Understanding your Audience – how to write for your target market

As a writer, understanding your target audience is something you may already know is important, but really getting to know your audience can be a challenge.

You might have an idea of who your target audience is, but how do you really start to know what makes them tick? What their aspirations are? Or what challenges they face?

Finding the answers to these questions turns readers into customers, and is a vital part of a successful business, no matter what the niche is.

What is a Target Audience?

Target audience are the specific groups of people who will be interested in reading your your articles and blog posts.

These are people who you would like to take some sort of action such as joining an email list or buying something.

In order to encourage that desired action – you have to woo them.

Your target audience is the people you serve when you write.

When you understand your audience, you can tailor your topics and tone to speak to their wants, desires and aspirations.

You are specifically writing for them, not just to a generic audience who might occasionally visit your website.

Why Understanding your Audience Helps you be a Better Writer

What you write and your tone depends upon who your audience is and their level of knowledge of a topic.

For example, imagine you had to explain a concept to someone. If they had no prior knowledge of the topic, you’d explain it simply to start with. Whereas if somebody already had some knowledge of a topic, they might like to read a more in-depth article.

Think about the different people who you speak to throughout your typical week.

Do you speak to them all in the same way? I’m guessing the answer is no. The way you speak to your friends, your bank manager in a meeting, or how you speak to parents at the school gate, will be different.

Your tone when speaking to others depends on your audience and the same applies to writing.

When you work out the right tone, you sharpen your writing skills and create copy that your audience identifies with.

Creating a Profile of your Audience

Writing that speaks directly to a target audience or market makes it much more engaging.

There are times when it’s really helpful to create an audience profile.

As you can see from the picture there there’s a very industrious lady who’s carefully working out who her target audience is!

It’s helpful to figure out the details of your target readers when you have a new client and you don’t yet have a strong idea of the market, so in this case take some time to create a profile for the ideal reader. Narrow it down and be as specific as possible.

Your Audience Profile:

  • Are they male, female, teens or children?

  • What do they do for a living?

  • What ages are they?

  • How much do they averagely earn each year?

  • What are their dreams and aspirations?

  • What problem can you help solve for them?

Getting a picture of from the above information is useful, but the last bullet point is the most important. Knowing what problems your audience has helps you create solutions, and this becomes the basis of your business.

understanding your audience

For example, some of the audience for Web Writers Rock might struggle with understanding SEO techniques for writers. This is a problem that is holding them back from gaining SEO clients.

Knowing the answers to these profile questions will enable you to create a piece of writing where the audience feels,

‘Yes. That really speaks to me. That understands my problems, it understands what I’m going through. This is the answer I’ve been looking for’

Now you might be wondering ‘where can I find this information out about my target audience?’

Let’s look at an example:

You’re writing an article about gluten-free baking with the purpose of promoting a brand of flour.

An internet search for gluten-free recipes will bring up places where your target audience hang out, such as forums blogs and also comments on the bottom of recipe pages. You can also search social media platforms for relevant groups and conversations.

Read through to find out what exactly the problems are that the audience faces. For example it might be successful baking with gluten-free flour, finding good recipes, or it could be more to do with the health complications that come from having a gluten intolerance.

Now you can write your article to address these specific problems and provide the solution, which in the case of this article would be choosing the wonderful gluten-free flour that you are promoting.

Why it is Essential to know your Audience

  • Defining your audience means you create content that specifically speaks to them and when you write content that benefits readers, readers come back for more.

  • You become an authority in your niche and readers turn into customers.

  • Also, you are not wasting time creating the wrong kind of content and this is particularly helpful if you’re a blogger who is trying to earn money from a blog rather than working for someone else. It means less work with quicker results.

Task to get you Thinking about your Audience

You might not feel like doing some homework, but here’s a quick task I’d like you to try.

Imagine you’re writing an article for a website that sells party supplies. Make a list of people who might visit that website, such as party hosts, brides and grooms or anybody else who’s having some sort of celebration.

Think carefully and list what these people have in common. What is it they will want to achieve from buying products from this website? It might be to have some fantastic room decoration for their party. Maybe it’s to buy orders in bulk to save money on party supplies.

Why this task helps: building a picture of the needs and aspirations of an audience helps you to write tailored web content that speaks to them, and this can help turn readers into buyers for the client that you’re working for.

To Sum Up

  • Writing for your audience is essential.

  • Adapts your topic and tone to suit your target readers.

  • Research your audience by finding them online.

  • Create a profile of your ideal reader.

Understanding your audience helps you to create webcopy that works. It benefits the reader, your business, and also you as a writer.

Want to know more about growing your freelancer writing business? Join the mailing list. Not only do you get a free list of 50 websites that pay your to write, but I’ll send you weekly updates of new writing jobs added to our board, plus other interesting stuff to do with freelance writing.

You rock, writer!

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