5 People to Consider for Your Blog Audience

This is a guest post by Joseph LaLonde. He is a youth leader at Oak Crest Church of God and a leadership blogger. You can read his blog and follow him on Twitter.

When I began writing my blog, I wanted to reach everyone. Young, old, and anyone in-between. Choosing everyone as my audience seemed like a wise choice. It would give me the widest reach.

5 People to Consider for Your Blog Audience

Photo Courtesy of ©shutterstock.com/d13

But, man oh man, was I ever wrong. I should have considered narrowing my audience and writing for one specific person.

You might think writing to reach everyone is like casting a wide net while fishing. It’s much easier to catch something in a big net than a small net. While that’s true for fishing. It’s not true for blogging.

When I was writing for everyone, I didn’t have a specific person in mind. It was broad and general. Because of this, I didn’t really resonate with any specific person, and the analytics showed this. There was no consistency to the writing. There was no focus. There was no rabid tribe.

As I watched my blog flounder, I knew something wasn’t right. Something had to change. This is when I decided I needed to concentrate on one key person I would create content for. They would be my avatar.

By choosing one specific person to write for, I could direct my message to an individual. I could make them feel like I knew them and they knew me. Having a specified audience in mind allowed me to connect with the reader better.

Who Should You Consider for Your Audience?

Choosing your audience avatar can be the toughest thing you do as a blogger, even more so than the daily grind of writing. That’s why I want to suggest five people you should consider for your audience.

Your past self: You can write for your past self. Why would you want to do this? Because you know this person intimately. You understand their desires, struggles, and feelings.

In writing to your past self, you can touch the deepest, innermost desires. Your audience will resonate to the message you’re sharing. And you know how you got from there to where you are now.

Your present self: Think about who you are right now. What do you enjoy? Why do you enjoy it? Where do you see yourself in five or ten years?

Use your present situations to write to your audience and let them know that you’re going through the same struggles they’re currently facing. They’ll love you for it.

Your future self: Now we’re getting into a tougher audience avatar to write for. This would be your future self.

When you write for your future self, you may be giving advice on what you want to be doing at a future point in your life. You may also be sharing some of your thoughts and reminding yourself what you don’t want to become.

Someone you personally know: This one can be quite fun. You can choose someone you know to use as your avatar.

You can answer their problems in your blog and share insights into what may help them. Use life experiences but be sure you don’t reveal personal information if you’re using someone you know. Or that someone may be an inspiration to you and you’re writing to share what they’ve inspired you to do.

Someone that interests you: We all have an untold number of mentors. Whether it’s authors like Dan Miller, Donald Miller, or Bob Goff. Or bloggers like Michael Hyatt, Chris Brogan, or Danny Iny.

Use one of those guys as your target audience. Read what they’re writing, listen to the podcasts they’re producing, and the webinars they’re conducting. Listen for their hurts and pains. And begin writing for them. Help solve their problems in your blog posts. Let them become your target audience.

The challenge is finding someone to write for. But with this list you’ll be off to a great start. Just find someone you can write for and keep on writing.

Question: Who’s your ideal audience? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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  • Sanjar Chakamian

    Joe, thanks for this blog. I have been blogging for about nine months since I retired at age 55. I wanted to give back to the people and the society that had supported me during my career. So I was writing about many subjects and interests to share what I had learned. This month I took a few weeks off of my blog to refocus it as of the first of the year. Since I want to share my experience and ideas, I don’t know which audience to pick. Any suggestions?

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Congrats on starting a blog Sanjar. That’s a great first step. Who do you feel could really benefit from your experience? Think of them and write to them.

  • Katie

    Great post! I never thought of creating an “avatar” or writing for the people you suggested. My mind is definitely mulling over the perspective you shared. Thanks!

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Awesome Katie. I hope you’re able to create and focus on a target audience. I think you’ll begin to see a shift in your writing and a rise in your platform.

  • Ash

    As an aspiring blogger, I am taking all the help I can and so far this is the best advice ever. Writing to yourself, be it now or in another time period, is a really good option. Writing to someone else is another good idea. But I think that we should not always be targeting what we write to the same person. Sure, we should have a consistency in what we write. We cannot write an article for a doctor one day, and the other day we write for a caretaker. However, we should write to the person who will feel more concerned about what we want to say.
    Therefore, for me one time it might be to myself and the other day to someone else. And that someone else may change their identity whenever they feel like it so that my articles becomes credible. Since I’ll not be writing to the same person every time, my articles will not be biased and become obsolete.
    One advice from me would be that we should think that this person will grow with time. Even though your target audience is of a specific age, our methods of reaching it should change with time. Especially now that we have entered into a new age and ways of doing things are changing very fast.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Ash, the problem I see with the method you’re proposing is that you’re not connecting with any one specific audience member. You’re jumping from the doctor to the caregiver to the patient. To the reader, it may seem you’re being scatterbrained.

