Take the Confusion out of Blog Writing; Create a Reader Profile

You have probably heard many times that you should picture one ideal reader and write for them.

You are aware that this makes your message targeted, practical and benefit driven.

But did you know that by writing a reader’s profile, you can take the confusion, uncertainty and lack of direction out of your blog?

Writing your ideal reader’s profile will help bring huge clarity to your blogging goals. It adds cohesiveness to everything you do and pulls everything together.

Here are 4 reasons to do this now.

1. Really See if Something Needs to be Said

It goes without saying, but write every single post with the intent of helping your reader. If you can imagine them, you can imagine their problems and this will aid you in writing really practical, useful posts.

Have nothing to say? Just don’t write to fill the pages. Plan for this before hand so you have material ready for when you are facing a block.

2. Discover Hidden Opportunities

By writing a profile, you could suddenly have a fantastic business idea. Something that should have been so obvious, but wasn’t until now.

Say you wanted to write an ebook for a long time? Maybe you want to offer one as an incentive for people to become a subscriber. Perhaps you want to test the waters before you launch a specific product. Maybe, you just wanna see if you have it in you to write one?

The thing that has stopped me for the longest time was, I thought so many ebooks are floating around the net, why would someone be interested in mine?

Picturing my ideal reader really helped me to answer this question – it really put it in perspective for me.

I finally understood that your first ebook doesn’t have to be the cleverest document on earth. It doesn’t have to offer breakthrough insights. It just needs to build around one main point that is relevant to your ideal reader. For starters, it needs to answer one specific question - solve one problem. It can be concise; it doesn’t have to 100 pages.

All it needs to be a stand out is one idea that helps your reader in some way, and that idea will come from having a conversation with your ideal reader.

By writing a profile, you can really identify opportunities on how to monetize your blog with the view of helping your reader.

3. Reassess your Direction

If somewhere along the way, you wake up and wonder what you are doing, you are not alone. Every once in a while, all of us doubt our own plans and the ability to stick with them.

If you are getting bored, it could be that you need a break, or it could be that what you are writing about on your blog is not exciting enough.

Think of what you need to write that will excite your ideal reader? This will help you to publish only highly relevant content on your blog.

4. Connect with Your Audience

You can really personalize your posts reminding yourself that you are writing for a real person. You can be human too and this will help your audience like and trust you.

How to Create your Reader Profile

It is a simple process. Imagine the person you are writing to or hoping to attract and create a persona for them. Try to be as specific as you can, trust me it will help you pull every element together on your blog.

You might be surprised that it is not as easy as it seems. Keep going and the actual process will reveal many insights.

Your ideal reader’s profile should provide the following.

  • An overview of demographic information about your reader: age, background, interests etc. This will help you to fine tune your blog to appeal to that demographic.
  • A list of their needs and problems. What keeps them up at night?
  • Their reasons for visiting your blog. Why they read yours?
  • Their level of expertise.
  • Their goals and dreams.

You can make create many personas but it might be useful initially to create just one – of your ideal reader. You will be surprised to see it looking like yourself but don’t allow it to be a clone.

Here is my own Ideal Reader Profile

So, have you got anything in common with Elizabeth Ali? Are you my ideal reader?

Leave a comment below, I love to respond to each one of them! :)

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33 Responses to Take the Confusion out of Blog Writing; Create a Reader Profile
  1. Marya you continue to surprise me!

    I find your posts much more beneficial than most blogs in my niche, despite the fact that I’m more focused on the technical side of blogging.

    This is such a good idea, and not something I would ever have thought of on my own. I’m days off of releasing my own proper web design blog so I’m definitely going to do this before release.

    My idea reader profile would be a 20-30 yr old student or freelance developer/designer hybrid, heavily involved in twitter/dribble/forrst, looking to keep their finger on the pulse of the web design/development world.

