Ever spent hours crafting what you thought was a stellar blog post, only to publish it and find naught but tumbleweed rolling through your website? You’re certainly not alone. It’s tough to know how to write for your audience. It’s easy to think you’re writing about the wrong thing, or your SEO is to blame, but often the issue isn’t what you’re saying, but rather who you’re saying it to—or rather, who you’re missing entirely.
The trick is to write for the people you’re actually trying to attract. If you’re familiar with marketing parlance, you’ll be aware of the concept of an ideal client; the people you most want to work with. In an ideal world, every person landing on your website and contacting your business would be the ideal client of your dreams. The type of person you love to work with or sell to, who is obsessed with you and whatever you offer.
You want your audience, the people reading your blog to be those ideal clients. To do that, you need to be creating content that actively attracts them. And to do that, you need to know how to write for your ideal audience.
How To Write For Your Audience When Blogging
Writing for your audience is a game-changer that can elevate your blog from meh to must-read. When you know how to write for the people you’re trying to reach, you’re creating more than just a bunch of words on a screen. You’re building content that resonates, like a perfectly tuned guitar string.
Think of it as audience-centric writing. If you pay attention to how you speak to the various people in your life, you’ll notice you talk to different people in different ways and about different things. Conversations with friends you share common interests with tend to be about those interests. Chats with family are often about the family, or enquiring about their latest news. Talking to young children requires using different language than talking to the mates you did your post-grad degree with. A laugh at the pub takes on a very different tone to a discussion with your boss.
We change how we speak depending on who we’re talking to, and writing content is no different. If you’re not fine-tuning your content to engage your target audience, you’re essentially talking to an empty room.
Ready to level up your blogging game? Here’s how to write for your audience and attract those ideal clients…
What Is Audience in Writing?
Alright, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty. The term audience is a familiar one, and you probably assume you know what it means – the people in a theatre watching a play, the crowd at a concert listening to a band. But what exactly do we mean when we talk about the audience in writing?
Simply put, your audience is the group of people who will read—or you hope will read—your content. But let’s go beyond the dictionary definition here. Your audience isn’t just a bunch of faceless clicks and views. They’re real people with real interests, questions, and problems that you can help solve.
You’re not just writing for the internet; you’re writing for humans who type questions into search bars, seeking answers.
So, why is knowing your audience so crucial? Well, in blogging, as in life, you can’t please everyone. When you know who your intended audience is, you can focus on meeting their specific needs and interests.
Imagine you’re a DJ at a party but you have no clue who’s in the crowd. Are you playing for a group of 60-year-olds who love classic rock, or a young crowd eager for the latest hip-hop hits? If you don’t know your audience, you risk emptying the dance floor—or worse, turning the entire party into a flop. Just like DJing, writing needs to hit the right notes to get people engaged. Knowing your audience helps you create a playlist—or in our case, a blog post—that keeps everyone tuned in.
This approach is what we call audience-focused writing. It’s about understanding who you’re talking to, so you can deliver the kind of content that makes them think, “OMG! She’s writing about me!”
The Importance of Knowing Your Audience
Knowing your audience isn’t just a good idea—it’s a necessity. First off, knowing your audience in writing is like having a cheat sheet for an exam. You’re not wandering aimlessly through a sea of topics, hoping one will stick. Instead, you know exactly what your readers are into, what questions they’re asking, and what problems they need solving. It takes the guesswork out of the equation and lets you focus on delivering value.
But it goes deeper than that. Understanding your audience in writing is all about effective communication. Picture this: you’re trying to explain how to build a rocket to a group of kindergarten kids using technical jargon. No matter how great your content is, it won’t resonate because it’s not tailored to your audience’s comprehension level or interests. Tailoring your message ensures you’re not just throwing words into the wind; you’re making a meaningful connection.
So how do you get to know your audience? Welcome to the world of audience analysis in writing. This is where you roll up your sleeves and dive into data, surveys, and direct conversations with your readers. This is how you find out what makes them tick—and click.
Adopting an audience-centric writing approach will not only boost your blog’s engagement rates but also turn one-time readers into loyal followers. They’ll come to see you as a trusted resource who really gets them—and there’s no better foundation for a strong writer-reader relationship.
