Writing For Your Audience
It’s About The User And You
We’ve talked to you before about writing for your website. That post talked about the frame around your content and what kind of nuts and bolts information should be there. Now we want to talk to you about something equally as important (if not more): writing for your audience.
Sure, you are the subject of this story, but it’s not you who has to read it. All of your writing should be geared toward the people you want to take action on your website. Here are some dos and don’ts to help guide your work:
- Be concise. No matter the story, your audience will appreciate clarity, and to some degree, brevity.
- Be clear. You should never pre-suppose what somebody already knows. Use general language when possible.
- Be relaxed. You can be formal without being clinical. You can be relaxed without abandoning grammar or common rules of syntax and style. (Unless that’s somehow part of your brand, then carry on.)
- Ramble Indefinitely. You can have a lot of content on your site, but make sure it’s clear, meaningful, and digestible. Do not turn let the white space on your screen tempt you into stream-of-conscious mode.
- Use industry-language where it doesn’t belong. Unless your business only sells to a niche market and jargon, acronyms, and technical terms are a must when describing what you have to offer, make sure your language is accessible to a general audience.
- Be so rigid that you come off as uninviting. See the third “do.”
Know Your Audience
You can only write for your audience in a meaningful way if you truly know who your audience is. Having a clear grasp on your audience demographic, user behavior, and how your product or service relieves a need (or want) in their life are the absolute first steps to doing this.
Once you have a grasp on that, here are some tips on coming up with ideas to create website content for them:
- Make a list of your audience “personas” and then a sub list of content that might appeal to them.
- Consider all of the features of your product or service and how/why/what your audience might need to be educated regarding each one.
- Going back to your audience personas, create a list of ideas of how your product or service can fit into their life and write about each example.
Help Your Audience Help You
The content on your website should be helpful if nothing else. Ultimately you are trying to provide someone with the information they need to decide whether or not to purchase from you. The ideas in this post can be applied beyond your website, to your social media content as well. When you market with your audience in mind, and create content with their needs first, the odds that they are responsive are so much higher.