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First published in November 2015, this article is revised in July 2018 after a major blog-restructure here at REASONTOUSE.
You can’t write for everyone.
The world of blogging and online writing is just too big.
The problem with writing for everyone is that your message is not super-focused. It sounds thin and there is a greater chance that it will not resonate with your blog reader.
With fragile attention spans and heaps of options, it won’t take long for your potential blog follower to hit the back button. And disappear.
And as a blogger for you and me, this is not a good news.
The good ol’ rule applies – define your ideal blog reader and keep them in your mind every time you write something.
In other words, write for a few only.
“Or I would go as far as saying, write for one person only. And that person is your ideal blog reader for that topic.”
Let’s see why this is crucial for you as a blogger and how can you build the ideal blog reader persona. You will also meet my ideal visitor’s persona that I have developed for this blog.
why ideal blog reader profile is important?
Effective blogging (and writing) is a strategic activity which goes beyond the ordinary effort put forward by many bloggers in today’s blogosphere.
It is based on long term relationships, creating trust with your readers and establishing your brand identity.
And it is not possible if you don’t have an idea about the audience or the readers you are writing for. You need to have clarity about your targeted audience.
Your blog visitors, readers and eventually, customers.
Without this clarity, you are stabbing in the dark.
Of course you don’t meet all of your readers in person and you are not going to talk to every one of them either. However, over the period of time and through different methods, it should be your aim to have as much details as possible about them. To know more about them.
Surveys, feedback forms, emails, personal conversations, commenting, forum chats, community boards, social media, face to face discussions or whatever. Start building a bank of information about them and get more clarity in your mind about your readers.
This will help you to define them in more detail, know about their needs and understand their pain points. This in turn will assist you to write with more clarity, precision and focus.
“The end result is improved engagement, increased trust and loyal readership.”
Next step is to write this persona down.
Because writing anything down is more effective than keeping it in your head.
Make it one of your priorities to document your ideal reader’s persona somewhere where it is easier to find and regularly revisit.
start developing ideal blog visitor persona from today
It took me nearly 18 months from the start of this blog to understand the importance of this concept.
I procrastinated for a long time on this matter and never formally documented a profile. I want you to learn from my mistake. Appreciate how important is the persona building and start working on it from today.
If you are new to blogging, the image of your reader in your mind will be unclear and vague in early days.
This is normal.
Start writing it down and keep refining it on a regular basis. Keep adding more details to it based on your best guess, judgement and opinion. Trust your gut feel. Listen to your heart. There is no right or wrong here.
Write creatively and build an imaginary “reader profile” on paper for your blog.
You may have only one profile if you write in a narrow niche. You may have two, three or more. Only you can decide how many audience profiles you need to cover your blog traffic.
Further Reading – Kevan Lee from Buffer Blog has written a detailed beginner’s guide on this subject.
Further Reading – Darren Rowse of Problogger also wrote about how to create reader profiles/personas to inspire and inform your blogging.
Further Reading – Meera Kothand wrote this excellent guest post on Smartblogger explaining the process involved in creating an ideal reader profile.
I have my ideal reader’s persona in my mind and more importantly, documented in this article which I regularly visit to stay focused.
Emma – the blogger
Emma (22) lives in Brisbane Australia.
She is currently finishing her degree in Human Sciences with a special interest in psychology.
Writing is in her blood and she enjoys expressing her thoughts on psychology and personal development through writing on various platforms.
Last year she registered her own domain and started her personal blog on WordPress. Inspired from her friend and something that started as a casual hobby, soon turned into a full blazing passion.
She now considers her blog to be a valuable repository of her learning, experience and skills – shared with her readers.
WordPress is still a significant learning curve for her. She is in constant search of best techniques and tips to improve her blogging and get the maximum benefit from the WordPress software. She wants to hack the growth.
She is normally in search of a real life feedback and lessons learnt from bloggers and this is how she found me while searching on Google.
She is now a regular reader at my blog and loves my direct and conversational style of writing. She thinks that the real-life insights that I share are valuable and she can relate to them. She is not after superficial and thin content, she likes reading detailed and insightful articles related to blogging and WordPress.
Emma has big plans.
She sees herself as a famous writer and blogger. She wants to be unique and influencing. She wants to use my experience through my writing to increase her own knowledge and awareness.
She is thinking about sending me a request to write for my blog. She considers herself as a shy and silent member of the REASONTOUSE community and wants to contribute via her articles.
blog audience profile – how far is your’s complete?
I intend to keep this persona as a live document for the rest of my blogging career.
The more I know about you, the more I will refine the characteristics of my ideal blog reader persona. I believe that with the passage of time, this sketch will become clearer.
The aim is to know you and help you.
I want you to carry out the same exercise for your own blog too.
Write your “reader persona” down and focus your writing around that person.
Share your views and position on blog reader persona for your blog. Have you got one?