Writing to Your Target Market | Defining Your Target Audience

by lakeerieartists

If you are writing online, then you need to know who you are writing to. This group is called your target market or target audience. Do you know who they are?

Reaching the Readers Who are Interested in Your Topic
Who is your target market?

In the old days, when people searched for information, they would go to a library, and flip through the card catalog, that was listed in alphabetical order, or by the Dewey decimal system to find what they needed. Nowadays, we use search engines to find information.

In order for you to reach the people that are interested in what you write, you need to write to your target market. A target market is the group of people that you are targeting with your information, the people you most need to reach.

Thinking About Your Audience

Picture them in your mind

One of the best ways to write to your target market is to picture them in your mind as you write.  You can either picture a group of people that would actually be in an audience if you were lecturing to them, or do what I do, which is picture one person in my mind and imagine that I am having a conversation with them.

Therefore, if I am writing an article for art hobbyists, I picture the typical art hobbyist that I would see in my shop.  They are most often, middle aged women, possibly retired, who are learning some new skills since they have more time due to children being grown.  These women are people who have some discretionary income to spend, and are most likely married. 

As I write my article, I picture that person in my mind, and write to her.  She represents my target audience for that article.

Target Audience

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Your Audience is Not Necessarily the Same for Every Article

Depending on what topics you write about, your target market will not be the same.  Some topics are regional, some are age related, some are gender related, and some have to do with family circumstances.  For instance, one day I might write about jewelry making, and another day about parenting a teenager.  My audience for those two topics is not always the same.

How to Figure Out Who Your Target Audience Is?

Determining your target market

It doesn't really matter if you are writing informational articles, product reviews, or editorials, you always are writing to someone.  The trick is determining who that someone is.

Your target market is actually not one person, but a demographic.  It may actually be more than one demographic.

For instance, in my brick and mortar store, my target demographic is different than my target demographic for my online website for the same store.  My walk in customers range in age from about 25 to 75, are 75% white, and 80% female.  They have full time jobs, and are almost always married or in a committed relationship.  Online the demographic is similar, but younger, (older people do not shop online as much), and and most are former Clevelanders, or Ohioans that are too far to drive to the store.

You will always have outlying people from your normal target market.  However, in order to be successful, you need to focus your attention on the main part of your target market, and ignore the rest.  They will come in as a matter of course.

To determine who your target market is, do some market research.  Are you part of that market?  Do you know people who are?  Where do they hang out?  Where is the best place to find them?  What do they like and dislike?  What other interests do they have?  By doing some research, you will find places to promote or possibly cross promote with other writer, websites, or offline activities.

Marketing is Not Deceiving

You are making them aware of something that they did not know.

Marketing and advertising is often confused with deception and fraud.  This is not what marketing is all about.  Marketing is bringing your information, product, or service to someone's attention.  If they are interested, they will look further.  If they are not, let them move on.  You may catch their interest with another topic.  If you spam them, they will not ever want to read your work.

Turn Yourself into an Authority

The more you demonstrate that you know, the more people will follow you

People like to think that they are learning from an expert.  No one is an expert on every topic, but you are an expert on any topic that you know.  The more you demonstrate that you, in fact, do know what you are talking about, the more people will believe what you say, take your recommendations, and follow your work.

This is how you build an audience that continues to come back for more.  Over time, you can brand yourself as an authority on this particular topic or niche.  This is how you grow your business, your readership, and your market comes to you.

Branding Yourself to Reach Your Target Audience

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Updated: 02/17/2012, lakeerieartists
 
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lakeerieartists on 02/13/2012

@2uesday I find that picturing my audience really helps me talk directly to them.

Hagenz on 09/10/2011

Thank you for this great article!

SimeyC on 06/10/2011

Geat article. I write several niche articles and each one has a different audience - this includes age differences - so I try not to put too much jargon in niches aimed more at teenagers. Very thoughtful article thanks!

lakeerieartists on 06/04/2011

Awww. . .now you made me blush. Thanks.

WebWriter on 06/04/2011

Great page. All your pages are great. I like your style of writing.

lakeerieartists on 06/04/2011

@JoyfulPamela I think that just like any learned skill, you can improve with practice, but it is a good exercise to start with every new article. Are you picturing your audience in mind when you write? Who are you actually talking to?

JoyfulPamela on 06/04/2011

Thank you for your sound advice, Paula. I need to update many of my pages with this in mind.

lakeerieartists on 06/03/2011

@poddys Tony, I think you need to imagine each time you write who might be interested in what you have to say. I have more practice because of having been in retail so long, but I do the same thing when writing online. It doesn't have to be a product article either, it can be a humor article or informational. By doing this, you are then focusing in on who is listening, not just on what you want to say.

Bcarter on 06/03/2011

I think this is something that's really missing in some of my writing.
Thanks, B

poddys on 06/03/2011

Excellent information Paula, this is really useful. One problem that I have is not knowing my target audience. I think it's because I don't have a store, other than my Zazzle one, and my lenses and articles cover a wide range of topics.

I definitely need to find a niche and then build an audience I think. You set me thinking.


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