Blogger question: Who are you writing for?

In June last year I spent a week with Darren Rowse {ProBlogger for those not familiar}. No, it wasn’t some romantic trip away, although we did spend some time on an island… rather a trip with Tourism Queensland where 10 lucky bloggers got to learn lots of great blogging information, as well as discover Tropical Queensland.

It wasn’t all work, but two days were spent in particular talking about blogging, and one part has stuck in my mind since then, so I thought I’d share it.

We were all sitting around our tables talking about each others blogs, and Darren was taking us through a presentation on his best tips for blogging when up popped a picture of some dude with a camera. Darren started explaining to us that the dude with the camera was one of the people he writes for.

A few people responded with confused faces. “Do you know him?” one person asked.

He didn’t. Darren has three profiles in mind when blogging or creating content on his blogs. He’s picked pictures from Google to represent the people, added a portfolio on information including age, sex, likes, dislikes and needs. He writes for them. You can read more about why Darren does this here.

It’s something I’ve done for a while now, but I just haven’t gone as far as creating a visual image or profile of the people. When creating the photo a day lists I think of three people: A student, a mum at home in the country and a guy working in an office. When creating the prompts I ask myself whether these people would be able to take a photo of each of these things. I’ve distinguished the the guy in the office as being a male, because I do need to make sure that my prompts don’t get too feminine.

I’ve had people ask if I can make the photo a day lists all about bands like One Direction or Jon Bon Jovi. It just wouldn’t work.

Bloggers, do you have someone in mind when you’re writing your blog posts, or creating content for social media? Who are you writing for? Who is your audience?

photo credit: Tc Morgan via photopin cc

Comments

  1. Linda Jordan says

    I think this is interesting because sometimes I find the photo a day prompts just too hard to find anything, though I have a busy life as a law student in an itty bitty NYC apartment with no pets/kids + a boyfriend. Most of them do seem doable though, so thanks! And if you made an all band one I wouldn’t even try :/ so thanks for that too.

    My audience is definitely scrapbookers or those who are interested in scrapbooking because that is my main focus, though I do blog about lots of other things as well.

  2. Rae W says

    I started my blog for my two aunts to save my mum having to forward on random photos of my crafty bits and bobs and I still mostly write with them and my mum in mind, plus a chum and bloggy chum or two

  3. gaylene says

    I mostly write for my kids (so they can have a journal of their childhood, if they want it), and also for other moms who seem to appreciate (and relate to) my mom-isms sometimes.

  4. says

    My friends, usually. Then I discover that most people who read me are total strangers, but I wish they were friends so I think of them as friends. People I want to make laugh with stories from my life, basically.

  5. http://www.thefifowife.com.au says

    I started my blog for any one else in my situation ( Iam a FIFO wife which means my husband works away for a month at a time) it can be lonely, a little stressful and all that but its the choice you make. Its how you approach it. Life is tricky FIFO just makes it trickier and women have been doing it for years in defence etc. I wanted to write even if it was just to one person who is where I have been where I was and know that its okay..

  6. vicky says

    i usually write for me to remember this moment/ experience for my friends who are thousands of miles away, my students to be a role model (I’m an English Teacher) and travellers who may wish to visit the place that I am currently living in.

  7. Judy says

    I think this is a useful thing for any writing. The other side of it is to realise that your imagined audience may not be reading! Especially with social media, it’s easy to believe that you are sharing with ‘everyone’ (even when you know you have set your privacy to just contacts or friends or circles or followers!) It’s worth thinking about who you are writing for and then how to attract their attention :-)

  8. says

    Hi Chantelle…you inspire me with your young fresh approach and although i am old enough to be your Mum, i would love to blog but don’t know how to go about doing it…i feel i have a wealth of knowledge and experience about life in general and would love to reach out to people who would like to learn more and for me to learn from them…keep up the great work…i may yet be a blogger after all one day so…any tips…thanks for a-photo-a-day and i just push myself to find something to photograph regardless…pushing oneself is personal growth and it helps you believe you can achieve anything…happy days Tanya

  9. says

    I don’t think I write for anyone as such, but I do try and write in a similar style to how I talk when I’m catching up with friends…so I guess I write for imaginary girlfriends?!

  10. Michelle F says

    I started my blog as a way to share my cards (and some other random stuff) with my friends who were interested in the cards, thus saving my Facebook “friends” from all my crafty things. Over time I have made so many more friends in the blogosphere, so now I am writing my blog for a couple of different audiences. I try to inject some of “me” into my posts, to connect to my audience, and it seems to work. My audience is made up of experienced (and amazing) cardmakers, new cardmakers (who need to know it is okay to make a mistake, and that not everything I make is perfect), and my friends/family (very few of who actually read my blog). If you are interested, I am http://www.amusingmichelle.blogspot.com

    • Cara McKee says

      Michelle, I just had a look. Your cards are beautiful, and inspiring (and I wish I could stamp like you – mine are always smudgy), and your blog is beautifully set out. Thanks

  11. Cara McKee says

    I’m a Mum in the country, so it’s lovely to hear you’re writing for me :-) I’ve just thought of writing for writing’s sake, really, with the idea of the audience being people I know. I know some people I don’t know read the blogs, which I find odd… I’ve reviewed recently and come to the conclusion I should probably stop writing so much personal stuff. I want to focus more on my fiction writing so I’m aiming to write less at ohwedo.blogspot.co.uk and more at storiesfromfrozennorth.blogspot.co.uk. I don’t know if I’m going to make this writing malarkey work for me, but I’ve got my fingers crossed. Cross yours too please!

