Build Your Platform by Creating a Target Reader

First up, credit where credit’s due. I first read about this on yourwriterplatform.com, which was reinforced through Writing for the Web on Open2Study.com, and finally I was reminded of it again when watching Michael Hyatt’s YouTube videos (which I highly recommend for small business owners and bloggers).

I’d love your feedback on this post. After all, if you are here, then you are one of my wonderful readers! Let me know a bit about yourself in the comments, and what you look for when you’re reading a blog.

Right. Back to business. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the idea, personas are people we make up who personify our target audience. When we write a piece of content, develop a product, or explore marketing strategies, we can test the waters by asking: “Will Anna like this?” Or, “How would John react to this?”

Naturally, the first step is to know our audience. In my case, these are my blog readers, social media followers, and the people whom I am marketing my book to. I’m writing children’s books, but my target audience are those lovingly known as ‘gatekeepers’ – adults who will (hopefully) buy the books for their children. (Or for themselves, if they’re like me!).

So how do we do that? There are two questions to ask:

1. What are my readers’ frustrations and struggles?
2. What are my readers’ dreams and aspirations?

I sat down yesterday and answered these two questions. When I imagined my audience, I not only thought about people who are already reading my work, but also the audience I think my writing would appeal to. Analytics can be useful here. Don’t limit yourself to current reality. Instead, think about your ideal readership.

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From here, I built two personas. I named them John and Anna (creative, I know lol), and gave them an age, relationship / family status, career, aspirations, and what they want out of my writing. This is the first time I’ve done this, and it’s bound to change as I grow, but here’s what I’ve got at the moment:

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From here, I kind of have two foci. The first us to be a place of mutual support and inspiration; a community of creatives. This is reflected in the blogs and people that I follow as well.

The second is to share my ideas and experiences with the the marketing side of art-making: building audience, navigating social media, and (eventually) making money. Again, this is a give-and-take role. If there was a theme to last month’s learning, it’s that we’re all in this together; the success of one is the success of many.

So your task, should you choose to accept it, is to reflect on your audience, and create your own personas. This will help you tailor content and marketing strategies, so they (ergo you) become more successful.

6 thoughts on “Build Your Platform by Creating a Target Reader

  1. I mainly read writing blogs. What I’m looking for are tips I can use to build my own career. Tips like you’ve offered her, Zee. I also enjoy reading book reviews and, as CL pointed out, stories. I want to connect with the blogger–get to know something about their live.

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    1. Thanks for your response, Leanne. Connecting with the blogger is important for me as well. I think that’s why I particularly liked your blog about your cats x

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  2. When I read a blog, I look for honesty and I look to read a story. This goes for writing and nonwriting blogs alike. With personas, I try to be that open person I am when I’m speaking to the friend I feel I can tell anything to so that I can give the kinds of things I’m looking for when I seek out informative and personal stories about something I’m going through.

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  3. Yes, very interesting, Zee.
    I’ve been doing a very similar thing. Plus I have a few people in mind who have been communicating with me, telling me how much they love my books. As I get to know them, I am using them as my ‘personas’ to work out how best to reach others like them.

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    1. Yeah, I’ve used a few of my current readers to build these. It’s also helped me feel focused wuthout being too limiting.

      If I can add to that, what drew me into your book was mostly the reflective nature, particularly in terms of how we function (or don’t) in our various relationships

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