How to Write for Your Audience
You have the talent. You have the skill. You know the product like you know the names of your children, and you could compose a sonnet about the free trial offer alone. But, do you know how to write for your audience?
It is time to write a review. You sit at the keys, fingers poised. You take a deep and steadying breath, and…nothing comes. You are frozen on the spot. The thing is, although you know the product, you aren’t exactly sure how to begin writing your review.
I mean, you want your grand creative work of an article to reach as many people as possible, right? Well, not necessarily. Instead of writing for the masses, perhaps it would help to narrow the scope a tad. Perhaps it would be best if, instead of writing for every living soul, you tried writing for a certain audience.
Writing for a target audience may seem contrary to your intuition at first. It would seem that you really would want your article to speak to all people equally, thereby generating more interest in a wider swath of the population. Any experienced marketer worth their salt would tell you that this approach would be a pretty awful way to proceed.
You would end up reaching out to people who have no interest in what you’re reviewing and watering down your article for those who would be interested the most.
Imagine you are reviewing the latest in skateboard technologies. You aim this review towards people in their eighties by praising the health benefits of skateboarding. This probably isn’t going to result in very many 80ish people going out and buying a board. Neither is it going to generate very much enthusiasm in youngsters who were looking for a board to impress their friends with.
Suddenly your skateboard review has this particular product looking like something designed for old “fogies”, or whatever the kids are saying these days. (I’m sure it isn’t that).
What you want to do is to write for your target audience. You want to speak almost personally to your customer about things they actually care about. This is how you pack a punch into a review and get the results you aim to get. Yet writing for your target audience may be easier said than done.
Identify Your Target Audience
How do you know who your target audience is? Once you know this, how do you reach this audience with the most effect? I am here to guide you. Let us take a close look, shall we?
The first thing you will want to do is take a good hard look at the product or service you intend to write about. Who do you think would use it the most? Experts suggest making a vividly detailed sort of biography about the type of person you are trying to reach.
Picture their house, their car, and their clothes. Imagine what they do for a living. Think of what they might like to do while on vacation. Are they married? Divorced? Do they have children? How old are their kids? You get the idea.
Again, imagine the ONE person the product would be absolutely PERFECT for, right down to the very smallest detail. Get a clear picture of this person in your mind. Now write your review for this person and this person alone. This person is your target audience. Or rather, this person represents the larger target audience you seek.
Appeal to the Demographic
Now that your target audience is identified, you will want to write in ways that will appeal to this demographic as well as match the product you are selling. For instance, if you are writing a review for a professional program you might want to keep the tone of your writing professional.
This both appeals to the reader you are trying to connect with as well as maintains the image of the product or service you are writing about. If you are reviewing a product geared towards the youth market, you can loosen up a bit.
Studies have shown that humor and uniqueness work well with the upcoming generation. You have to write in line with the educational level of your target audience as well. If your research shows that your target audience has little or no college, keep the “ten dollar words” to a minimum.
Is Stereotyping Okay?
What I am about to tell you next may sound alarming. Are you ready? Stereotyping is OKAY! I know that doesn’t sound very “politically correct”, but stereotyping is a valid tool in targeting a demographic.
While it is true that not all members of upper management are golf enthusiasts, enough are so that a well-placed review of a brand new golf package might be just the thing to pique the interest of more than a few executive types. You would want to write as if you were speaking to this sort of professional instead of, say, a twelve-year-old kid.
While stereotyping is a useful tool in writing to a target audience, you must be sure that your stereotype is accurate. If you were to write an article about an exciting new technology that would benefit the elderly, it is clear who your target audience would be — the elderly, of course.
However, you might mistakenly try to “dumb down” the article due to the mistaken belief that the elderly are not tech-savvy. While this might have been somewhat true years ago, it is increasingly no longer the case.
Tech acceptance among the elderly is a growing trend, and so an article written about tech with Gramps and Nana as your target audience needs to be carefully worded. While you don’t want to blow them out of the water with all sorts of tech jargon, you surely don’t want to come off as patronizing or completely devalue their sophistication when it comes to technological know-how.
Know Where Your Audience is Located
Another thing you want to think about is where your target audience is located geographically. If you are writing for stay-at-home moms, it will not do much good to reference the New York City nightclub scene.
