Posted on June 23, 2011
There's a common blogging temptation every beginning bloggger should avoid. It's called writing for everyone.
You want everyone to read your blog, so you've decided to write it for everyone.
That's a bad idea.
The problem with writing for everyone is that you end up writing for nobody. Instead of writing that resonates with an audience, your prose becomes writing that doesn't make a sound.
It doesn't stand out, and it doesn't catch anyone's attention.
It's written for everyone, but it resonates with no one.
Instead of writing for everyone, you should write for the audience that you want to read your blog.
If that audience is small business owners, then every post should be written for small business owners. If it's bloggers, then you should write for bloggers.
No matter what your blog topic is, you need to be writing for an audience. And you need to know who that audience is.
Is it bloggers? Is it writers? Or is it stay-at-home moms?
Whoever it is, you want to write for them. You want to write for the group that you really want to read your blog.
Maybe that group is corporate marketing types. Then your posts should be written to them. Or maybe you want to write to non-traditional marketing types. You should write for them as well.
Whoever it is that you want to read your blog, you should write for them and them only.
The reason you should write for only one audience is that you want an audience that comes back again and again. You want readers to be "fans" of your blog.
Johnny Truant does this very well at JohnnyBTruant.com. He writes for his audience. He writes for quirky blogging and marketing types that don't want the status marketing quo. He's not writing for the guys with white shirts and red ties.
He's also ok if you're not reading his blog. Maybe it's not for you. He's fine with that.
The difference is that he has fans. He has an audience that loves what he does, and they pay attention to what he's talking about.
Another example is Darren Rowse at ProBlogger.net. Darren writes for people who have blogs. If you're a blogger, he has content for you.
He has posts about crafting headlines, writing posts, and optimizing for search. If it's about blogging, he's got a post about it.
What's the point? The point is that he's writing for one audience. He's writing for bloggers. He's not writing a catch-all blog that anyone and everyone will like. He's focused on blogging for bloggers. That's it.
Because his blog is focused on one audience, he has readers who are fans and come back week after week. Those are the kinds of readers that you want.
The question you need to ask is this: "who am I writing for?"
Are you writing for yourself? If yes, then don't be surprised when you're the only one reading your blog.
Other than not writing for yourself, it actually doesn't matter who you're writing for, but what does matter is that you're writing for someone, and that you know who you're trying to reach.
If you do, your posts are much more likely to be interesting to the reader. Your posts are much more likely to resonate with your audience.
This doesn't mean that thousands of people will instantly read your blog because that takes time.
But it does mean that once thousands of people find their way to your blog, what you write will resonate with some the ones interested in your topic. And if it resonates with them, they'll subscribe to your blog.
What would you rather write: posts that keep readers coming back week after week and convince them to subscribe, or posts that are diverse but never convince an audience to pay attention to your blog? The choice is yours.
If you enjoyed this post, tweet it to share it with others and leave a comment to join the conversation.
This post is the fourth in a series of ten posts on the best way to start a blog.