TODAY.AZ / SEO & E-Marketing

Why you aren’t writing to your audience...

23 September 2011 [16:08] - TODAY.AZ

Has it happened to you? You start a blog and try to get people to read your stuff. You spend oodles of time customizing your theme. You chew posts over your keyboard. You sit back and wait to be discovered. But instead of being discovered, you discover something:

Nobody gives a rip who you are.

Folks are busy. They only care about themselves. The only way to get their attention is to cater to their needs. You have to deliver hand-tailored goods crafted for them. You have to write on target.

You are not writing to your audience as effectively as you think

Back when you first started blogging, you wrote for yourself whether you realized it or not. You tried to make it appealing to others but you did not do it effectively. Don’t feel bad; today’s seasoned writers made this mistake in their early days like you – they wrote for themselves.

Now to be fair, it is perfectly okay to write for yourself, just don’t be surprised nobody reads you. There are very few people who can attract a following through self-interest. When you are writing for yourself, you are the audience. There is nothing in it for other readers, and consequently you have just one regular subscriber – you.

If you want to build an audience, you must make others your audience, not yourself. Doubtless you already knew this, but you are not doing this as effectively as you think.

Perhaps the best metric to judge your effectiveness is the number of comments you get. When you publish an article, you are inviting your audience to a dialog. Their reception will determine your effectiveness.

Have you ever written a post that attracted very few comments and said, “Well, I guess this just is not a comment-friendly post, but it is still creating value for my audience”? If so, then to a great degree you are still writing for yourself.

There is no such thing as a great article that is simply not “comment-friendly.” There is no such thing as a niche or topic that is not “comment-friendly.” There is only good writing and bad writing. The good writing gets a response, and the bad does not.

Look at you. You consider yourself a copywriter – you wordsmith articles to elicit a response. If you cannot convince readers to provide a response, you have failed the basics of copywriting. You have failed to write to anyone but yourself.

How can you write to your target audience?

Good copywriting begins with good listening. It begins with analysis and research. It begins with careful examinations of what ticks your reader’s clocks.

Pay close attention to every word you hear from your target audience. Read their tweets, emails, and blog posts. Study their problems. Observe what is bothering them.

Do not write what you feel like writing at the moment, or else you will be writing to yourself. That is not copywriting. That is journaling.

Rather, deliver answers. Teach in such a way that they must read and respond. Be interesting.

Sometimes your audience does not know what it wants, which means you must innovate. Think twice, write once. Someone once said that the artist gives you what you did not know you needed. Learn to be this artist.

Nobody said effective writing was easy, but it can be achieved.

The call to action is not at the end of the post – it is the post

Every sentence of traditional copywriting has one purpose in view – to persuade the reader. If your post does not have a specific mission throughout, it is rambling, not copywriting.

You cannot throw a pile of paragraphs together with a two-sentence call to action at the end and expect results. That is foolishness. You have to be coherent.

Just as a salesman begins securing the sale the moment he starts pitching, you must determine your goal and weave it into the very fibre of your writing. This will never come across as spam to your readers since you are providing useful content throughout. They profit from your writing whether they respond or not; and the more they profit the more likely they are to respond.

Nobody loses in good writing.

This is where the money is, literally

Back in the days of the Cluetrain Manifesto you could post pictures of your dog and strangers would enjoy them. You could talk about yesterday’s breakfast disaster and a community would gather. But that was over a decade ago, and the Internet is much more saturated.

In order to build a money-making list, you have to work harder at writing to your audience. There is so much talk about this sort of thing, but sadly few writers truly “get it” and apply it to their writing. Most writers succeed half way but stop short.

We do not need more bloggers. We need more copybloggers.

Those who argue that making a full-time living from blogging only happens to “lucky” writers are assuming that you are primarily writing for yourself. If you make this assumption, the conclusion is absolutely correct.

But if you write for others, you will assuredly succeed. Despite the online saturation, there is always a demand for solutions.

The art of persuasion will never die. Who are you writing for?

/Daily Blog Tips/


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