Recently a blogging guru encouraged me to write some reader profiles for my blog. Intrigued by the exercise, I gave it some thought. Before long I had penned profiles for five types of readers for my main blog, “Pursuing Biblical God.” I edited them today and have a bit more tweaking to do, but already the benefits of these reader profiles are apparent.
Reader profiles will help to:
Clarify Our Audience: Although I possessed a subconscious understanding of my target audience, it lacked clarity and sometimes shifted from day to day. With established profiles, the image of my audience will remain consistent.
Inform Our Writing: As I compose posts, writing them with one or more of my readers in mind will help ensure I will better connect with my target audience.
Eliminate Off Message Topics: Without a clear vision, it’s all too easy to write an interesting post but for the wrong people. If this happens too often, regular readers will give up.
Avoid Writing to Ourselves: I realize some past posts, although on topic, were more for me than my audience. In writing to both them and me, I serve my audience and engage myself. But if I end up writing only for me, I risk losing my audience.
Escape Digressions: With a firm understanding of who I’m writing for, I remain focused on my core audience and saved from penning pieces for a secondary group. Becoming distracted or diverting my attention is a disservice to my readers.
Guide Guest Bloggers: Though I’ve not yet had a guest blogger, if I do, being able to share a reader profile will sharpen their work, making it a better fit for my readers.
Beyond blogging, many of these same benefits apply to having a reader profile for a book or article.
How can your writing benefit by having a reader profile? What’s your next step?