One of the lessons you learn early as a writer is the fact that your writing will not resonate with every reader who comes across your work. Not everyone will be thrilled at the thought you express or be impressed with the creativity that flows out of your pen. And this is not because there is something wrong with your work or that you are somehow inferior as a writer. No, that is as far from the truth as you can get.
No matter how famous and well renowned an author or writer is, not everyone will gravitate towards his/her literary piece. Back in school, for instance, while people oohed and aahed over the romantic scribblings of Danielle Steele, there were those who declared her work tedious and overhyped. In the same vein, while some course mates and fellow readers thrilled to the suspense of John Grisham, others opted for a lighter-hearted and fun read. Despite the reputation ChimamandaAdichie has crafted on the African and international literary scene, her work is not accepted by all and sundry.
The truth is that like everything else in life, every work of art and piece of writing has a purpose for which it is intended and a specific audience to which it is addressed. This is one of the beauties of diversity, and it’s a fact that no matter the amount of written works that flood the literary space, there is always a reader available to read it. Even when several books on similar subject matter have been written, the tone with which one writer puts forth the information may appeal to one reader over that of another writer.
Therefore, rather than bemoan the fact that the people you desire to impress and impact do not gravitate towards your writing, it is important instead to identify who your target audience is as a writer and deploy your gifts to their benefit.
How, then, do you do this? Well, here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Identify your core message and writing genre: Your core message simply refers to the central theme of your work and the overall aim and purpose of your writing. This could be business, spiritual, romance, suspense, motivation, among others. As a writer, first identify the message you wish to pass across and get to work on writing it.
- Identify your specific reader: Once you have identified your core message, the next step is to seek out the category of persons who need the specific piece of written work you wish to produce. A book on breastfeeding, for instance, would be mainly targeted at pregnant and nursing mothers as they are the ones more in need of the information than their unmarried counterparts. Therefore, look for people in the particular demography, whether of age, occupation, career, etc., that you wish to write to.
- Map out where your audience is likely to hang out: Whether it is online or in a physical space, knowing the places your target audience is likely to hang out makes it easier to connect with them and get your work in their faces. With the world gone largely digital, there is no doubt that most of your readers can be found online. While searching for them on the online sphere, however, ensure you identify the spots they are likely to be found. For example, it is not enough that you know your readers inhabit Facebook, Instagram or Twitter; it is also advised to map out the likely groups and networks formed on these spaces as these intimate places are where people of like minds and passions are sure to converge.
- Discover the influencers in that space: Now, when you identify the groups and hangouts your likely audience is sure to frequent, the next step is to identify the influencers in that space. Take note of the persons to whom others go to for advice and who have more engagements and impact. Study what books and topics are greatly debated and issues of concern relating to your subject matter that is being discussed. As you gain insight on this, it becomes easier to steer your writings in the direction that appeals to your target audience.
- Build and leverage on relationships with these influencers: Finally, having identified the influencers in the places where your target audience converge, build a relationship with them and then leverage on this relationship to promote your writing and gain influence. This can be done through mentoring and partnerships.
So, there! You have it. Now that you’ve got these few tips, do not worry anymore about those who do not gravitate towards you as a writer; instead, take time seeking those who need your message.
You were not sent to everyone after all.
Are there more ways you believe can be used to find your target reader audience?Do let us know in the comments section.