If you’re looking to have an impactful and engaging blog, then you’ve got to know who you’re speaking to. It’s as simple—and as complicated—as that.
How To Identify Your Target Audience
Knowing your audience is the secret sauce to mouth-watering content. But how do you actually go about identifying who these magical people are? You know, the ones who’ll hang onto your every word and hit that “share” button faster than you can say viral?
When it comes to target audiences, you’ve likely heard it all before—knowing your audience is crucial for effective communication and engagement. You need to look at their demographics, their occupation, their level of education. But these aspects of a person, while important, are really quite superficial. I’ve written a whole book, Divine Blogging, on the subject of getting to know your ideal client better by understanding their psychological archetype. The book gives you a step-by-step guide to crafting a complete content marketing strategy that’s highly targetted to your ideal audience. But what the book doesn’t cover (largely because it’s already rather long and there wasn’t room!) is how to directly apply this understanding to your writing style and tone. So, let’s fill in that gap.
Understanding psychological archetypes isn’t just intellectual fun—although it is a lot of fun—but it also grabs attention but also creates meaningful connections. Knowing these archetypes like ‘warrior,’ ‘nurturer,’ ‘seeker,’ and so on gives you a way to fine-tune your voice to match the innermost drives and aspirations of your ideal client.
Tailoring Your Writing Style And Tone To Fit Their Archetype
Once you know your audience’s archetype, you can tweak your writing style and tone to mesh perfectly with it. Here are some practical tips for each archetype:
Rebel: Question The Status Quo
Tone: Defiant, challenging, iconoclastic
Practical Advice: Use bold headlines that provoke thought or challenge commonly held beliefs. Incorporate counter-arguments and alternative viewpoints to fuel the rebellious spirit.
Example Topic: “Why ‘Learn To Fit In’ May Be the Worst Advice You’ve Ever Had”
Warrior: Be A Catalyst For Change
Tone: Inspirational, commanding, invigorating
Practical Advice: Your writing should be filled with actionable advice and strong verbs. Make extensive use of call-to-action phrases to mobilise your readers.
Example Topic: “10 Ways To Conquer Your Fears And Take Control of Your Life”
Sage: Be The Voice Of Wisdom
Tone: Reflective, insightful, wise
Practical Advice: Incorporate research, quotes, and historical context to add depth. Use structured layouts, bullet points, and subheaders to organise the wisdom neatly.
Example Topic: “The Never-Ending Journey Toward Wisdom”
Nurturer: Offer A Helping Hand
Tone: Comforting, reassuring, warm
Practical Advice: Personal anecdotes and case studies showing problem-solving can humanise your content. Offer actionable tips for improvement and coping.
Example Topic: “How To Cope With Stress And Come Out Stronger”
Seeker: Take Your Reader On A Journey
Tone: Curious, exploratory, questioning
Practical Advice: Use descriptive language to paint a vivid landscape. Frame the topic as a quest for truth or discovery, inviting the reader to join you.
Example Topic: “Hidden Treasures: Exploring The World’s Best-Kept Secrets”
Enchantress: Create An Emotional Tapestry
Tone: Emotional, captivating, rich
Practical Advice: Use emotive language and storytelling to weave in emotional arcs. Include open-ended questions that make the reader reflect on their own experiences.
Example Topic: “The Incredible Power of Love: Stories That Will Melt Your Heart”
Jester: Lighten Up The Mood
Tone: Witty, humorous, light
Practical Advice: Employ puns, metaphors, and jokes. Utilise a casual tone and short sentences to make the content more digestible. Aim for a writing style that is funny and entertaining.
Example Topic: “Why Adulting Is Overrated: A Humorous Take On Modern Life”
Orphan: Build A Community Through Shared Struggles
Tone: Authentic, vulnerable, communal
Practical Advice: Share personal struggles and stories of overcoming adversity. Use an inclusive language that fosters a sense of belonging. Another name of the Orphan is the ‘everyman’; they’re that one affable friend you have that gets along with everyone and everybody likes.
