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We’ve all written them. Blog posts that suck!

They tick all the right boxes but that’s not enough. Knowing how to write good blog posts requires more than just technical expertise.

If you’re anything like me when you’re about to hit the publish button and you know that what you’ve written is dull, flat and ordinary, you’d do anything to improve it. Something is missing, but what?

I’ll tell you …. CONNECTION! 

While relevant keywords, captivating titles, intriguing first sentences and interesting subtitles are all important, I discovered there’s a far more important question you must answer first.

Who are you writing for?

It’s only when you know who you are writing for that you can connect with them. 

 

write a customer profile

 

You might be thinking, oh that’s easy, I already know who my target audience is. That’s exaclty what I always used to say when this question came up.

But I was wrong!

What I realized, eventually, was that it’s not enough to identify a general niche audience.

You must write to connect with one person! Let me explain.

 

 

Why You Must Write For One Ideal Reader

I know this may sound counter-intuitive. After all you’re dreaming of having hundreds, maybe even thousands of people read your blog.

A reader however wants to feel like you’re speaking directly to them. They want to know that you understand and empathize with them, that you relate to their dreams, fears and struggles, and they want to know that you can help them.

You can’t do this unless you’ve spent enough time getting super clear about who your ideal reader is.

If you only write for a target audience you end up writing for a faceless crowd. Writing for an audience is very different from writing one-to-one.

When you try target everybody you don’t really know who anybody is or what their needs are. This means you can’t help but write content which is more generalized and safe since you’re trying to appeal to everybody. For the same reason, your writing will tend to be more formal, technically correct, stiff and bland.

Ironically, when you attempt to connect with everybody, you connect with nobody.

The way we relate to each other one on one is via our emotions but you can’t do this with a crowd since there’s no such thing as a crowd emotion.

When you write to an audience, instead of commuinicating from one feeling human being to another, you can easily end up coming across as though you are lecturing or preaching to them. This just makes the disconnect even stronger.

On the other hand, when you have a clear picture in your head of one reader, you’re able to write more personally, as if you’re having a conversation with the other person. Almost magically your writing will become more sensory and vivid.

 

how to create a customer profile

 

Doing this will also help you to come up with blog post ideas since you’ll know more clearly what challenges and struggles the person is facing and how you can help them.

It does not mean that only one person will read your posts. Rather, you will attract whoever closely matches your ideal reader archetype. These people will all feel that you wrote specifically for them.

By including the human element you’ll find yourself naturally being more engaging, using conversational language, like the word “you” instead of “we” and “one”.

How do you know who your ideal reader is? By creating an ideal reader profile.

 

 

How to Create an Ideal Reader Profile

In the commercial world, companies often write what is known as a customer profile as part of their customer relationship management system. This is so that they have a better idea of who their ideal customer is, so they can connect with them more effectively to increase sales.

You’re going to do something similar, although for our purposes we’re creating an ideal reader profile.

This is the fun part. It’s like creating a character in a novel you’re writing. In fact, this imaginary person needs to be just as real in your head. They must actively live in your imagination.

 

ideal customer description

 

You already have a starting point, your target niche audience.

Now you’re going to do some visualizing. Imagine that your niche audience is sitting in front of you. Choose somebody from that audience to sit down beside you.

Instead of focusing on the audience, keep your eyes on the person you chose. They are going to become your ideal reader.

Take a good look at the person. See them siting there. You’re also going to interview them. 

Write down their answers to these 25 questions, after which you will have your ideal reader profile.

  1. Are you a man or woman?
  2. What is your name?
  3. Describe their physical appearance, including what clothes they’re wearing.
  4. How old are they?
  5. What do they do for living?
  6. How much money do they earn?
  7. What sort of education do they have?
  8. Are they married or single?
  9. Do they have children?
  10. What family do they have?
  11. Where do they live?
  12. Who do they live with?
  13. What car do they drive?
  14. What books do they like reading?
  15. What social media sites do they use?
  16. What are their favorite websites?
  17. What are their favorite movies and TV programs?
  18. What hobbies and interests do they have?
  19. What are the biggest dreams?
  20. What do they worry about at night when they should be sleeping?
  21. What are the most afraid of losing?
  22. How do they make decisions?
  23. Who do they trust and confide in?
  24. What’s important to them in life?
  25. What are their biggest fears?

In addition to the above, you can write down anything else about them that you like or that they share with you.

What you want is a complete picture of them so that you can imagine them while writing and editing your blog posts.

You might be wondering why you need to know all the above information. Some of it may feel like it has nothing to do with your niche. That’s not the point, getting to know who they are is.

Finally find a picture that best represents them or make a drawing yourself. Keep the picture nearby to where you write so you’re always reminded of who you’re writing for.

 

write a customer profile

 

When you write your posts, imagine you’re chatting to them and you’ll find that your writing will naturally become more interesting and engaging.

Make sure that the person you describe is somebody that you like and never imagine them as being stupid because you may find yourself talking down to them. Always think about what you like about them and decide how you can help them.

 

How to Write Good Blog Posts That Connect With Your Readers

 

When you write with one person in mind, you’ll automatically connect with them and that’s how to write good blog posts.

 

 

Have you created an ideal reader profile for your blog? If so, what other tips can you add? If you haven’t, will this post help you to create one?

 

Got Questions? Something to say? Leave a comment. Let’s chat

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12 Comments

  1. Sukumar Thingom

    Wow! This is something new. Creating an ideal reader is something that never crossed my mind and reading your post, I realized how important it is. 

