audience

Not just anyone

Who do you write for?

Here are several possibilities:

Yourself

A tutor

Anyone who will read what you write

A distinct group of people

Writing for you

Some folks write in a journal to log their history or make sense of what happens to them. Others find writing how they feel improves their mental well-being. Getting feelings onto paper offers stress relief.

You may also write to discover what you think. The idea sounds peculiar, but the process of writing can help you complete thoughts and develop opinions.

As you can see, writing just for you is beneficial. Often, however, people who write for themselves do so online because they want an audience too.

Red flags

If you wish to rivet an audience and not bore the pants off them, you must remember what you find spellbinding about your trip to Starbucks or unraveling the rubble in your head may make your audience yawn.

Before writing, consider whether what you want to say is valuable, not only to you, but to likely readers. What’s in it for them?

Writing for your tutor

If you’re a student, you still write for you. You need to log your ideas and record what you learn. However, you write for tutors too. You hand in assignments and projects, many of which chart your progress and might contribute to qualifications.

Red flags

You know your work needs to impress whoever hands out grades. But it’s important to recognize the purpose of the writing you produce, which is to show you grasp the topic at hand.

It isn’t useful to regurgitate what you read because your job isn’t about uncovering facts; it’s presenting the knowledge you acquire in such a way it clearly demonstrates your understanding.

Writing for anyone

Although hit-and-miss, not having a specific audience in mind is okay if you enjoy blogging for the hell of it and don’t care whether people read your work. Most often, though, it’s an awful plan.

Red flags

Like it or not, the public aren’t really general. They have diverse desires and views. Write without thinking of a niche in which your writing fits — and the accompanying community — and your work might not be popular.

Writing for specific groups of people

If you write for online publications, perhaps you have a distinct group of readers in mind. You may expect your articles to attract people with similar tastes and an interest in the subjects you cover.

Red flags

Even if you have a nebulous idea who your readers are, you might misunderstand how to appeal to them. Each community enjoys, not only particular issues, but definite styles of writing, including structure and the words used in articles. Write without planning to please your readers and they won’t be absorbed in your writing.

How to aim your writing to fit your audience

You may imagine you need only write about the prominent topics of the day to meet the demands of your readers, but this is a mistake. Your work, although well-researched and interesting, may still be a turn off to the community you want to engage.

Why?

Each niche community like a particular style of writing. Don’t believe me? Check it out. Examine trending articles with a huge readership in the areas you want to write for and note common characteristics.

Look for these qualities:

1. Conversational or academic style. Note slang and occasional swearwords or formal language (or somewhere between the two)

2. First, second, third person narrative?

3. Use of quotes, statistics, and references to expert knowledge

4. Personal information

5. Storytelling

6. Pictures and other illustrations accompanying written work

7. Added videos, audios, buttons, links

8. Headings and subheadings

9. Paragraph length

10. Specific word usage in common

11. Humor or straight (or a mix)

12. Tags

Not all prominent writers follow consistent formulas, but they seldom stray too far off the path they know their readers enjoy.

Popularity can also stem from being around long enough. Familiarity sometimes pays. Plus, if you keep producing decent writing readers will appreciate it’s worth looking at your work.

If you haven’t yet considered aiming your writing at a niche community by echoing the style they enjoy why not try? You’ve got nothing to lose and plenty to gain.

Alternatively, bear an individual reader you know in mind and write for them. Only, make sure you pick someone who fits the demographic you want to appeal to and you’ll reap rewards.

Copyright © 2018 Bridget Webber. All rights reserved

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Writer, poet, storyteller. https://muckrack.com/bridget-webber-1 Author Page Amazon https://tinyurl.com/y2cgqhgv

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