  12. laura bell says

    Hi there. This is an interesting question. I think I write for myself and any undiscovered “friends” who might be out there. I like to post things that I find interesting, and hope others will too. And I like to document my everyday life. I thought my family might like to see all the photos of kids/life, but it turns out they don’t read it. Oh well. It turns out I really like writing and hopefully someone else out there likes it too! Luckypennylove.com

  13. says

    I haven’t really thought of this so much, and this is a great prompt. I do know that I really like to write useful information, stuff that is detailed and can be used, and used again. Definitely sharing info, like mums do in playgrounds and in the school yard.. Now I’ll go off and have a think and maybe create some profiles of people.

  14. says

    That’s a great question. I started my blog to share my experience of living with Cancer – it was very cathartic for me and a great way to connect with my friends and family, in terms of what was happening and how I was really feeling. The blog has evolved as I have gotten better, to s curious mix of cooking, cancer and a little bit of lifestyle. I guess my audience is people who love food, love me or have experienced Cancer. I think the idea of a profile is corking. Do you use the same profiles for your blog posts as photo a day, Chantelle?

  15. says

    I write for myself &/or for moms like me but mostly as a form of therapy because life for me is so heavy & draining right now. It helps a lot, my new site is only 2 weeks old & it’s too personal to public share via my social networks so I’m leaving it just for range folk to see. Hey, maybe there’s a single mom in my situation that can find herself in a post or realize she’s not alone son to speak.

  16. Katybeth Jensen says

    I have a very clear picture of who I’m writing for on my blog. My mom (this really influences me sometimes for better and sometimes for worse), people who care about their pets, and middle age women and a few men that are getting ready to launch their kids out into the world and are wondering, “what next.” My readers influence what “links” I post–I check to make sure they are clean and spam free because most of my readers are not computer savvy and if a flashing link said “you win” they might click. My readers like “suggestive” naughtiness but would be uncomfortable if I went to far. Mostly my readers visit my blog for FUN which I try to deliver even when I am serious. I like my readers and while blog growth is important to me I don’t ever want to lose touch with who they are, and would never forsake them for more clicks. While it is someone limiting, I love knowing who I am writing too.

  17. Sarah @ Chantille Fleur says

    Interesting. I generally blog about the things that I enjoy writing about. Although sometimes I’ll write a post specifically aimed at some of my followers – ie once I wrote a post about bread baking because I hadn’t been getting comments from certain followers for a while – I knew that particular topic would get them back to my blog, and it did. :-)

  18. says

    The way I blog is basically my internal monologue. Do you remember that part in Austin Powers where he isn’t able to internalise his internal monologue? That’s how I blog.

  19. says

    Hi Chantelle, When I write my blog posts I have in mind Mums like me, who are either Stay-at-home or working Mums who look after their kids the best they can, and are searching for fun things to make out of craft (something we love to do here), and read my posts as they can relate or are going through the same thing.

    A shame you don’t think taking photo’s of Jon Bon Jovi everyday wouldn’t work…mmm ;)

  20. samstone76 says

    On my parenting blog I think of other parents. WIth my A Life on Venus Blog, I tend to think about different audiences depending on what I am writing about.

  21. says

    I write to a girlfriend, I never thought I could write. But just emailing her and helping her put together a tricky letters to a clients or colleagues she would always give me great feedback on my writing, I ending up starting blogging because of her encouragement. And of course Seth Godin’s “write as you speak”, the penny finally dropped, write to my gf. The only way I can write.

  22. says

    Gosh, it’s funny you wrote about this because I actually do this and didn’t even realize it. But, yeah one of my intended audience is the bloggers that I read, hoping that they have time to read me and enjoy my stuff as much as I enjoy theirs. Another audience is teacher/moms like me. And, the other is any/all Generation Xers since that’s my generation. I do plan on including some “travel” type posts soon about places in my world that I know would be interesting to people who may visit this area or at least my state. Which I’m hoping will include one of the other three groups I listed, too.

  23. says

    This is most hilarious. I have the urge to take time to work this out and find google pictures of imaginary readers. Genius!

    I know that most of my readers are my personal friends on facebook – so I often visualize one of them…. but there could be mystery people out there – and I’ll create personas for them. (Thanks for the inspiration! Still chuckling.)

  24. says

    I do have an idea in mind of who I’m writing for on my new blog…that is something I learnt from Darren at the first blogopolis that has definitely stuck. one of the reasons I created a second blog was because I wanted to feel free to just write for myself on my personal blog, to put what I had to say out there without feeling the need to edit myself quite so much or be as considerate of an audience :)

  25. says

    This is really interested Chantelle and extends out for a lot of lifes little passions – I think along these lines for the research I do, when I freelance write and when I write my blog. Sometimes its a bit hit and miss but I think if I merged the people together that come back time and time again thats what I should aim for with a little attempt to stretch out to new people now and again. Darren’s a smart man x

  26. says

    An old school friend from many years ago found my blog recently. She gave me some wonderful feedback. She told me my blog reminded her how beautiful life is with art in it and reading my posts was the closest she had come to art in a very long time. So now I write with her in mind.

Leave a Reply