    I’m an aspiring blogger myself and I have always wanted to create posts that connect with my readers easily. And till now what I have been doing is trying to write for my imaginary target audience. 

    Many a time, I have to do an honest introspection and see whether I’m writing for my audience or for myself. Whether my writing is nothing but a “thinking-aloud” musing. 

    What you have said about the importance of knowing your ideal reader profile is so very true.

     It has provided me a whole new perspective on how I should be approaching my content strategy. You have provided me the missing link. Thanks for a wonderful post.

    Reply
    • Mark Baker

      Hello Sukumar

      That is awesome to hear my friend. 🙂 

      I used to approach my writing the same way so I know exactly what you mean. I always thought I was doing the right thing but like you I felt something was missing.

      The moment I came up with my ideal reader profile, everything changed. Suddenly I knew in an instant if that reader would use a keyword I had chosen or not and also when they did use a specific keyword what they were expecting to find. 

      I was able to put myself in that one person’s shoes and then it became so much easier understanding their needs and how best to help them. 

      Wishing you well with your blogging Sukumar!

      ~Mark 

      Reply
  2. Christine

    Hi Mark,

    This is very good advice. Keep it simple and keep your eye on the prize kind of thing. Knowing who we are writing for is so important and yet you are correct that we tend to write to a group.
    Being able to write on a one-on-one level makes much more sense. I will be trying this on my next blog!
    Thanks for sharing this!

    Reply
    • Mark Baker

      Hi Christrine

      I’m pleased to hear this idea makes sense to you too. Definitely give it a try and I’m sure you’ll find it actually makes writing your posts a whole lot easier.

      When we write for a group, we hold back. We worry about whether we are going to appeal to everybody, but you never can, so rather choose one person, an ideal reader, and appeal to them. 

      Appreciate you visiting and leaving a comment. 🙂

      ~Mark 

      Reply
  3. Amber

    This was extremely helpful. I find that I will write a paragraph and then delete it because it doesn’t “sound” right. You do have to have that one reader in mind and sometimes people may or may not like or agree with your content. Your questions to ask yourself are point on! Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
    • Mark Baker

      Hi there Amber

      The biggest mistake we make is wanting everybody to like what we write. It will just never happen. Even JK Rowling has one star reviews! 🙂

      What we want to aim for is attracting more of the people who like what we write and not worry about those who don’t. The best way to do this is to let your personality out so that it can connect with others who align with us.

      The more we know who we are writing for, the easier it is for us to connect with them. I’m pleased that you found the questions useful. Thank you so much for visiting and leaving a comment.

      All the best,

      ~Mark 

      Reply
  4. Christopher

    Hi Mark:

    I really enjoyed hearing your story and how you came to discover Wealthy Affiliate!

    Thank you for your thorough description and review of WA. This should inspire anyone who is really serious about making money online.

    As you say, WA is NOT a get-rich-quick scheme. Anyone entering this program will find that you have to give it serious thought and effort to see results – just like any kind of business!

    BTW, thank you for giving us the link to 7 years of success stories. This will certainly motivate the reader to join WA!

    Thank you!

    Reply
    • Mark Baker

      Hi there Christopher

      Thank you for leaving this comment. I think you must’ve been reading another page but written the comment on this page for some reason, since what you referring to doesn’t really relate to this post. Anyway that’s fine with me, I appreciate you stopping by and adding to the conversation. 🙂 

      There’s nothing like success stories to motivate people, and within Wealthy Affiliate there are many of these, people who are running multi-million dollar businesses, who all started at the same place, followed the training, applied the knowledge and kept going until they were successful. It’s an extremely inspiring environment in which to interact with others.

      Wishing you all the best,

      ~Mark 

      Reply
  5. H. Erin Nelson

    Hello Mark! 

    Your HOW TO post on blogging offers a wealth of information, not just generally, but mindfully, also! Allowing your reader to take hold of all the ideas included here is what has captivated me to read MORE! 

    Connecting to your reader is essential in developing trust and intrigue. I’ve also learned that it’s all about the audience! Writing blogs is my passion! 

    Being an author by profession and also a web designer has led me to connect to the outside world. I wish you all the very best on your journey! Great information!

    Reply
    • Mark Baker

      Hi there Erin,

      It’s great to have you visit again thank you for leaving a comment.

      ‘Developing trust and intrigue’ are great results that come from connecting with your ideal reader. As you say it’s all about the audience and helping them, not writing what you think they want to know, but finding out exactly what it is they need and giving them that.

      Appreciate the feedback Erin and wishing you all the very best as you connect with others.

      ~Mark 

      Reply
  6. David

    Mark,

    Very inspiring post! I think you have some very good advice here. 

    Being able to visualize your ideal customer and then create content specifically for them seems like a great idea. 

    It seems to me that coming up with your ideal customer is much easier if your niche is very specific. ie. mothers with twins under 5 vs. all moms. Would you suggest this as a way to narrow down a niche that is too broad?

    Reply
    • Mark Baker

      Hi David

      Thanks for chiming in here and for your feedback about the post. Great to hear you found it useful. 🙂

      I’m pleased you asked the question you did. Sometimes it’s only when you ask the question about who your ideal customer is, that you realize your niche is too broad and that you’re trying to appeal to an audience that is too wide.

      The key is to narrow the audience down as much as you can without it becoming too narrow. The example you quoted illustrates it perfectly. 

      The ideal reader profile exercise is definitely a way to help clarify whether your niche audience is too broad. If you can’t come up with an ideal reader, then there’s a very good chance you need to narrow things down a bit more.

      Cheers,

      ~Mark 

      Reply

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