Guest Blogger: Melissa K. Norris @melissaknorris
The most important thing a writer can do from both a marketing and creative standpoint is to define their target audience.
Before you write another sentence, grab a pen and paper, laptop, napkin, whatever is handy, and begin to define your target audience.
What is a target audience?
Your target audience consists of the people who will buy your book, subscribe to your newsletter, blog posts, tweets, and Facebook page. They are your tribe.
Imagine your target audience as a real person, because they are. Ask yourself what drew you to write or read books similar to your own. I write and read historical romance, specifically set in the pioneer days of the Old West. Why do I like to read these stories?
Now we have to delve deeper. You’ll have many different aspects to your target audience and it’s important to note each characteristic. Romance is typically read by woman. I enjoy inspirational romance because it’s clean and strengthens my belief in God, which is why I believe most people choose CBA books.
Based on the above statements, I learned that my target audience is women who have strong family and moral values. They are busy women and moms who long for a chance to slow down. They are woman who want to offer their families and selves a wholesome and healthy life.
These are just the first three defining characteristics of my target audience. Each project you take on will add new angles to your target audience and provide different marketing opportunities. But keep your core list and put it near the spot you write.
Remember everything you write is to these people. Every novel, non-fiction book, blog post, tweet, and Facebook update should add value to your target audience in some way. For effective social media growth ask yourself this question before you post anything.
What do I want people to do after they read this?
It may be to start a conversation, click through to your blog, to purchase your book, but it must have a purpose. Look at the list by your computer and ask yourself if the content matters to your target audience. If not, tweak it some way so that it does or don’t share it.
You will pull all of your marketing and platform building from your target audience. I started writing a non-fiction column for our local newspaper titled, Pioneering Today, which morphed into an ongoing weekly series on my blog. I offer practical articles on how to live and implement the best of the pioneer lifestyle in our modern lives. From baking bread in five minutes a day, gardening, preserving, and cast iron Dutch oven cooking.
Do you see how this ties in with my target audience characteristics?
Now do the same with your own writing.
What makes you love the genres you read? What are the top two characteristics of your target audience?
Melissa K. Norris is a historical fiction novelist and columnist of Pioneering Today. Her books and articles are inspired by her family’s small herd of beef cattle, her amateur barrel racing days, and forays into quilting and canning—without always reading the directions first. She shares her success and failures on Facebook and Twitter and blogs weekly at www.melissaknorris.com[ Next Post → ] [ ← Previous Post ]