20 January 2014

i ♥ my blog: task 3 – define your readers

I ♥ My Blog: Task 3 - Define Your Readers
Today’s task is to define your readers. Work on identifying, and defining, who your audience is … that is, who you are trying to write for. This has a lot to do with your blog or website’s purpose, but also takes the definition of what your site is all about an important step further. Rather than just focusing on what you want to do, defining your audience defines both who you are doing it for and what you think they want from you.

To start defining your audience, consider the following:

what is your niche?

Your niche is made up of your blog or website’s theme, subject matter, and focus. For example, Our Lost Jungle focuses on the art of creative writing, publishing, and other subjects related to writing, cultivating creativity, etc. My niche is along the same lines: to keep it broad, my niche is creative writing. Knowing your niche helps you define your audience, for obvious reasons …  your readers are looking for writing within that same niche. Understanding your niche helps you to understand what it is your readers are looking for. Further, once you understand your niche, you can examine other blogs or websites that write within your chosen focus to see what works.

Things to consider when considering your niche include: genre, subject matter, tone, standard content

who are your desired readers?

While defining your audience has a lot to do with knowing who is reading you now, it also has a lot to do with who you want to be reading your work! Think about your dream reader! What is that person looking for? Knowing who your dream reader is helps you to define what you need to do to read those readers. As you consider the type of audience you want, also look at what your desired reader is already reading. What do the big name blogs and websites that cater to your desired audience do that works? How can you mirror it on your site? How can you do it better, or differently?

Things to consider when defining your desired reader include: what are they looking for, what are they reading, what can you offer

how can you refine your readers?

Refining your readers does not mean you’re trying to cultivate or improve the people you’re reaching out to … it means you are narrowing the breadth of your audience. It’s one thing to say “Our Lost Jungle is a site for writers.” It’s another to get specific and know that the readers I’m trying to reach are “writers who are seeking guidance in navigating the tricky waters of the writing world.” There are more specifics to the type of writer I’m writing for … but the takeaway is that you need to tailor your expectations of your reader (who they are, with as specific a focus as you can get) so that you can adequately tailor your writing to match that audience!

Things to consider when refining your audience include: specifics (who you are specifically writing for), varieties (you will likely have more than one specific group you are writing for), blends (you should also consider where your audiences intersect, and what you can do with those intersections)

Your Turn: Who is your audience? What do you need to do to cater your content to both the audience you have and the audience you want? Share your thoughts on defining your audience, and how it affects your blog or website’s content, in the comments below!


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