  • http://www.workyouenjoy.com/ Adam Rico

    Great post Joe. With the seemingly limitless number of blogs available today, the more narrow your focus the better. I’ve found that to be true even for specific posts. When the post is written on a specific topic for a specific kind of person I’ve found it generates much more traffic and activity. Thanks for your thoughts Joe.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Thanks Adam. Glad you enjoyed the post.

  • Kingsley

    Hey Joseph, thanks for this article. I think my focus now on my blogsite at http://chooseyourbestlifenow.com is on my past and present self. When I first started blogging it was mostly for anyone who wanted to live their best life now. As time progressed and with gaining more knowledge, I am shifting to the theme of men in midlife who aspire to become entrepreneurs. That is where I was and am (past and present). Thanks for sharing.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Awesome Kingsley. I love the focus you’re putting on men wanting to become entrepreneurs. Keep at it!

  • Michelle Wright

    Greg, I have a similar problem. I want to target Christians who want to apply their faith in the workplace and evaluate business advice, personal development tips and decisions through that lens, but I need to narrow it down more. I think my past self or current self is the way to go. Not sure if I can do both or not, but my intuition says I need to pick ONE.

    • http://www.gregorywoodard.com/ Gregory Woodard

      Michelle, I am thinking my present self & parts of my past self are good lenses for me to use. I agree that my focus of topics is too wide. I have a lot of interests. Narrowing is the hard work that I need to do.

  • Michelle Wright

    My issue is I think I can help my past self the most with my podcast and blog, but from a business standpoint, my current self has more money to spend.

    Focus: applying Christian faith in business and workplace, personal development, highlighting local business owners and professionals and sharing their success tips and advice.

    Would it be a mistake to have a one as my primary and the other as a secondary avatar? Long term, my past self would eventually improve and be able to buy more, but short term, my current self can make purchases right away. Also I tend to relate more to guys than girls, so I’m not sure if I should aim for both or just women since I am a woman. Thoughts welcome.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Michelle, I don’t think that would be a mistake but it could become difficult to handle. It could also send a mixed message to those you’re writing for.

      And I don’t think it would be a problem to write for men with you being a woman. There are plenty of people, Joel Bogess comes to mind, who write for the opposite gender.

  • Matthew G. Bailey

    Great advice. I too have failed at this during the first years of building http://www.LiveLimitless.net but now with an all-new focus towards changing lives and designing mastermind groups, I’m going to use this to get focused on the message in each article.

    Thank you!

  • http://smartliving365.com/ Kathy @ SMART LIving 365.com

    I just happened to find your website and I LOVE some of the ideas that you offer us for finding a “avatar” for our target audience…and then suggesting we write to that. I agree that so many of us bloggers stumble around in the beginning trying to find both our voice AND our audience and your suggestions are spot on. Thank you.

  • http://themeaningmovement.com/ dan cumberland

    This is really helpful. I hadn’t put words to who my audience is and isn’t before, but now I can picture who it is each time I write. As I’ve written since reading this, I’ve also found it to be helpful when I don’t know what to write to picture different people and ask what they may want/need to hear.

    Thanks for writing, Joseph!

  • Rose

    thanks this was very helpful in confirming that I have some idea of what I’m doing! Just started blogging and my thoughts are for my past/present self, for stay-at-home moms of little ones 25-35 yrs old. Now off to find out what else I should be doing as a blogger. Not trying to get a boat load of folks, just trying to get a good target audience where I can really motivate and encourage them in the Lord.

  • http://www.sheepdressedlikewolves.com/ Andy Mort

    I like the idea of writing for the past self because within that you can use stories. Write to inform your past self of what is going to happen and how they can get through it. The ‘Problem-Moment-Solution’ storytelling framework as I once heard Cliff Ravenscraft talk about. You faced a problem. Then you had a moment of realisation/clarity. Then you worked through and implemented some kind of solution.

    Your past self is in all probability someone else’s present-self (many peoples’ present self in fact). So by writing out of experience to a version of yourself that is yet to have that experience or is going through that experience at present, you are also writing to the very real experiences of many other people without realising…

    Hope that makes sense!

  • Felix Brown

    It is very encouraging to a new blogger like me. Thank you for taking the time in posting these tips.

  • Luke Lenichek

    HI, I’m new to writing a blog this was great info. Does anyone recommend other post that might help me out?

  • Eric

    Wow, thanks for the words of wisdom! I feel this way sometimes like I am trying to write for a wide audience. I sometimes think I need to narrow my audience when writing. Thanks for the insight and I will try this the next time I write a blog!