Who Are You Talking To?

Denise Abney

People are naturally drawn to subjects they have a personal connection to. They want to know what is going on in their fields of interest. Professional writers, for example, use knowledge of their audience to improve the content they create. Ensnaring your reader’s attention throughout the entirety of a text is a valuable skill. If an author knows his or her target audience, research will help them understand what specific information should be included in their work to draw the reader in. For more ways to be mindful of your audience check out The Ladders article on knowing your audience.
Any article can improve from edits that cater to a specific reader. For example, imagine you work for a newspaper in Georgia. You want to write about an interesting group of people living in Georgia who consider mud a food group and eat it daily. How can you tailor this article to hold the attention of the reader through its completion? You could try reading the text through the eyes of the reader. The reader of a Georgia newspaper will most likely be a Georgia native. So they might be thinking as they read, “Where in Georgia is this happening? Are there actually any benefits to eating mud? I wonder if my crazy aunt eats mud and that’s why she’s so crazy.” The writer should strive to consider these poignant questions and give as much relevant information as possible to help answer them. This improves the reading experience.
Professional writers can’t afford to be selfish when it comes to their writing. They should always look at their work from their readers’ point of view. Moreover, they should be willing to revise it until it seems satisfactory of their targeted audience. A professional writer must dwell in research, asking themselves questions along the way. Who will be interested in this topic? How can I make my text interesting? How can I word this in a clear and concise fashion? The complicated, yet attainable answers to questions like these can make or break the success of the work you publish.

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