Example Topic: “You’re Not Alone: Navigating The Challenges Of Modern Parenting”
Creator: Ignite The Creative Spirit
Tone: Inspirational, imaginative, transformative
Practical Advice: Offer step-by-step guides to creating something beautiful or impactful, from art projects to life changes. Or, if your audience is already a seasoned creator (artist, writer, etc.0 focus on helping them improve their art, or tackle the problematic sides of creativity (e.g. writer’s block). Use vivid language and imagery to stoke the flames of creativity in your readers. Encourage them to bring their own unique vision to life.
Example Topic: “From Blank Canvas to Masterpiece: A Step-By-Step Guide To Unlocking Your Creative Potential”
Dreamer: Ignite The Flame Of Hope And Harmony
Tone: Uplifting, ethereal, deeply optimistic
Practical Advice: Use lyrical language that paints a vision of a more harmonious world. Incorporate elements of storytelling, blending narrative and metaphor to build an emotional connection. Inspire your readers to believe not just in their own potential, but in the goodness and potential of humanity as a whole.
Example Topic: “A Vision for Tomorrow: How To Harness Your Positive Mindset To Shape A Better World”
Ruler: Set The Standards
Tone: Authoritative, confident, definitive
Practical Advice: Include statistics, research, and expert quotes to underline your authority. Use clear, concise language to make your points unambiguous.
Example Topic: “The Golden Rules Of Effective Management”
Mystic: Explore The Unknown
Tone: Mysterious, intriguing, evocative
Practical Advice: Use open-ended questions, paradoxes, and thought experiments to invite readers into deeper contemplation. Introduce elements of mystery or spirituality.
Example Topic: “Tapping Into The Law Of Attraction To Make Your Vision Reality”
Each archetype provides a unique lens through which to engage your audience, offering a rich tapestry of tones and styles to make your writing resonate deeply with your ideal client.
Topic Selection: Archetype-Driven Ideas
Most people have a dominant archetype that rules their personality more often than not. I, for example, am predominantly a Creator. Beyond that there are usually two or three archetypes that are still a part of a person’s psychological makeup, but not nearly so dominant; you’ll find I have a lot of traits of the Mystic, the Rebel (hence, Rebel Wolf), and the Ruler. The remaining archetypes also lurk in our subconscious, but they’re far less likely to drive our behaviour.
When you’re writing for your audience, knowing what their dominant archetype is allows you to tailor your brand voice to that archetype. This is incredibly powerful, and when done consistently compounds into a highly recognisable brand. BUT people are complex creatures. Everyone has every archetype within their subconscious.
Remember, it’s not just about writing for your audience in the hope they will read one of your blogs (or watch one of your videos if you’re vlogging). It’s about bringing them back time and time again, so they can’t get enough of your content. Consider how short the attention span of most individuals has become with the rise of digital content. How fast do they scroll TikTok? How quickly do they swipe left?
Holding their interest means speaking to every facet of their personality. So, while their dominant archetype will tell you what you should be talking to them about most, the other archetypes can tell you what to talk about the rest of the time.
Create content that speaking to them in the language of their dominant archetype. Create it about the subject or subjects that dominant archetype will value the most, most of the time. The rest of the time, speak on topics that will meet the needs of the other archetypes lurking within their personality the rest of the time.
The blogs, vlogs and social media accounts I follow religiously speak to my creative archetype (my dominant archetype), most of the time. Their content tells me how to create, how to harness my creativity, how to manage the negative consequences of being a creator. But they also speak to me about embracing methods that can’t quite be explained (like the Law of Attraction), that indulge my rebellious nature, and enable me to boss it like a pro. That content speaks to the three secondary archetypes that makeup my personality. But I also enjoy the occasional post that hysterically funny (that’s the Jester in me rearing its head), or teach me better self-care (that’s the Nurturer). I could go on, but you get the point.
The occasional post that’s relevant to the rest of the archetypes is valuable, appreciated. It’s a break from the norm. It creates variety. It ensures you hold their interest by avoiding repeating the same topic week after week and exhausting it.
When you’re writing for your audience, understand them as the whole, complex, convoluted individual they are, and pen your content accordingly.
