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Catering to Your Target Audience

Aug 17, 2007
Conveying a specific message in a written article is no easy feat. Audience expectations fall on every point of the information spectrum. One of the biggest mistakes that article writers make is to try to accommodate too many readers. The more general an article becomes in order to meet the interests of a wide readership, the more focus it loses. This leads to an article that oftentimes appeals to no one at all. A small niche audience is always better than no audience at all.

The first step to writing an effective article is to determine who you are trying to reach. Once you pinpoint your audience, you can cater to their interests and needs. Similarly, in deciding your target audience, you must establish why this specific group of people will be interested in what you are writing about. This may require the writer to research the concerns and values of this group of people.

In deciding the issues that are most pertinent to your audience, be attentive to the best methods of communicating with this group. Choosing the type of language and the general structure of your article can be important choices in the process of effectively reaching customers. In the same way your vocabulary may slightly change from a professional setting to a social environment, you will want to consider whether you should use a more serious or casual tone. While an overtly scholarly vocabulary sounds educated to one group, it sounds pretentious to another. Know the general perceptions of your target audience and you will more easily communicate with them.

Upon determining how to convey your message, you must determine what exactly that message is. Have a clear idea of what you are trying to say before you begin writing. Articles that wander from topic to topic with no precise goal tend to lose the interest of readers before they get past the second paragraph. Make a concise point in the initial paragraphs and use the rest of the article to solidify that point.

Providing examples is one of the most effective ways of backing up your message. These examples can include fabricated anecdotal stories or real life events. Writers will oftentimes use highlighted events in the media with which almost any reader will be familiar. If you do choose to utilize stories from real life events, make sure you consult valid sources for accurate information.

Sometimes such an example can serve as an important cohesive element in your article that helps tie everything together. Establishing a slogan or common thread that is referenced throughout the article makes for a more interesting article. Whether it is a real life example you continue to come back to, or a buzz word that is used in multiple forms throughout the article, a repeated concept will help hold your article together.

Another way in which your article gains credibility is through the process of fact checking and editing. You must avoid spelling and grammatical errors in order to appear educated and knowledgeable. In the same way, you will also want to make sure your facts and figures; you may very well be asked to provide solid evidence to support your message.

Such accountability is dependent on both your audience and the places in which your article is published. Some readers will be more attentive than others. Potential publishers are as important to keep in mind when writing as potential readers. The publishers know their audience; you will want to adjust your writing style to appeal to the publishers you are targeting as well as your end reader.

While it takes time to ponder these various considerations related to the writing process, you will find they will help your article achieve a higher level of success. Write directly to your readers and they will hear you. This is the best way to see your articles gain recognition and respect amongst your target audience.
About the Author
Jackson Summerford holds court at his blog, Summerford Sums It Up.
Find more tips for writers Article Marketer, a wildly popular article distribution service.
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