Illustration by Leo Blanchette
Blogging to stand out
I recently decided to have a header designed for my blog because I felt that the title, The Sharing Connection, didn’t stand out.
I learned about 99designs.com and began familiarizing myself with their process. First, you write a “brief” that describes your blog and what you want designed; then you establish the dollar amount you’re willing to pay. Once your brief is made public on their website, designers can submit their bids.
Creating the brief was relatively easy, until I got to the one question I always struggle with: “Who is your target audience?” Once again, I tussled with this question. I did finally answer it to the best of my ability, but it took some work.
The muse and the target audience
One of the first comments to my design brief was from a designer who stated that he couldn’t tell who my target audience was. His comment annoyed me, though I knew he had a point. It IS hard for me to define my target audience.
I’ve done visualizations around the particular person I am writing to, pictured the type of job they might have, their age, their sex and whether or not they have children. Unfortunately, I’ve never gotten a clear picture of the target person I believe I am writing to.
This is frustrating because I DO know that it’s better to have a defined audience. Unfortunately, my muse doesn’t seem to agree. She craves variety.
I write what my muse gives me. Sometimes a post is fully born in my thoughts and I can sit down at the computer and type it out without any struggle; it’s all there.
Other times, I get a phrase, picture or vague concept that will rattle about in my thoughts, begging for release. This is when it takes more work to figure out what my muse wants me to write. When I get it, I feel complete; like I’ve done my job.
However, it’s still a fact that I’m not really sitting down to write with one specific person in mind. For me, writing is more like painting a picture with words. It may be a picture that people can relate to, or it may be one that makes them scratch their head in confusion. I never know what’s coming.
For me personally, my blog allows me to talk and share my life with whoever wants to listen and join in the conversation. Don’t get me wrong, I always hope that what I write will interest my readers. I want my words to make them laugh, inspire creativity, or give them something helpful they can use in their everyday lives.
Me and my target audience
The truth be told…
I don’t feel I want to write for a specific audience. I compare my blog to a restaurant without a set menu; you get whatever the chef is fixing. If you like the meal, great; if you don’t, I hope you’ll come back and see what’s cooking the next time.
With this attitude, I realize I may never become a problogger. Then again, chances are I wouldn’t know if I was anyway; I rarely check my stats!
On the other hand, I love getting comments and responding to them. For me, the comment section is a chance to interact with readers and discover who they are, what they have to say and what they’re writing about. THIS is the sharing part of The Sharing Connection. It’s a community; not a business or a competition.
So, if you’re reading this, guess what? You’re a member of my target audience. It doesn’t matter if you’re male or female, if you have blue or brown hair, are over 50 or much younger. I welcome you all:~)
* * * * * * *
Now it’s your chance to share what you think. You won’t my feelings and I really like it when people speak their truth!
How important do you think having a target audience is for your blog?
What was one thing you did that really helped you develop a target audience?
If you weren’t writing to specific target audience, what, if anything, would be different on your blog?
If you don’t like these questions, ask and answer the question you think I should have asked.