That dominant archetype will tell you the tone, voice, and core subject or subjects you should be writing. But do not dismiss the value of the other archetypes, and including subjects in the mix that speak to the less dominant (and often neglected!) needs, wants and interests of your ideal client.
People are complicated. Writing in a way that genuinely engages and holds their attention should reflect that complexity. It doesn’t, however, need to give you a headache! Divine Blogging is a complex, yet straightforward system, that not only enables you to create a full, rich content plan that speaks directly to your audience, it also teaches you how to get the best ROI from your time investment (or money investment if you’re outsourcing your content marketing).
Evaluating The Success Of Your Archetype-Based Approach
You’ve done the work, now how well is it paying off? Keep an eye on key performance indicators like engagement rates and time spent on the page to gauge if your archetype-focused content is making an impact. This helps you understand how well you’re identifying your audience in writing, and if needed, how to refine your approach further.
By investing time to not only know but also understand your audience’s archetypes in writing, you elevate your content strategy from generic to genuinely impactful.
Common Mistakes And How to Avoid Them
Even the most seasoned writers can stumble when it comes to audience engagement and identification. Knowing your target audience in writing is the linchpin of effective communication. But fret not; we’re here to discuss some common pitfalls and how to steer clear of them.
Assuming You’re Writing for Everyone
Like I said, that old chestnut, “You can’t please everyone”, holds true in writing as well. One of the most common mistakes is assuming that your writing will appeal to everyone. When you try to write for a general audience, you often end up resonating with no one. This is one reason using the archetype method is so powerful; your ideal clients self-select and make themselves part of your audience because you’re talking in a way they respond to, about topics that matter to them. Meanwhile, everyone else with self-deselect, for exactly the same reason – you’re not speaking their language or discussing anything of value to them.
Neglecting Audience Research
Don’t underestimate the power of audience research in writing. Skipping this crucial step could mean missing out on key insights into who your readers are and what they want. This will affect both the content and tone of your writing. Utilise surveys, analytics, and direct feedback to get to know your readers better. If you already have a customer, client, or prospect who is the perfect fit for you, don’t be afraid to learn from them. Ask them directly what they’d like to see more content on, which content you’ve already created has resonated with them. What they’d like to hear more about and why. If you can understand that individual, you can understand your ideal client.
Ignoring Engagement Metrics
You’ve written a killer article, but is anyone actually reading it? Look at metrics like time spent on page, bounce rate, and social shares to gauge audience engagement in writing. These can give you real-time feedback on how well your content is resonating. Just remember, you have to actively promote your content and get it in front of a reasonable number of people before your data will tell you anything useful. If you’ve not had enough people read it, these metrics are meaningless.
Overlooking Content Purpose For Audience Fit
When writing, it’s essential to keep in mind why you’re writing it and for whom. If you’re writing an educational article but your audience is looking for entertainment, there’s a mismatch. Align your content’s purpose with your audience’s needs.
One Size Fits All Approach
Thinking that one type of content will suit all types of target audiences in writing is another common error. Different strokes for different folks! Make sure to tailor your approach depending on who you’re targeting.
Not Re-Evaluating Your Audience
Your audience’s tastes and preferences will evolve, and so should your understanding of them. Consistently re-evaluate and update your audience research in writing to keep up with these changes.
By avoiding these common mistakes and employing effective strategies, you’ll be well on your way to mastering how to determine your audience when writing. And remember, understanding your audience is an ongoing process, but one that will enrich your writing and make it far more effective.
Content That Really Resonates
Understanding and writing for your audience isn’t just a nice-to-have skill; it’s a fundamental requirement for any successful blogger or writer. From knowing who you’re talking to, to fine-tuning your writing style and subject matter to suit their tastes, preferences, and even psychological archetypes—each step brings you closer to crafting content that truly resonates.
When you invest time and effort into really getting to know your readers, you set the stage for stronger engagement, higher conversion rates, and a more vibrant community around your blog or website. So, before you pen down your next masterpiece, remember that the key to impactful writing lies in understanding and effectively communicating with your audience.
If you want to learn more about using archetypes to write for your audience, signup below to get a free look at my book, Divine Blogging…