How to Create a Reader Profile
Creating a reader profile is crucial when writing for an online audience, especially when you’re just starting out. Even before you begin, having a reader profile in place ensures your content is targeted to the right people, maximising interact and audience engagement.
Yes, it can seem a bit strange focussing all your attention on this mythical, non-existent individual who you’ve just created from nothing, but the benefits far outweigh the time it might take to create him or her to start with.
Once you’ve created your reader profile, and you’ve given them their own “identity”, you’ll quickly become used to talking about them. You know they’re not real, but imagining they are will benefit your business, blog or website in the long-term.
You might sit and think that creating a reader profile is impossible, or you just don’t know where to start. Thinking about a few key elements makes the whole process a lot easier.
Age, Gender & Personal Situation
An obvious place to start we know, but you need to use the right language, tone and style of writing dependent on who you’re writing for. Keep all of these things in your mind when creating your profile:
- Are they male or female?
- What age bracket do they fit into?
- Do they have immediate family?
- Single/married/in a civil partnership?
- What is their profession?
- What are their hobbies and interests?
Social Media usage
Where are your readers hanging out online? Are they using Twitter and Facebook, or are they mainly focussing on Pinterest and Instagram. Understanding where your audience hang out online means you can structure your content accordingly.
Now and Then
Take a piece of paper, or a spreadsheet if you’re that way inclined, and split the page into two. The left column will be how your audience are feeling when they come to your content. On the right is how you want them to be when they leave.
If you have a specific niche blog e.g. vegan recipes, organic gardening etc, then you need to understand what motivates your reader. Why do they do what they do? What annoys them, and what problems would they face in day-to-day life. Answering all these questions mean you’ve providing value to your readers lives, and they’re more likely to continue reading if you do.
We’ve created a small reader profile for you to have a look at, just to give you an idea of how simple it really can be. Keep reading below on how to start.
Brenda is a 45-year-old mother [age and gender] of two, whose children have left home. She works part-time as a receptionist [occupation] but wants to create her own glass-mould business [interests and hobbies]. She uses Facebook [social media usage] to keep up with her family and friends who live in different parts of the United Kingdom.
At the moment, she’s struggling [feelings now] with her glasswork business, as bookings for lessons have dropped, and wants to create more interest in the services she has on offer [feelings after]. She wants to fully launch her business as she’s always been creative and has enjoyed helping others feel the same [motivation].
So there you go, it’s not as hard as you think. All you need to do is follow our steps on creating a reader profile, and soon you’ll be on your way to a successful online blog or business. Have you created your own reader profiles? If you have, we’d love to hear from you.