If you haven't figured out your audience in writing, you're going to fail.
Is Stephen King's audience children?
Is the Los Angeles Times' audience people in rural China.
Is the Write Practice's audience ballerinas?
The principle of audience in writing stands for fiction and non-fiction writers alike.
And that's a good thing, because you will be writing in a way that better connects with the lives of your readers.
In other words, if you want to change the world with your writing, you need to figure out who your audience is.
4 Questions to Define Your Audience in Writing
How do you establish who your audience in your writing is? Start with these four questions:
Question One: Theme
Think about your stories, posts, tweets, emails, conversations, Facebook statuses, and Instagram pictures. What theme does your writing have in common?
As you look at your writing, you will hopefully see a theme. Any good writer has a very specific topic, niche, or theme that their posts, layout, tweets lend themselves to.
If you don't see a theme, you need to establish what you want to be about.
What do you want to write about daily?
Make sure it's something you're very passionate about, because you could be writing about it forever!
Question Two: Demographics
What demographic does your theme appeal to?
The theme that you've established will likely have a type of person it appeals to, and this type person can often be defined by demographics.
Demographics include a person's:
- marital status
Demographics can also be defined by specific hobbies or interests a person has, for example, writing, ballet, painting, hiking, or food.
Question Three: Daily Concerns
What are their daily concerns?
If you were able to answer the first two questions, you have almost established your audience (and can almost get back to writing!).
But now you need to know them on a deeper level. What are their daily preoccupations?
Do they struggle with writing? Are they overwhelmed with kids? Do they want to know how to eat healthier?
A great and simple way to find this out is to simply ask. Send out a survey to your email list. Find out what people want. Ask what they're interested in, and how their lives look.
To send out a survey you can use a service like Survey Monkey, Google Forms, or even just a simple email that you send to a reader.
Question Four: Your Part
Nonfiction writers: How can you help? Fiction writers: What kind of stories does your audience want or need to hear?
Here's where you come in. You've established who your audience will be, and now you're going to offer your experience and expertise.
This is where you are able to establish the relationship and build trust.
How can you help? How will you help?
You CAN Find an Audience in Writing
The reality is that when you know who you're talking to, your prose, vocabulary, and style will change. This is a good thing, because you're figuring out how to write in such a way that it has a deep and lasting impact on their lives.
Have you defined your audience in writing? Let us know in the comments below!
Practice writing something for your audience. Take fifteen minutes and write a blog post, a short story, a chapter, or whatever you normally write! Just be specific to the audience you want to reach.
Post your practice in the comments below and let your fellow writers know what you think!
Kellie McGann is the founder of Write a Better Book . She partners with leaders to help tell their stories in book form.
On the weekends, she writes poetry and prose.
She contributes to The Write Practice every other Wednesday.