Targeting Your Audience

How to tailor your writing having your target audience in mind
May 17, 2024 by
Targeting Your Audience
Hamed Mohammadi
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Targeting Your Audience

In any writing endeavor, from a short message to a lengthy research paper, it's crucial to consider your audience. This involves understanding their existing knowledge about your topic and crafting your message in a way that resonates with them. By establishing this connection, you can ensure your writing is not only clear but also engaging and persuasive.

Imagining Your Reading Audience

Communication is a two-way street between your writing and your readers. The coolest ideas, even if perfectly explained, can flop if you're targeting the wrong crowd. Likewise, overloading readers with unnecessary details is just as bad as leaving them out in the dark. To get your message across, you need to tailor your approach considering how your ideas might be interpreted by different audiences.

Don't worry, you don't need to know every reader personally! Most writers have a general idea of who they're writing for and what they want to achieve. The tone can be chill and friendly, maybe even a little challenging, or it can be all about facts and technical stuff. The amount of detail you include depends on how much the reader already knows and what they're looking for. Writers who underestimate their audience might find their messages ignored because the delivery is off-putting or there's no connection. Imagine, someone needing instructions wouldn't be happy with a poem, and someone looking for a good story wouldn't want a super detailed manual, right?

Deciding What Your Audience Needs and Wants to Know

Ever felt overloaded with information? Yeah, it can be a real roadblock to understanding something clearly. When you tell someone more than they need to know, it can bury your main point and leave them confused. Imagine having to sort through a giant pile of papers just to find one specific answer! Writing with too much detail is like that for readers. They have to figure out what's important and what's just extra fluff.

The opposite is also true, though. Vague writing doesn't cut it either. If you don't give readers enough information, they have to guess what you mean, and those guesses might be way off track from your actual point. At best, it's a waste of their time. At worst, they completely misunderstand your message and might even think you're trying to mislead them! Basically, you want to give readers the perfect amount of information, not too much and not too little.

Gaining Credibility with Your Audience

They say "write what you know," but it's not always that simple. Everything you experience, from everyday stuff to what you read and see, adds to your knowledge base. Writing about a lot of topics can be easy, but the real challenge is convincing readers you're legit and have something valuable to say. If you don't seem credible, they'll tune out your message faster than a boring lecture.

Being an expert isn't always required, but you do need to show you understand the topic. In the grown-up world, experience, training, and proper research are key. Think about medical advice: you'd trust a doctor more than your friend's cousin, right? Same goes for writing. If the author isn't a doctor but did tons of research and interviewed real doctors, they can still be credible. They just need to be upfront about it and show their research.

This even applies to personal writing. Imagine someone writing about losing a child if they've never had one. Readers wouldn't buy it, because that experience is missing. But, the writer could interview people who have lost a child and share their stories.

The bottom line is, be honest about what you know and show your research if you're venturing outside your comfort zone. Being credible isn't about being a superstar, it's about showing you put in the effort and have something worthwhile to say.

To communicate successfully

  1. Take your reader’s perspective to judge your writing and the information you provide.

  2. Treat your readers with consideration by giving them only the information that they need and phrasing it in language they can understand.

  3. Be honest with your readers to establish your credibility.

Targeting Your Audience
Hamed Mohammadi May 17, 2024
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