CHAPTER- 2: Know Your Audience-Babysteps to a Successful Content Writer

The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.

Theodore Roosevelt

Previously we have talked about the story of Lisa, who left the boredom of a regular 9-to-5 high paying corporate job and started working on her dream freelance job. Not just her, we have plenty of examples like her who have been extremely successful in switching their lives for their passion, goals.

Before you switch, you need to have a proper idea into which profile you want to go. Here we are broadly focussing on developing one’s content writing career and earn enough bucks to get your bills cleared. So next we have talked about some difficulties we seldom face while putting down our thoughts into actionable words. Trust me, each word matters!

So now we will be explaining… wait, what! Guys come on, keep on reading and find it out yourself! 🙂

Do you ever wonder why the way of expression varies from people to people? Well, it happens naturally. From the early days, the more we have been interacting with different people from diverse backgrounds, the more we have developed ourselves in knowing who we are.  

In Content Writing also, you need to understand that your content can’t be generic always. Sometimes you need to write generic content in order to raise your voice to a much larger audience. But in most cases, your content must be specific and should target a specific set of people.

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But how do you need to keep in mind while creating your content? Let us understand the 2-must focus areas to keep yours ahead of this content marketing game.

1. What is the most urgent concern of your audience?

When you are creating any content, you’re not just doing for your own benefit, but you’re trying to solve a problem of your target audience. Many times writers do this kind of mistake, and that’s really bad. Rather your complete focus as a writer would be to clearly express the concerns of people at large. People will appreciate you if you can successfully provide them with the solutions that they are willing. 

Once you find out your purpose of writing, you can easily achieve in hitting the bullseye, here the concern & solution of their problem. Depending on the problems sometimes you need to be technical or sometimes humane as well. Putting their shoes on will help you figure the real concern and tackling them in a systematic order.

Though you are the writer here, you are also the first reader of your content. So make sure you convey the message loud, clear and there’s literally no gap in between your expression of thoughts.

2. How focussed are you in your content?

People deviate sometimes, maybe they are doing it well at the beginning but later on the essence is lost somehow. Rather it is the normal tendency for most of the people. But the real question of how to manage both the quality and consistency of the content at the same time?

Well, once again we’d love to point out the idea of putting your audiences’ shoes on, here in this case as well. Being the first reader of your own content, focus on what materials are you reading, does it really make any sense at all, how are you picturing the whole thing, what portion of the content you’re finding interesting to read and what portion you’d want to skip on, etc.

Focussing more on your content opens up different avenues to look at it from your reader’s point of view. So the point here is, don’t just write for you, write for others!  

The writing centre of the University of North Carolina has rightly pointed out 3 major strategies for how you put yourself right exactly at your reader’s position. Suppose you’ve written a piece of content, now act as if you’ve no idea about it as if reading the material for the first time.

  • Take some break from work: Studies show that if you take a break from a continuous writing task, it may boost your productivity to the next level. So go out, have a walk in the street, have some delicious food, talk with friends or maybe take a good quality nap. When you come back from your break, you seem to be pretty fresh to understand your gaps and mistakes to rectify. 
  • Try outlining your content: when you’re done with a draft, try focussing on each paragraph separately. Then fetch the main idea and write it on a separate sheet of paper. Now go through the outline and try figuring out, whether the consecutive points are really making any sense at all or not. Do you need to reduce the points to avoid repetition of thoughts or you need to increase more points to correctly represent the chain of thoughts? Finally, do the required changes.
  • Readout loud: We have all read out loud when we’re kids. It’s not just a culture, rather it points out if the content is creating any kind of confusion in the reader’s mind, if the sentences are formed in the right manner or not, or if the content carries any kind of errors, misspellings, missing words or not, etc. 

You must always keep these three strategies and make them a habit by practising over and over again. Remember the more you do it, the less your readers will have to face its consequences. 

So till now, you’ve done your best, now let’s see what tools and techniques you must use to get to your target audience. Here we’ll be discussing the top 3 ways you can gauge who are your potential readers and what do they want. This is really as simple as that. 

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1. Keyword Research

Nowadays you know that how important is each and every keyword is for each content you come across on the internet. Companies are spending millions of dollars for reaching out to the right audience at the right time. 

