Do you know your customers? Do you REALLY know what they want? Don’t underestimate the value of profiling your website’s readership to laser-target your content writing efforts.
Try thinking about what your readers are like? Ask yourself ‘what do they want?’ And: ‘what don’t they want?’ You’ll find that before you can step into their shoes, you’ll need to visualise WHO they are.
In broad terms, your website’s readership (if you have one) will be made up of several groups that overlap like an old-fashioned Venn diagram. To use a football/soccer analogy here, they will typically include:
The season ticket holder
These are regular visitors, commenters, customers or list-members. They actively look forward to turning up on your site and can’t wait for your next post. They have a connection with you and want to get as involved as possible. They want to get up-close, feel part of the team. Some will overdo it, becoming the bloke standing at the back of the crowd playing the horn… the one you wish would just shut the hell up.
The armchair supporter
Semi-regular visitors who drop in via email links and RSS headlines when they see them. I.e. they come when they’re invited or prompted to. They like you/your brand but probably aren’t loyal customers yet. There’s some obvious goodwill and they’re interested in what you’re doing. But you’ve yet to convert them into real fans.
Consequently, they will occasionally miss a post or two, but will always look to catch up whenever they do visit. They were initially attracted to you because of a good result/performance (i.e. a problem solved). Now you’ve got to keep them.
The general footie fan
This visitor has no particular allegiance to you or your company. But they’re interested in the subject matter of your website and will follow interesting links if they’re relevant. They’ve probably been drawn in by some surprising, interesting, entertaining, problem-solving content via a link elsewhere on the web. You have the opportunity to convert them into armchair supporters and ardent fans.
With a basic knowledge of who your audience is, you can begin to understand what they expect, how they think, how they speak and what they want. When you know these things, you can provide the content that they’re looking for.
Find out more about profiling your readership in The Good Content Code.