We’re going to follow a 2-step process to create an ideal reader profile for your blog. Why? Because you DEFINITELY want to know who you’re talking to every single time you sit down to write, or create a Pin, or record a video, or create a product for your your blog.
If you’ve ever taken an introduction to communication course, you may have had a professor like mine, with the highest pitch known to man, constantly reinforce that “True communication only happens when the receiving party interprets your message exactly how you meant it.” (Humor me and repeat that in your head with a really high pitch so you can understand my sophomore year in college. Thanks.)
What’s my point?
How can you even begin to know whether your audience is receiving your message and understanding your brand + blog, if you don’t have a solid grasp on who you’re talking to?
Le trust. I suffered due to my own lack of planning for a long time because I didn’t create an ideal reader profile like the one you can create by (Step One) answering some questions about your ideal reader and (Step Two) crafting those answers into a profile and mood board of your reader.
>>> Copy & paste the survey text below into your favorite word processor, or print the PDF version (of the The Ideal Reader Survey for Bloggers) I made for you and fill it out by hand. Oh, and if your ideal reader is a man, replace all the she/her text below with he/him.
Preferences and Habits
Types of blogs she is likely to read:
Which magazines does she read?
What would make her trust a new source/blog/brand?
Which social issues are likely to affect her?
Does her job satisfy her? Y/N
What is her primary need/concern in life?
What’s her general disposition? How does she view the world?
Favorite TV show:
Favorite movie genre:
Favorite type of restaurant/food:
If she had a completely free day, what would she spend it doing?
Does she enjoy traveling? Where is she most likely to go in the next year?
What type of computer does she use? What type of device will she likely first access your brand on?
Social Habits (Does she use these networks? If so, how often?)
Other social networks:
On which network(s) or email platform is she most likely to share information or recommendations with her friends?
Does she have a smartphone? Y/N
How often does she “go out” in her city?
What’s her biggest expense each month?
What does she enjoy spending money on that she can afford?
What is she likely to splurge on?
From which stores would she like to receive a gift card?
If she buys your product, reads your blog, or enlists your services, how will she feel about your content?
Good to Know
List the top three reasons she might “follow you” or read your content regularly:
What would make her share your blog with others?
List five questions she is most likely to have about you or your blog:
>>>Now that you’ve dug into who you’re talking to, build a profile of that person using one, or both, of the methods below.
Create a Reader Brief
Both the legal field and the design industry, and I’m sure many others, are familiar with the concept of a brief. You can use a brief to boil down a case or design need into a short document, I recommend a page. Your reader brief should summarize all your main points about your ideal blog visitors in an easy-to-read format. Only include the traits that matter to your reader and their interaction with your content. For example, in some cases things like the person’s current satisfaction with her job, or perhaps her income level, might determine the level of interest she’ll have in your targeted content, and in some cases it won’t.
Example Reader Brief Content
Jenna (I like to give my readers’ names sometimes) is a self-proclaimed “30-something” who within the past two years discovered she hates her job. She has become insanely interested in all things blog. She reads blogs such as A Beautiful Mess, comments every once in a while, and gets lost online and on Instagram quite frequently.
Her two greatest concerns in life right now are finding a way to turn one of her hobbies (DIY projects, writing, wedding planning + fitness) into some income and settling down before yet another friend/relative inquires why she’s still single.
Jenna is not ashamed to watch romantic movies, …. and so on …
>>>Write out your Ideal Reader Brief based on the content that you know affects your reader’s decisions about you and your topic as well as the stuff you feel is of most importance to that person.
Is this just some extra adult homework I want you to do because I’m convinced you have too much free time on your hands? Absolutely.
Kidding. This will help you when you sit down to write, or design, or develop anything for your blog and the community you will develop around your blog. If you do this and you don’t find it helpful, feel free to come back to this post and tell me all about how I wasted your time (in the comments below).
Create a Reader Mood Board
For those of you who are more visual: A mood board is a place where you pull together visual elements, words, and images that will help you create content for a specific audience/purpose. In design, we use them to direct our brand identity designs, such as logos, business cards, websites, etc. As an example, below is a draft mood board I developed for a winery & writer’s/couple’s retreat that also sells wood cuts. You can create your mood board using Dropmark, or a private board on Pinterest, or a poster on your wall, or using my new obsession Canva. I created the one below in Photoshop.
>>>To make your Ideal Reader Mood Board, pull together images of:
- the activities you think she enjoys
- the places she likes to go
- the way she likes to dress
- how she spends her free time
- the devices she use
- quotes or other words she loves
- etc.; just find things that remind you of her and her interests when you look at them
I guarantee that one or both of the profile types above (a brief or a mood board) will inspire you as you sit down to write and will remind you of who you’re talking to. Alternatively, you can just keep the survey you filled out in a handy place.
So, what do you think?
Do you already have an ideal reader profile? Is it in your mind or on paper? Have you ever thought of developing a brief or mood board for your blog readers? Let me know.