Saturday, January 22, 2005

Audience in the Cross-Hairs

Are you focused on the audience when you write or simply throwing words on the page? It’s one of the basic questions for all writers—and something your editor will be considering when evaluating your writing. Each publication is different and the readers or the audience has to be firmly in the cross-hairs of your writing. If not, then you will miss the target.

I was thinking about that audience when I wrote a new article for Right-Writing.com. I posted it yesterday on the home page. For about a month, I’ve been constructing this series of short articles about the writing life. I’m glad a number of people are beginning to read it on a regular basis. I’ve been wondering how to expand this audience. I’ve determined a number of people who blog have fallen into this world—and are often talking with themselves. I’m not eager to fall into this type of discussion since a few months ago, I had never heard the word blog.  My article is titled, “What’s a Blog and Why Do I Care?”  I believe many people who write haven’t tuned into this genre of writing and I attempted to introduce the topic yet with a twist.

Each of us are pressed for time to read other people’s writings. How do you know if someone has added a new article to their particular site or weB log? One of the most useful tools for this particular need is MyYahoo.  I detail in this article how to use My Yahoo to quickly notice if something new is available for reading. It saves time from going by the actual blog and seeing the update. My Yahoo added this free service to their site in the last few months and I’ve found it invaluable.

Not looking for the audience first or not looking for a market is one of the top ten mistakes for magazine writers according to much published author, Kelly James-Enger.  No matter what type of writing you are doing today—make sure you have the audience as your ultimate target.


5 Comment:

At 12:08 PM, Blogger Katy Left a note...

Thanks for pointing us to your new article on blogging, Terry. I've been blogging since 2000. One of my readers recently commented that I started "before it was legal." I knew absolutely nothing about pumping up my number of readers, except to try to understand who my audience is and to keep connecting with them.

Back then, bloggers were largely high school and college students, with a few stay-at-home moms thrown in--mostly readers much younger and in a different stage of life than I'm in at age 51. I found quickly, though, that my audience appreciated the perspective of an "older" chick.

I have many non-Christian readers, which I love. I consider my blog something of a ministry both to believer and non-believer alike. Because of my "mixed" audience, I'm not heavy-handed about faith issues. Instead, I write about everyday life (from a Christian world view), and slip in something more "serious" about God intermittently. It's a strategy that has worked for my site.

At 12:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous Left a note...

I have been contemplating starting a blog for a bit now (hopefully as a prequel to a full-fledged website). This helps clarify some issues for me. Thanks, Terry.

One thing that remains certain is that readers of blogs like them to be updated with regularity, read: several times a week, if not daily. My plan, if I do start a blog, is to have a good amount of material prepared ahead of time so that I CAN post daily.

C.J. Darlington

At 12:35 PM, Blogger violet Left a note...

Good article, Terry. (I actually found you via Joe Carter's series - a link from the comments).

Katy, above - if you're the Katy I think you are - your strategy works well. I love your blog!

Terry, here's another article on blogging I ran across last night when following some more rabbit trails on evangelical outpost. Bill in his article Successful Blogging? explains a lot of the thought processes one is wise to go through before setting up and in the early days of a blog. (Excuse me if you've already seen it.)

At 12:42 PM, Blogger Katy Left a note...

Violet--I am she of whom you write! I am a fan of your site, as well...

At 5:45 PM, Blogger Cheryl Russell Left a note...

Hi Terry,

Great article on blogs/blogging. I have a My Yahoo page; have had one for years, and it's a great way to see what blogs have been updated.


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