But there’s so much need for this particular thing? Because the more people are getting online, every now and then they are looking for products and/or services. They are typing some word(s) of their own tastes and preferences. Maybe some of the audiences are looking for baby soap, but they are looking for it in various ways such as best baby soaps for winter, which baby soaps have no side effects, how to use baby soap, etc. So you need to understand that your content must be targeted to which of these audience segments. That’s why you require keyword research. Now, what are the best keyword research tools available online to ease your writing, let’s look into it.

  • Google Keyword Planner: This is one of the best keyword research tools available in the market. You can be able to do organic keyword research for your content, as well as analyzing the results of your competitors. The best part of Google Keyword Planner is you can get various traffic forecasts for a number of keywords that you may use for your own project.
  • KWFinder: If you want something more colourful with all other essential features of your choice then you’d certainly go for KWFinder. It has a bonus difficulty level indicator according to the google search engine results. Apart from that it can show you the domains that target specific keywords, uses backlinks, number of social shares and definitely the traffic volume. Most importantly, it helps you to target more localized features such as specific regions, cities, or a country. 
  • Keyword Tool: It is a great tool to be used as data mining. Keyword Tool uses Google’s autocompleting feature to gather various data combinations to understand different keyword suggestions. The pro version enables users to get a hold on advanced options like search volume, competition, and Cost Per Click on Adwords, etc. One of the most important features of this tool is that it helps you to find long-tailed keywords for YouTube, Amazon or App Store.
  • Keyword Explorer: This tool also has some interesting and important features as well. Apart from search volume and difficulty level of the keywords, it also suggests how critically important is your keywords for your content. Then it provides you with a bunch of potential combinations of keywords with its metrics so that you can prioritize your desired outcomes. You just need to upload the list of keywords of your choice, to get more insights about it. It also gives you enough understanding of why some pages rank based on various associated links and data from other social platforms. 
  • SEMrush: Lastly, SEMrush is also pretty good and a must-try keyword research platform. It provides all the necessary features like an in-depth understanding of CPC, volume, trend, etc. It can also help you with finding related and matching keyword phrases. It has a more localized keywords database based on search queries throughout the entire world.

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2. Website Analytics

To understand your audience more deeply, you need to observe who is really coming to your websites as well. And for that, your website analytics is one of the best ways to find that out easily.

If your website is connected with Google Analytics then also you can get the similar benefits of finding the gaps while marketing your content to the right audience.

3. Physical reach out

Till now we have talked about online tools and techniques to conduct research on your potential reader. But one of the best ways to understand more you may ask for suggestions to your audience/friends directly about what do they feel about your content.

You will surely find people reading your content more frequently, they can be able to point out where your content is lacking or what more are they expecting out of it. Many content marketing gurus may skip this point, but we will definitely suggest you reach out to more audiences through all your social media platforms, where you feel more comfortable sending personalized text messages, emails or even over a cup of coffee sometimes!

So first of all, before even thinking about the subject matter, decide who will be your audience?

For example, if you are writing about the launch of a new OnePlus phone, your readers will mostly be interested in knowing the different technical features of the phone. So if you tell them the history of smartphones or some other information that is not relevant to this technical write-up, they will prefer not to read any further of your piece. 

In the same manner, if you are writing a fiction content, then you need to form and express your thoughts in such a way that your audience gets ample scope to think and imagine, and doesn’t just get into knowing stuff. Because if they wanted information only, they would have preferred reading from some technical source, not from you.

Now you can very well understand why knowing your audience is so important. Moreover, this task seems easy but putting your thoughts into action can be really hard. 

At the beginning of understanding the right words, the correct choice set of sentences might be a little bit difficult for you. But as you move on, depending upon your experience you will gradually hold the grip of forming niche content for your clients. 

Later on, we have different modules where you will know how you can use other required skills that will retain your readers’ attention for a much longer period of time.

Hope you have really enjoyed your reading and now you have at least some knowledge to put it into some work!

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Arkaprabha Das

Arkaprabha Das is the Founder & Editorial Chief at The Strong Traveller. He has always been a man of many caps. Apart from being an MBA professional, he is a full-time freelance writer and possesses the mind & heart of a true entrepreneur! You can always reach out to him at thestrongtraveller@gmail.com.