Who Are You Writing For?

When I have an idea for a blog topic, I often don’t know what to say about it. Take drinking, for instance. I recently quit drinking. It was a huge lifestyle change for me, yet I haven’t written anything about it even though there must be oodles of people out there who’d be interested in reading about that particular subject.

I was just trying to find an angle for that subject, thinking: “But I don’t know what to say about it. Where do I start?”. Then a thought struck me. Who would I be writing for?

I’d be writing for people with related experiences, of course. People who have had or are having problems with alcohol. People who want to quit drinking, are quitting drinking or have quit drinking. And what would they want to know about? Probably people’s reactions to my change, whether the process was difficult and what made it so, why I made the decision to quit, and good and bad things that have come out of it. I can think of more – it’s a ripe subject.

That thought, who I’d be writing for, made it a lot easier to visualise how I’d write about quitting drinking.

It’s kind of what I do at work already. My day job is copywriting at a web design firm. When clients need copy for their websites, I write it. To do that I envision myself as a potential customer, trying to address every worry and question they might have. If I’m writing for a cleaning firm, for instance, the customer will want to know in which area they’re located, in which price range they’re placed, which certifications they have, whether they show up on time, how thorough they are, and so on.

You can do basically the same when writing a blog post. Of course you’re not writing for potential customers looking to buy something, but you’re still trying to persuade them to read your writing. That means they need to feel understood, much like potential customers thinking about prices and professionalism do when they’re searching for a cleaning firm.

Of course, writing should be fun. You shouldn’t write a blog post purely with your readers in mind unless that makes it fun for you. But when you think you have nothing to say or don’t know what to say about a subject, putting yourself in the shoes of your intended audience can help you find a suitable angle from which to write.

Just think of what they’d want to know.

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