Audience, Purpose, and Form are closely interrelated, yet many bloggers tend to overlook or neglect it. They impact on your choice of content and use of language.
Writing content is such an open and vast landscape, where anyone can write anything but by being aware of the APF Guidelines, you give yourself a specific boundary to work with.
Frankly, it’s crucial to have boundaries because many writers have a set topic but then wander off to completely unrelated points. A simple realization of these guidelines before you start writing will ensure better-targeted content and further please your loyal readers – I can almost guarantee it, but it’s up to you how you implement these techniques and reap the best out of it.
Audience: Who are you writing for?
In choosing the style of your writing, you need to have a clear idea of who constitutes your audience. How can you write or create pieces that suit your audience? Research your readers’ interests before you write. Simply by looking over your “Popular Posts” and “Most Commented” will give you a rough idea. The key is to follow your audiences’ likes and avoid their dislikes as best as you can. Now, you can’t please every single reader but deliver to the majority and respect the minority. Once you hit the big shelves, you don’t need to worry about this technique because your audience follows you.
Audience: This isn’t a democracy, It’s a dictatorship.
Your audience dictates the style of your writing. “Style” refers to the ‘manner’ of writing; that is, whether your style is formal or informal as discussed here. Writing styles can also be described within these broad categories, for example as flowery, plain, elegant.
- Formal Writing is appropriate for factual and professional niches and any writing that is aimed at an audience expecting an official address. For example, the Google Blog and such use formal writing (most of the time) as a sign of respect from a business point of view.
- Informal Writing is appropriate at many levels, too, but it is normally used to create everyday content in around a relaxed atmosphere. Informal writing is NOT incorrect; it is simply writing that assumes a friendlier and relaxed relationship between you and your audience. My favorite example for this is Best Mattress Reviews blog which delivers sleep advice in a social and “informal” tone.
Describe Your Audience
If you write steps on the key features of your topic, this will help you to grasp your readers’ attentive points in mind. The most prominent indicator to keep in mind is that it’s your content, your readers, and your authority. If the first two don’t appreciate one another, the third will be an unreachable and distant dream. Always ensure that you focus your writing to suit your readers.
Remember, a free mind can produce exceptional content.
It’s significant to have a definite plan in your head or even better write it down before you blow on to your laptop and start blogging. Now, personally I know many bloggers that use this method and is fairly comfortable with it, but what if I said there’s an even better way for you to produce even better content? Well, read on.
Every day, when I sit down at my desk, crack my fingers and start to plan my content for the day – I ask myself “What is the purpose of my content?” A simple question, but one I believe that can have the most complicated answer. Some days a simple “Tell my readers about a new Twitter tool” is all I answer to that question, and I start drafting. On the other hand, some days I would spend 30 minutes or more trying to develop a reasoned sketch for my content.
A writer with a distinct mind and a pure goal will produce clear content. Assuredly, that would be an optimum writer in his/her prime. Having said that, you can’t always keep up this prime, with blogging as a part-time hobby – your social and daily life can be stressful and frustrating.
It’s not as easy as just coming home from work or school, sitting down and producing brilliantly thought out material. That is exactly why I take the time to question myself and plan ahead even if I have world-breaking news – I always follow this simple pre-step.
When I first commenced employing this tactic, I was always tempted to say “I’m doing it because I want to delight my readers” and while that may be true for many of you as well, you need to think of the immediate purpose of the article you’re about to write.
Perhaps you’ve drafted a quick news report to inform your readers? Or maybe you’re writing about a preceding happening within a certain perspective of blogging? Whatever your purpose is, it is essential that you have it prominently in your mind and prevent it from fluctuating as you think of new ideas or emit another.
I’ve come up with a list of “common” writing purposes, and you can manipulate them to kick-start your critical thinking;
- Answer a question
- Create an atmosphere
- Develop an idea
- Discuss a statement
- Elicit a response
- Explain or Inform
- Give instructions
- Argue a case or point
- Develop a theory
- Present your point of view
Make it timely
The shelf life of content continues to get shorter, especially on social media. Knowing this you want to feature accurate, relevant and timely insight that speaks to what’s happening right now.
If you’re an expert on a hot news topic, create a special edition newsletter to showcase your expertise. In it, explain both sides of the issue and what it means for your customers. For example, if you own a landscaping business and there’s a temporary hosepipe ban this summer, you can make suggestions on ways to keep your greens green during the ban.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a scientific formula to it. There are, however, things you can do to inspire customers to pass along your content – and not just with an “FYI” note, but with a “must read” endorsement.
Apply these tips to the next set of content posts and watch as engagement rates rise and sharing takes on a life of its own.