Your Audience: Who They’re Not by Steph Beth Nickel

You must niche down.

Have you created an avatar?

What are the demographics of those you’re seeking to reach?

And … I’m ready to pack it in.

I’m eclectically interested and eclectically involved. I can’t imagine writing for one specific woman who personifies my audience.

Guess what. I don’t have to.

Well, not really.

I recently joined an online writers’ pod that gives lots of personal feedback. And I can’t begin to tell you how helpful it has been already.

When I brought up my difficulty deciding exactly who I’m writing for, a much more experienced writer suggested I begin by deciding who I’m not writing for.

That was easy—and that group grows the more I think about it.

I’m not writing for the woman who needs long-term spiritual or emotional counsel. I’m not writing for the woman who is looking for an alternative to hiring a therapist. I’m not writing for the woman who isn’t interested in how the Scriptures apply to 21st century life.

Can any of these women read what I write? Of course. But they are not my target audience.

I could go on to say my audience is not those looking to get into political debates or hurtful finger-pointing of any kind. And on a lighter note, my audience will not be those looking for homemaking and parenting advice, although I may touch on both topics.

The lady who advised that I consider who I wasn’t writing for came to the conclusion that it makes more sense for me to use psychographics rather than demographics. This conclusion struck a chord with me.

(Investopedia[dot]com defines demographics this way: the study of a population based on factors such as age, race, and sex. Google defines psychographics like this: the study and classification of people according to their attitudes, aspirations, and other psychological criteria.)

If you’re having difficulty zeroing in on your ideal reader, why not ask yourself the following questions:

  1. When I think of who I’m not writing for, who immediately comes to mind?
  2. When I think of the tone of my work, who would not be interested in reading it—as far as I know?
  3. Who do I most want to write for?
  4. Does it make more sense to consider demographics or psychographics?
  5. If I were speaking to a room full of people, who would I expect to be in the audience?

Instead of creating an avatar of your target audience member, have some fun. Create a detailed avatar of the least likely person to read your writing.

I’d love to read about who you’re not writing for—and who you have in mind when you sit down at the computer or pick up your pen and paper.

Steph Beth Nickel’s eclectic pursuits include editing, writing, hanging out with friends in person and online, and on and on and on.

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