Who Wants to Read Stuff Written for the Internet?

Originally Published Through Yahoo Voices

Researching Audiences when Writing for the Web

When writing an article for the internet, people often get asked ‘Who are you writing for?’
The styleguide article from Yahoo! ‘Research Your Audience’ has proven to be an excellent basic guide to allow a much broader understanding of what a target audience is and why you want to focus on a specific group, rather than a general and all-too-often overly broad article that misses all of it’s targets and gets lost.

The most important things to remember when writing an article is to figure out who is going to read it? Are you targetting professionals, youth, seniors, specific racial types, male or female? There are so many different demographic breakdowns it is sometimes almost impossible to decide who you want to read the material you produce.

Probably the best way to figure out who you want to target is to first figure out … what do they want or need that you can supply? Remember, they’ve come to your site fora reason; idle curiosity, a link, referral, search reference, or any number of other reasons. The Yahoo! article breaks this down into two sections; Quantative Data and Qualitive information. Some of the best questions that can be asked of the potential audience could be:
Questions such as:

* What is the main reason to come to the article or website?
* What do you feel is most valuable about your site?
* Can people easily find what they want?

Other Qualitive information would be things such as website traffic logs; to show where they came from and where they were going, what links are most clicked upon, and how long do they stay on your site?

Once you’ve found those answers, you generally have a better handle on the overall group you want to target. That’s when you hit demographics; the type of people you want to read the article or website…

Website analytics can also supply general demographic information if the user has allowed his/her browser to retain that information, or you can always set up a survey to gather general demographic info.

This article is full of useful information geared towards a better understanding of who an audience is and how to determine what you want to write so as to target that audience.

Knowing the Yahoo! style guide is around has enabled for a better uality of articles now that there is a general standard to work towards.

The Contributor has no connection to nor was paid by the brand or product described in this content.