When I first started blogging, I wrote for myself as one big whole brain fart of thoughts, observations, musings and interests. It continued this way for a long time. Suddenly I started having regular readers who would chat to me about how they were feeling the same things and going through the same experiences and I loved the thought of connecting with people like that. What I didn’t realise at the time though was that I needed to be more aware of who these people were so that I could better help them through my content.
In this episode, I’m going to talk about what an ideal reader is, why it’s important to know who yours is, how to find out who they are and then how to implement that knowledge into your blog! BEEEEFY right?
Let’s get to it.
So your ‘ideal reader profile’ is basically creating an image of a person in your mind. It’s the person who reads every posts, retweets you, DMs you on Instagram – they’re so bought in to who you are and what you’re about that they want to support everything you do.
They do that because they relate HARD to you. Maybe they’re also roast potato aficionados HOLLAAA, or they’re buying a house like you, going through a break up like you. Or they have the same background as you.
Now I’m not saying this is a real person who’s stalking you like Joe Goldberg in ‘You’ – there could be just one of them or there could be 500 – but it’s key to know who they are.
It’s important to know who they are for tons of reasons. So let’s go through them now with some examples.
So say, you suddenly blogged your trip to a 5 star hotel in Dubai – if your ‘ideal reader’ can only afford low budget, European travel, they’re not going to connect with those posts. Or maybe you’re a first-time Mum and your ‘ideal readers’ are young and not parents themselves yet, you’ll find a disconnect when you start blogging about babies.
Whereas, if you knew your readers had a low budget for travel and you wanted to write about your Dubai trip, you could write it from the angle of, ‘here’s what I did in Dubai, but here are some low cost/cheaper ways to do it to suit all budgets’. Or, as a new Mum, you could write the posts from the angle of, ‘you guys might not get this yet BUT HERE’S WHAT’S COMING TO YA.’ Do you see what I mean?
When you know who your ideal reader is, you can cater each post, story, caption, tweet, WHATEVER to that person so that they feel like you’re speaking directly to them. Not that you’re trying to pee into the wind.
When a reader feels like content has been written especially for them, to help them solve a problem, or to give them specific inspiration, the bond between you is closer – this means they are more influenced by you.
And I don’t mean any of this in a cynical, gross, marketing way at all. I actually mean it the opposite! How much more would you enjoy writing your blog if you truly knew that what you were writing resonated with the people who support you the most? It’s the best feeling to be THAT reciprocal!
So how do you work out who this person is? If you’re an Exciting Emails Member (for £!5 a month guys and you get A LOT) you’ll have received your very first in-depth lesson on finding your ideal reader, with an enclosed work book to go through that will help you nail down who it is.
If you’re not a member, first of all, seriously GET ON THAT, but anywaaaaay, here’s roughly what you need to do. You need to check your analytics to see what your demographic is. Gender? Age? Type of device?
And then you need to make some serious generalisations. If your core audience is 18-21 year olds, the tone of voice and content you’re making needs to be a hell of a lot different than for an audience of early to mid twenties, and again for late twenties/early thirties and so on. As much as I, in my early thirties, would love to think of herself as hip and down with the kids, if your blog posts are littered with references to High School Musical, it’s probably going over my head.
Just like when I litter 90/00s pop culture references in my blog posts about like Zack Morris and low slung jeans and the odd 20 year old that reads it goes ‘what the actual fleck are you talking about?
Anyway, back to figuring out who that person is – GENERALISE. In all normal walks of life, generalising and stereotyping is the worst thing anyone can do. And it’s super non-inclusive because OF COURSE your ideal blog reader may be a career driven, 25 year old perfectionist with a boyfriend, her first home and a puppy called Carl and there might be 500 of her, but you might also have the odd one or two Keith’s, 45 who work in IT that feel a bit left out when you start banging on about which shade of pink Vaspar paint to do your home office in.
But that’s where we go back to niches and things like that – trying to please everyone and be everything to everyone, means you appeal to no one.
But when you understand your ideal reader, what their needs are, what they’re interested in, which references you can make in jokes about, you’ll get so much more engagement.
Hopefully you’ve paused the podcast to go and sign up to be a member, to get the workbook OR you’re furiously making notes on who that person is. Come to the Exciting Emails Facebook group and tell us – who is your ideal reader?
Once you’ve done that, you’re probably then thinking about how to best serve that person with your content.
Well I’ve got ya! Told you this episode was a beefy one.
Firstly, you create content that hits their pain points and interests.
What I mean by pain points, for example is, if your ideal reader is Miss Sally that I previously mentioned, you know, just buying a house with a boyfriend and new puppy, she’s going to be Googling things like – how to buy a house, how to save money, where to buy Vaspar paint, H&M Home sale etc – well if you’ve also just bought a house, or are saving for one, or are interested in interiors – there are some blog posts you can write that will answer those questions!
Similarly, that same person might be interested in Love Island, how to shop sustainably, how to read 52 books a year and show them off on Goodreads – there are content ideas there too.
Then once the content is created, you speak directly to that person throughout it. You litter it with references that they’ll get. Like my Zack Morris one above – leave me a review if you also loved Saved By The Bell because I KNOW YOU DID> You make in jokes of the things you know you both like. You make them feel like you’re writing solely for them.
And then you share your content where they are and what time they’re there. Are they more interested in visual content? Then Instagram is your jam. Are they more about memes and opinions? Then Twitter is where they’ll be lurking. Or are they obsessed with catching up with friends on Facebook? Make sure you keep up a page and add your posts to it!
Once you’ve envisaged who your ideal reader is, creating content that engages a wider audience becomes much more enjoyable and easy to create. So tell me who your ideal reader is and how you’re going to be serving them – I’d love to know!
Please also let me know any other thoughts you have on this and we’ll be chatting about it on the Facebook group. Don’t forget to follow me @vixmeldrew on Twitter and Instagram and also @exciting_emails for daily Blog tips and inspiration and I will see you next time!
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