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    Write for Your Audience

    Magazine and book publishers have always realized the necessity of keeping their target audiences in mind with every article, book or issue they produce. They're businesses, after all, and readers are their customers.

    As a writer, do you do the same? Do you even know who your target audience is? Taking the time to define and get to know the potential readers of your work can make the world of difference in the level of success you can achieve in your writing career. Here's why:

    1. Knowing the kinds of readers you want to reach will provide you with a springboard for writing ideas. Children, young mothers, business executives and sports enthusiasts all have different needs, desires and interests. Look at the world through your readers' eyes. What do they need or want to read about? You'll never run out of ideas if you do this.

    2. Identifying your target audience will enable you to focus your writing efforts. Write to inform, entertain, persuade or inspire your particular audience, and you won't waste time on writing projects that would be of no interest to them, and of no help to your writing career.

    3. Most importantly, knowing whom your readers are will help you find the right markets for reaching them. You'll be in tune with the very magazine and book publishers who serve those market niches--and the editors will welcome fresh material that will enable them keep or increase their readership.


    How do you, the writer, identify and get to know who your target audience is? I suggest starting with broad generalizations, then drilling down to more specific characteristics. Here are some ideas:

    • Start with gender and age ranges. Will your readers be mostly male or female? Young or old? Are they members of a specific race or religious belief?

    • Where do they live? What is their social or economic status? Do they rent, or own their own homes? What kinds of cars do they drive?

    • Are they employed? Self-employed? Employed but want to be self-employed?

    • High school graduates or college-educated?

    • Physically fit or physically challenged? Single or married? Do they have children?

    • What do they like to do in their spare time? Where do they shop? Do they travel? Are they physically or politically active? Do they even have spare time?

    • What do they worry about? What do they dream about? What's important to them? What are their values?

    • When they reach for a book or magazine, what are they looking for? Information? Escape? Inspiration?


    As you work through these questions, envision your readers as living, breathing, thinking, feeling human beings. Develop an image of the man, woman or child you want to reach. Write for him or her. It's a surefire way to get your work from your PC to print.
  • Here's to your writing success.

    Copyright © 2004 Mary Anne Hahn

    Mary Anne Hahn is editor of WriteSuccess, a free biweekly ezine of ideas, information and inspiration for writers. She is also building a Web site that hopes will someday be one of the best online resources for new and experienced writers alike. To check out her growing site and subscribe to her ezine visit http://writesuccess.com.

    The Authentic Self: Journaling Your Joys, Griefs and Everything in Between by Shery Russ



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