The benefits of defining your audience
Whether you’re blogging about travel destinations or writing a travel guide there’s one critical consideration before you start wrestling with your opening paragraph: you need to define your audience.
Knowing who you’re writing for not only helps your audience but it also helps you. Being a travel blogger who is in it for the long-haul is hard work. You need to create a continual stream of content for your blog, so finding ways to streamline your content creation process is an essential step, and defining your audience will help you do that.
Everyone can’t be your audience
As travel bloggers, we’re all focused on increasing our audience and connecting with as many people as possible across the web and via social media. If you try and write for “everyone” you’ll end up pleasing “no-one.” The more specifically you define your audience, the easier it will be to reach them.
Your blog posts can’t resonate with everyone, and you shouldn’t try to be a generalist. In these days of information overload, audiences are looking for targeted and specific content to help save them time. For example, if a budget backpackers start reading your article about Vietnam, and you start writing about luxury accommodation, they’ll click off your page. But a budget is just one consideration why thinking about who you’re writing for, so let’s look at all of the different elements you should be considering when writing your travel blog posts.
You can’t please everyone, but if you know who your audience is you will be able to include content and elements that will connect with them.
An audience of one
I like to visualize my audience as an audience of one. I’m talking to you, and you alone. This focus makes my writing more personable and approachable. With one person in mind, I can quickly meet your needs. I can work out what will appeal to you by working out how my content solves the challenges or dilemmas you’re facing.
If you don’t define your audience, your travel writing will lack focus. Your goal should be to create the best blog article you can. Identifying your audience will streamline your writing process. You’ll no longer be writing for everyone; you’ll be writing for someone; your target audience. This approach also helps your writing connect on a personal level.
If you don’t already know who you’re writing for, here’s a step-by-step approach for defining your audience persona:
Here are some audience persona specifics to consider:
Age Range and Demographic:
There are two different ways of approaching age range:
- Actual Age: you don’t need to pinpoint an exact age, a decade-span is accurate enough (e.g., People in the 40’s, 50’s, etc.)
- Demographic Group: Baby boomers, Gen-Xers, Millenials, etc.
If defining an actual age or demographic group is too challenging, try looking at your audience’s stage of life. Here are some examples:
- College Leavers
Just got Married, or become parents
Even if we haven’t attached an age range group to any of these groups of people, it’s easy to assess what their interests are. If you can clarify this, it’s easy to make some assumptions about how you can grab their attention with your blog article’s content.
This demographic is particularly relevant for travel writing, as price/cost is one of the deciding factors when choosing a destination. So if you have an idea of disposable income you’re know what hotels, transport options, and activities to include.
If you decide to write a blog post aimed at travelers on a budget, then that helps you trim down the listings you need to include. You will know you need to feature budget-conscious restaurants and accommodation, but that doesn’t mean you can’t include a highlighted listing or two under a “when it’s time to splash out” section in your post.
Get inside your Audience’s Head
As well as looking at the core demographics, you can also try to get inside your audience’s head by contemplating the following questions:
- What’s most important to them?
- What challenges are they facing?
- What decisions do they need help with?
- What problems can you solve?
- What are their primary goals?
- What personality traits do they have?
- What are they afraid of, or what fears do they have?
Try answering the questions above with a specific audience in mind:
- Businesswomen traveling alone
- Independent traveler with disabilities
- Backpackers on a shoestring
The final element to consider is “what do I want to delver to me reader, and how do I want to deliver it?”. By answering this question, it will help you define your travel writing tone. Do you want to:
- Amuse them?
- Assure them?
- Encourage them?
- Educate them?
- Entertain them?
- Inspire them?
- Influence them?
- Motivate them?
- Stimulate them?
Stand out from the crowd
By creating an audience persona for your blog, and applying it to each blog post, you’ll separate yourself from the generalist travel bloggers who are trying to reach a broad audience, and failing miserably.
Don’t waste time by being a generalist in a saturated blog market, set yourself apart by creating focused and targeted content that resonates with your target audience and you’ll grow a loyal following of avid readers who know that you’re delivering content that speaks directly to them.
Leave me a comment and let me know your audience persona. I’d love to hear who you’re writing for.
#TravelBloggers who are you writing for? If you don't know, here's some tips for defining your audience persona that will save you time and help you build your following. Click To Tweet