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“Blogging for one” – tips for writing for your ideal client

lookout photo

Photo by Flickr user Jonathan Silverberg

“An egotist is someone who wants to talk about themselves instead of about me.” — Ambrose Bierce

Since we tend to write alone it’s sometimes hard to remember our readers have their own ideas, intentions, wants and needs.  When we forget this we’ll tend to write in terms of our wants, needs, insecurities, and interests.  But as business bloggers (or any blogger for that matter) we’ll always be more successful if think instead about what our readers are thinking.

While of course we welcome readers or clients from everywhere,  it turns out the most effective way to reach everybody is to write with one audience member in mind.  Not because you only want to reach that one person but because it helps you focus your own writing.

Here’s an awesome checklist to help build a mental picture of who you’re writing for.  It’s from Nick Schäferhoff of Torque Magazine from a larger post called Why and How to create a Content Style Guide for Your WordPress Blog

Define Your Target Audience

As mentioned, like pretty much everything on your site, the content is aimed at connecting with your audience. Of course, this is much easier, if you know who they are. So, in order to write a blog style guide, this is a good place to start.

Marketing Persona Template

Here is a short template for creating a customer persona:

Name – In order to distinguish your different personas

Work

  • Size and type of company as well as the industry they work in
  • Job description and details about their role
  • Responsibilities and people they answer to

Demographics

  • Age – Are your ideal visitors teenagers, twenty-somethings, or silver surfers?
  • Gender – Does your topic or product appeal more to a male, female, straight,
    LGBTQ, etc. demographic
  • Income – Think of this also in terms of buying power
  • Education – Also think about this in terms of computer literacy
  • Family – What other roles do they fulfill, such as parents, grandparents, etc?
  • Hobbies – How do they like to spend their free time?
  • Interests – Blogs they read, where they get their news and so on

Goals and Challenges

  • What are their life goals
  • What challenges are they facing on the way?
  • How can you help?

Values and Fears

  • What is important to them?
  • What keeps them up at night?

Source: Nick Schäferhoff of Torque Magazine blog

Even if you’re not a full-time professional blogger Nick’s entire post is worth a read since the real intention behind a blogging “style guide” is to hone your… well… blogging style.  But an extra bonus for business website owners is that this and other exercises in the post can help with your marketing decisions, your customer care decisions, your product design decisions, and of course your personal interactions with your clients.

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David Innes, RealBasics.com

I've been building and maintaining websites since 1997 and building and supporting similar hypertext-driven software since 1987. I've done maintenance, support, and maintenance for physical and digital systems since 1981.