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Determining Audience

“Who is the audience?”

As an English teacher I often asked this question, to which many students would reply:

“Everyone.”th

Everyone, of course, is not the correct answer, but I understand how difficult it is to define such as elusive entity as ‘audience’.

“Imagine,” I would invite them, “that you just failed an important test and you have to explain it to the Principal, your parents, your best friend, and your five-year-old sister.  Will you use the same tone or language for all of them? Probably not.  You will want to convince the Principal that it won’t happen again, persuade your parents that it wasn’t your fault, vent to your best friend about how the teacher hates you, and simplify the situation for your younger sibling.”

All very different audiences.

Knowing this and acting upon it are two different things.  I like to think I write for myself, but in reading a recent blog post by Jacqueline of the Art of Beautiful Expressions, I came across this article:  “These Are The Reasons No One Reads Your Blog”  and found myself suitably chastised:

spare yourself the rhetoric of ‘I’m writing for myself,’  and…get to the cause

th-1“Find your brand,” my daughter-in-law advises, “decide on a focus that readers are looking for.”

I start paying attention to blogs with wide readership and, to be honest,  cannot fathom why some are more popular than others.   Lists seem to do well, but I can’t help but think they look contrived, and besides, I am no expert to be giving others advice.  Short articles have more appeal than long ones.  I get that.  I conclude that the majority of readers fit a much younger demographic than me.

So, who would my audience be?  If I write for myself, I am actually writing for aging women, survivors of trauma, disabled in some way – the marginalized.  I offer book reviews, tidbits about traditional and alternative medicine, and try to capture noteworthy moments.  In other words, I have a very specific audience,  not overly represented in the technology realm, I would think.th-2

Turning the issue around, what grasps my interest when searching through postings?  Poetry (non-romantic), other chronic illness bloggers, aging writers, travel journals, and occasionally recipes.  Much of what I write about.

What it boils down to, I am gleaning, is that if I wish to be a more successful blogger than I need to appeal to specific demands – follow the trends – get myself out there more (wherever that is.)

th-3Good thing, I decide, that I am disabled, and haven’t got the energy to do what is necessary to make a name for myself.  For now, I am content with my 60 followers – thanks all! – information for expansion safely tucked away.

 

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Categories: aging creative writing disability nonfiction opinion writing

Tagged as:

V.J. Knutson

Writer, avid reader, former educator, and proud grandmother, currently experiencing life through the lens of ME/CFS. Words are, and always have been, a lifeline. Some of the best adventures, I'm discovering, take place in the imagination.

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