“Know your audience.” – This is one of the most memorable pieces of advice that I’ve been given in regards to blogging, and even writing in general. The good thing about blogging is that by interacting with your followers you can really get to know who’s reading your content.
If you get to know such things as your readers’ age, their location, their interests and especially their sense of humour, you can use this to your advantage. Not only might you get to know some interesting people, you can make sure that the content you’re producing is suitable for them. Of course, I personally believe that first and foremost, you should always write for yourself, but by writing about topics you’re passionate about, in a way that comes naturally to you, the subscribers will follow in exactly that fashion – Naturally.
If you’re struggling to identify the voice of your blog, or you’re trying unsuccessfully to match a tone that you feel is appropriate for your readers, then stop. Step back and take a breather. I advocate the “if you build it, they will come” mentality, and in this case: If you write it, they will read.
There’s always going to be an audience for your writing style. No matter what; it might be your friends, it might be those who share your passion for a quirky hobby, it might even be a completely unexpected demographic you never imagined you could reach (celebrities!). Most of all, once you’ve found who’s naturally reading your writing, then you can keep on top of the information about who’s subscribed and find a common ground that keeps them coming back.
Start with the basics. It’s important to think about a few key things when choosing to target a specific audience. If you bear in mind the following factors as you write, then you should be able to tailor your content to those who like to read it.
Education – Make sure you’re aware of how much your readers know. This can be concerned with both the content you’re writing about, but also current affairs and general knowledge. If you want to demonstrate your authority on a subject, but don’t want to appear patronising, you should determine the readers’ level of knowledge to help you pitch your writing at the appropriate level.
Formality – You get to choose the tone of your content, but know that it can affect the type of people who read your blog. If you appear too informal through your writing, some influential readers might not take you as seriously as you’d like. However, adding humour and other techniques can help readers feel that your blog is accessible to them.
Ultimately, you can do your best to come at your writing from a certain angle, but as much as you try and force a certain writing style, your natural voice will always have influence. With a variety of analytics platforms available, there are plenty of ways to find out who’s reading your work, letting you work out how you’d like to come across.
Through trial and adjustment, getting to know your readership properly, and building up experience, you’ll soon be writing content that appeals to loyal subscribers and even draws in new ones.
If you need help and advice with writing for your readership, get in touch with or tweet !