Backstage, a comedian flips through his note cards one last time before starting his set. He’s got a killer imitation of the villain from the latest superhero movie, a few cracks about the latest smartphone, and a particularly lewd bit about some freak shows he met on Tinder. He steps into the spotlight and looks out over a crowd of baby boomer nuns. Get ready to dodge the rotten tomatoes, funnyman; this is not going to go well.
Like our ill-fated comedian, writers need to customize content so that it is engaging for their audience. The same topic can be approached in a myriad of ways, but the same phrases that will delight some readers will alienate others.
Creating bespoke content requires a partnership between the writer and the client. While an author is a pro at stringing words together, the client is the expert on their particular audience. When you hire bloggers, the key to receiving content that hits the mark is creating an audience profile that defines your readers.
Right now you might be thinking, “But I want everyone to read our blog.” Of course you do! Sadly, trying to appeal to the entire population may result in vague, bland content. Instead, think about who your most likely readers and buyers are, in terms of demographics:
- How old are they?
- What gender are they?
- What is their economic status?
- What professions do they work in?
- What level of education do they have?
Remember, you aren’t trying to encompass every single reader. You are trying to describe the average audience member or the one you most want to capture the attention of.
What’s Their Life Like?
So far we’ve narrowed our target audience from all humans to college-educated, professional women in their 30s. We’ve gone from strangers to acquaintances. Now it’s time to become friends but, to do that, we need to know more about their lives.
- What are their interest and hobbies?
- What are they passionate about?
- What are their families like?
- What are their shopping and spending habits?
- What is their personality?
After answering these questions, we know our target readers are college-educated, professional women in their 30s that love fashion and fitness and spend a large portion of their budget on shoes. Our ideal reader sounds like a fabulous lady and, even better, she’s someone that a writer can specifically pen words for.
Our target reader may wish life was all about shoe shopping and working out, but she probably has challenges and issues to deal with. At this point in developing an audience profile, it’s time to go from friend to confidant by discovering what pain points the reader may be looking for you to address.
- Are they strapped for time?
- Do they need to most economical option?
- What other problems do they face?
- What tools, services or items do they need?
Taking pain points into account completes our audience profile and leaves us with a detailed description. We now know the target readers are fashion-conscious, professional women whose hectic schedules leave them little time to squeeze in a workout.
What Difference Does it Make?
Providing a freelance writer with a detailed audience profile enables them to connect with readers on a personal level. It’s the difference between making small talk with someone you met on the subway and a meaningful conversation with your best friend. It may also be the difference between having the reader close the window midway through the content and getting them to share it on their social media feed.
If you were to develop an audience profile for Michelle S, it would say that she is a fashion-conscious professional woman who spends too much on shoes and has no time to workout. She may have used herself as the example in this blog post.