    Not very specific.. but i’m going to have a bigger think about this on the weekend…

    Thanks again :)
    Andrew Groat recently posted..New CSS3 Specifically For iOS5

    • marya

      Hi Andrew,

      Thanks so much for your kind words. Based on what you have said, I can get a fair idea of your ‘target market’. Although, remember the more specific you get, the easier it will become for your to visualize and actually address their needs. You could do more than one profile, keeping their main needs constant but varying other details so sometimes you are writing for 21 year old, other the other hand you are writing for a 35 year old designer maybe?

      I had a look at your portfolio (do you have a blog at all?) your work is fantastic. I really like your aesthetics and simplicity of design. You know what, next year I would be looking for a designer who can do my design and logo etc but maintain the feel of it. I will certainly be getting in touch! :)

      Best of luck with your reader profile. The task is ‘deceptively’ simple as you usually go off on so many tangents when you start the process. You will see ..
      Marya

      • Wow thanks Marya! I really appreciate that you took the time to look at my portfolio.

        Absolutely! I would love to do some graphics work for you in te future, it would be my pleasure : )

        I’ll be launching my blog next week. I’ll definately have a good think about my ideal reader profile. Then the fun begins!

        Thanks again!
        Andrew Groat recently posted..New CSS3 Specifically For iOS5

  2. Ali

    Anything in common ummmm… Oh, names! :)

    • marya

      hahahah … I realised that later, a happy coincidence. Say, maybe you are related to her?

      Marya

  3. Anything in common … guy, 50+, wife, two cats. Not much I guess.
    But I read your blog for the same three reasons.
    Just yesterday I was advised to write a reader profile. Your post will help me with that. Thanks.
    Shlomo recently posted..Please standby – more coming soon :-)

    • marya

      For the three same reasons? Why, that’s the biggest thing. You fit the profile to a T. :)

      Let me know if you need any help Shlomo.

      Marya

  4. Marya – thanks for putting your ideal reader profile on here. Does this mean I need to stop reading this blog:)? I don’t fit any part of it!?! well, maybe the reasons Elizabeth subscribes.

    since i haven’t started my blog yet, I’m going to create one now.

    • marya

      Stop reading my blog? I hope not!

      Remember I visualize my ideal reader to be Elizabeth Ali, they could be anyone. As long as they are interested in what I have to say. So can I take the credit of inspiring you to start your blog Vishnu? Fantastic news! There, you are my ideal reader after all! :)

      Let me know if you need any help at all. Cheers

      Marya

  5. This is true not only for any form of communication but also for a creative work, in a different context.
    The work of creation need to be for a specific purpose if it is a sporadic burst. But, if the creativity is going to run for a longer period, then defining the purpose and consequentially audience would be desirable for the sustenance of the creativity.
    The target audience can be you, but it is still desirable that we should know why we do for us what we do.
    Ashok Vaishnav recently posted..Seth’s Blog: After you’ve done your best

    • marya

      Very well said Ashok. Only after I finalized my ideal reader profile, I was able to answer so many questions that have previously frustrated me to no end. I came to realise a few things that actually caught me by suprise so I feel it is an exercise worth doing.

      Why all the secrecy on your blog? Nothing on your about me page either, would have loved to learn a bit more about you. Welcome! :)

      Marya

      • I do agree.
        I would not take shelter to my raw knowledge of ‘good’ blogging nor to the consideration that I have jointed the world of netizens very recently only.

        In fact, my original comment was tacit admission of this [what I would certainly call as] shortcoming to my approach to the entry to the world of blogging.

        Your original blog did make me realize that.

        I thank you for very pertinent observation on this inadequacy. Towards recognition of my gratitude, I shall atone this error in next few days and shall update all my blog profiles suitably.

        • marya

          Well, welcome to the world of blogging then. Hope you find many kindred spirits. :)
          Marya

  6. Hey, those are some seriously good tips! Have linked you to the Kreativ Blogger Award, go check it out:
    http://mehmudahrehman.wordpress.com/2011/11/14/award-and-stuff/
    Mehmudah recently posted..Why bad days and PMS happen – seriously! and a YouTube video by me!

    • marya

      Hey Mehumdah, good to see you. Sorry I haven’t been able to respond or write that email, things have been tough at my end. Actually I just saw you recent post tile ‘PMS and bad days …’ It is a very ironic coincidence, will expain when I get to that email.

