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?
Peter DeHaan is an author, publisher, and editor. He gives back to the writing community through this blog. Get insider info from his monthly newsletter. Sign up today!