Successful writers, of course, focus on their audience, first, second, third and last. They write with the interests and concerns of their audience in mind. They think about how their audience will receive their work. They shape their work to meet their audience’s needs and expectations.
Use the guidance below to help you to follow the path successful writers tread.
Write for a clearly defined audience.
Real people read what writers write. It makes sense, then, to write for real people.
Take some time to define your audience. It might be teachers. It might be people who want to learn about French cooking. It might be people who have recently been made redundant. It might be people who read urban fantasy. You need to be clear about who you are writing for before you begin to write.
Write about your audience’s issues.
Think carefully about your audience and what concerns them, or what they want to learn about. People who are just starting in teaching want survival tips. They want help with how to avoid being swamped by their new job. People who have just bought their first pet dog want to know the basics about caring for their animal.
If you write fiction, you need to do the same sort of analysis. Talk to people who read romantic fiction avidly if you’re a romantic novelist. What do readers like about romantic fiction? What draws them to this genre? Is it the setting? Is it the adventure linked to romance? Is it the emotional situation of the heroine? Is it something else?
Make certain you know, and then deliver that.
It’s easy to follow trends and to be aware of what is happening in a marketplace right now, if you put the time in.
Once you know what is popular and what is in demand, think about how you can satisfy that demand. Then work out how you can add more value. What else can you do to help your reader, or to satisfy your reader?
As well as writing about the intricacies of fell walking, can you describe some real walks that people might like to try? Can you grade the walks in terms of the level of fitness a walker needs to complete them? Can you offer guidance on places of interest to stop and visit?
Whatever you write about can you back up what you say in your book, or in your articles, with more information on your blog or website? Can you add depth to all of your work?
It’s really important to think about your audience when you plan what you are going to write and challenge yourself to understand and support your readers as best you can.
Doing this will help you to impress publishers and editors. It will also help you to become the sort of writer that an audience will actively seek out.
B Margaret Adams is a businessperson who writes and a business mentor for writers. She writes a blog for writers who are looking to make more money from their writing.