      Many thanks for the award also. It deserves more attention and I will get to it as soon as I can. :)

      Marya

  7. Hi, Just like to tell you that this piece of info is one quick to the point, no nonsense, workable and effective way to have as fast as possible. It worked for me and thank you for the effort. Keep up the good work.

    • marya

      Thanks Rob. I am happy to be of help. :) Any other topics you might like to see more posts in?

      Marya

  8. I agree with your points – too often I see bloggers writing about not being able to write.
    It pays to remember that we all have other pressures on our time and readers simply cannot commit to reading your self indulgent filler.

    Be relevant, concise and entertaining for repeat loyal readers…
    Bwendo recently posted..Old Paperbacks

    • marya

      I couldn’t have said it better. “Be relevant, concise and enteratining.. “- spot on! Many thanks for sharing your thoughts. Let me know if you need help with anything … :)

      Marya

  9. Excellent tips Marya, I’ve never thought of creating a reader profile. I suppose I have always written for myself.

    When I first read about direction I thought you meant what direction was the post taking in terms of – had you gone off track. But re-reading it I realise you are talking about the blog.
    Chris Richards – Mindnod.com recently posted..What everybody ought to know about motivation

    • marya

      Hi Chris. People do write for themselves and actually most of us start out that way – and that’s fine. But if you want to write with a purpose (make money, teach people etc) then you must write for the readers. :)

      I suppose thinking of your ideal reader can keep your post on track as well but most of all, everything you do on your blog will make sense if you decide that it is your reader that you are writing for.

      Many thanks for your comment.
      Marya

  10. Great tips and suggestions, Marya! While I pretty much have an idea of the kind of reader I plan (and hope) to reach with my blog, I never really bothered to sit down and really make it as detailed as you showed here. This is definitely very helpful. Going to take some time now to do just that.
    Adeline recently posted..Cirque du Soleil’s Saltimbanco Comes to Manila

  11. Very helpful writing tips, thanks!
    Pete Goumas recently posted..Tony Little Review

    • marya

      Thanks Pete. Glad you found them useful. Marya

  12. Very Helpful writing tips Marya…thanks for sharing this.. It will help me a lot because I am planning to get an SEO article writing Job… Thanks again…
    breakup to makeup recently posted..How To Get A Guy Back The Moment He Left You

  13. I was just thinking today”what the hell am I doing?” I love blogging but I have really focused I how I want it to go. I am sort of experimenting with a couple of ideas over a couple of blogs. This was a tremendous help because it helped me to focus who I want to read my blog so now I can figure out who I am actually writing for. I just want to write and have people enjoy what they are reading on my posts. I want to make a difference though I know that is ridiculous. But I look at someone such as Vanessa in http://onethousaandsingledays.com
    She is making a difference in her life and others and she only did that by writing….so that is my goal. Have any other ideas? I will keep reading and work on my own writing skills now instead of stressing over the site stats page…you have to start somewhere….I was a much better writer before I started worrying about who and how many of the who’s where coming by my blog sacrificing my writing skills and content.
    Lisa recently posted..The Big Bang Theory

  14. [...] your visitors are not sure that the blog is for them, they are not gonna stay for long. (Having an ideal reader profile and a niche helps [...]

  15. Hi Marya,

    Top of the google list as I looked for reader profile as well as top in blogging advice per se :)

    Thanks for the great advice, again!

    Caroline

    • Wow … that’s something worth getting excited about .. :)

      Thanks for letting me know.

  16. Shree Jacob

    Hi Marya!
    This is a really good idea and something we used to encourage in the Pharmaceutical industry…patient and at times doctor profiling..never thought to do it for my blog!

    Just to say I’m enjoying the challenge of your online course as well!

  17. [...] Take the Confusion Out of Blog Writing; Create a Reader Profile — Writing Happiness [...]

  18. [...] to create a content plan, come up with the right opt-in incentive so that you appeal to the right people – people who will buy from [...]

  19. Thanks for the advice, just what I was looking for to get help with!!

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