Try to begin a conversation with your intended audience. This isn’t a trick. It’s a way of thinking. When you write, you are intending to communicate a message to someone. But, some writers either forget that basic premise or they just never knew it in the first place.
A beginning writer or one who will never be any good forgets about the audience. Sometimes, they don’t even have an intended message. When writing’s sole purpose is to communicate a message to a certain audience, it astounds me that those two things can slip from a writer’s mind while… “writing.” But, it happens.
A great writer or one who intends to get better at it will actually consider audience and message first. Yes, the message is obviously most important. But, considering the audience offers the guidelines you will need in order to write effectively. The intended audience can be teenagers, women, minorities, the middle class, the rich or any other category you can imagine.
If you read any magazine, you will easily figure out who the intended audience is supposed to be. Without trying to offend anyone, here are a few examples. People is basically for homebodies who like gossip, Time is for the socially aware in about the mid-age range, YM is obviously for young girls (it is right in the name) and Cosmopolitan is for women. Notice how I mentioned who the intended audience is “supposed” to be? Anyone can read Cosmo, but it’s going to be written for the female population.
When you write, think of yourself as someone who is pulling an audience to you and attempting to tell them something very important. Yes, there are writers who write only for the purpose of hearing themselves talk basically. But, think of yourself as an authority on something. You are an authority on the message you intend to communicate.
No, that doesn’t make you the smartest person in the world. Being the “authority” doesn’t have to be some burdensome, all-empowering position. You have a message and that in itself is enough to give you some authority. You have some insight on a topic. You know how to do something. Your message could be as simple as how to bake a pie, but you are the expert at the moment and your purpose is to inform your readers your best practices in baking a pie.
What brings your writing to life is if you can engage your audience and this is where you begin a conversation with your readers. This isn’t a trick, I said it before. But, it is important. It’s a set of techniques. It’s not a secret or it’s not intended to be a secret, but the fact is that many writers don’t know how to engage an audience and draw them into your conversation.
Now that I have your attention…now that I have you expecting to learn a secret…this is to be continued…