Of course, some moms are still raising the roof and/or getting’ jiggy with it (I am almost positive the kids aren’t saying that anymore, either). However, the majority are more concerned with matters of family, parenting and all that these things entail. These moms are found more in suburbs than anywhere else. You will want to tailor your writing accordingly.
Go Where Your Demographic Frequents
So how do you really get to know a demographic? How do you get inside the mind of your target audience? You need to look at where you find them. You know that cool store in the mall that you are sort of scared to go into because it’s dark and the clothes are all black and there is strange loud music playing over the sound system?
This store is a familiar hunting ground for many American teenagers. Gather up your courage and venture in, one time. Look at the clothes being sold. What emblems are emblazoned on the fronts of t-shirts? What slogans are being bandied around on their jackets and bumper stickers? What bands are the kids listening to these days?
While you will never (and I mean NEVER) fully understand the fickle minds of teens, you can gain a little insight into their culture. This insight can be useful in your writing of articles and reviews geared towards this difficult demographic.
You can use this tactic for virtually any demographic you wish. Instead of going to Hot Topic to learn about teens, how about reading a few issues of popular men’s magazines to find out what is trending in this demographic? You need to go where your target audience goes, dip a big toe in the waters in which they swim. You will be a much more effective writer for your troubles.
There are a few websites that can help you better understand your demographic. Census.gov can be of use, as well as Small Business Development Center Net http://www.sbdcnet.org/industry-links/demographics-links. From browsing these sites you will be able to delve deeper into the particulars of your target audience and gain the necessary knowledge to write with greater effect.
Psychographics You Say?
Now let us look at something called “psychographics”. Psychographics is a term I have run into more than a few times in my research. It is a very interesting concept in terms of aiding in writing compelling articles for specific audiences.
The concept is still so new that my spell checker is going bananas and keeps insisting I am spelling something wrong. Psychographics is a lot like demographics, except they express things more intangible than demographics express.
For instance, a demographic of women over 50 might illustrate the spending habits of this slice of the population while a psychographic will illustrate WHY they spend their money in this way. Psychographics illustrate values, hopes, fears, and all the things that cannot be expressed with numbers and percentages.
As an affiliate marketer, utilizing psychographics is important because we can affect our writing to speak to the core motivations of our target audiences. When we can gain insight into the general personality traits of our target audience, we can begin to tailor our writing.
It will also allow us to fine-tune our efforts even further in making a solid connection to our target audience. This emerging tool of psychographics shall prove valuable because with this tool we can establish empathy.
Compassion in Writing
Now, empathy is important in any style of writing. Perhaps it is even more so in terms of writing for affiliate marketing. When we can speak directly to the heart, we establish a relationship with the reader. When we use words and ideas that reach our readers, they may think “wow, this really addresses me and my life”.
To this end, they begin to understand that we are in fact writing to them, for them, and about them. They begin to see that what we are offering is what they need. We are them. We know their struggles. We know their hopes. We have the solutions they seek. We are writing about the products they want and need. We begin to understand the target audience, and they begin to trust us precisely because we understand their needs.
Writing for your target audience is indeed a task that isn’t always easy to pull off, but it is a task that every affiliate marketer absolutely should know. It is how you connect a reader to a product and make it a win-win for all parties.
Writing for your target audience properly is maybe the absolute cornerstone of writing effective content. Using the tools I have described above, you will be well on your way to reaching your core audience and establishing a relationship that is profitable for all involved.
Knowing how to write for your audience is no different than knowing how to talk to a person you know. Because you know them, your conversation will flow easily. It’s the same when writing content for your specific audience.
When you know who your audience is, you know what they want or need and will be able to resolve their issues. Just talk to them on paper as you would face-to-face using conversational speech. Let your audience feel you had them in mind as you wrote.
I hope this article helps you in your growth as you seek to become a better and more effective content article writer for an online business website. Now that your mental pencil is sharpened, why not try your hand in the writing market?
Call to Action
Take a few minutes to review my article that talks about other topics to consider that help to engage your audience.
I would love to hear about your personal experience about how you write for your audience or even you have even considered doing so.
Please feel free to contact me if you need help with anything. Just make a comment below or you can always get in touch with me through wealthyaffiliate.com (here is a link to my profile).
Founder of Mom’s Trusted Affiliate
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