Previously in our blogging for businesses how-to, we've talked about the basics of managing your schedule and all that prep work. Now, the fun stuff begins: creating your target audience.
Notice I said creating your target audience. Why that particular verb? Shouldn't you identify your audience, connect to your customers, reach out to new clients, and do all other kinds of active marketing babble?
Yes, yes, and yes. But you need to write to one person, or a couple of people at the very most.
To find out why, imagine yourself talking.
Why You Should Write For a Small Audience
Picture yourself talking to a group of people whom you don't know. You probably felt a little nervous, a little bit hesitant. If you actually imagined hearing yourself talking to the crowd, did you sound relaxed? Natural? Anything like your normal self?
If you're like me, you probably would get all tongue-tied and stand there thinking, When will this terrible, awful, trauma-inducing experience be over?
This is not the tone you want your blog to have. Stilted, formal language is becoming obsolete on the Web. And this is doubly true for your blog.
Now, imagine yourself talking to a couple of your best friends. You're relaxed. You're fun to listen to. Your friends want to keep talking with you.
This is what you want your blog to sound like. Relaxed, fun, personable. Otherwise, it won't be long until people quit reading it.
Now, how can you create your audience?
Creating Mr. Wright
Let's go for the silly pun and call your audience Mr. (or Ms.) Wright. This is who you'll be writing to. Got an image in your head?
Some marketing and blogging advice has you building up such a complete dossier on Mr. Wright that you'd need to have a degree in psychological profiling. Background information helps, but you don't need to write a novel. This is what I ask my new clients when they want me to write blog content for them:
(I am not making the last question up, although in a way I kind of am. Humor is important in a blog, but not everyone can appreciate the brilliance that is the Python boys. Unfortunately.)
So, applying this to the Wright audience in my own case, I have:
Mr. Wright is the owner of a small IT management company. (Job.) He's great with technology, but he doesn't always explain it well to his clients. (IT Skills.) He knows what he wants to say, but writing is not his thing. (Comfort with the English language, which is basically the service I provide.) He gets the brilliance of Monty Python. (I now know that I can throw in quotes from Holy Grail without making him think I'm a lunatic.)
So, for Mr, Wright, I need don't need to explain IT terms or how things work. He knows that without reading my blog. Instead, I need to focus on how writing services can help him and why they're important to businesses everywhere. I can also include industry news, cool tech things I unearth in my researches, and thought-provoking, discussion-starting pieces that relate to IT,
Should Mr. Wright have been a food truck owner, obviously my approach would be different. The key is to respect what the audience already knows, get an idea of their worldview, and make them want to keep visiting your blog. In other words: write stuff they want and need to read.
Speaking of visiting my blog again, don't forget to check in next week, as we further our examination of blogging for businesses. See you then!