Why Discovering Your Audience Is So Important

By on September 13, 2019

When it comes to making a success out of your writing, your reader is everything and so discovering your audience is vital. Without engaged, interested readers, it doesn’t matter what else you do or how hard you try - without readers, is there any point at all?

Of course, while some writers may write for the pure joy of it, doing so without an intended audience in mind means that you have got to accept the fact that you might be the only one who ever reads it, and that no agent or publisher can be expected to take you seriously. 

If however, you are willing to put the time and effort into discovering who your audience is and what they want to read, you increase your chances of developing a fanbase who’ll want to return to read your work time and time again. They might even recommend it to others, and there is nothing more important than word of mouth marketing. 

Many writers think they know who their audience is. However, dig a little deeper, and it’s blatant that they’ve only done minimal amounts of research, or just plucked the idea of an audience out of thin air, rather than getting out there and trying to really get to know them and find out what it is that makes them tick. 

So what can you do to better understand your audience?

Discovering your audience, our top tips

Research your genre

The best place to start is to figure out where your book sits in any given genre. It might be that it crosses over two or even three, but you need to understand which is your primary and then look at the successful books in that category. Once you know the common themes of your genre, you can do some smart investigative research. Look at the reviews of some of the most popular and unpopular books in the genre; what are readers saying about them? Figure out their likes and dislikes and what excites them or turns them off. All of this is helpful when it comes to building a reader profile and understanding what it is you need to do in order to make your readers swoon.

Make a list of questions

To truly understand your reader, you need to take the time to get to know them. Make a list of helpful questions that you could ask readers, then go out there and ask them. Find forums, book clubs, fan groups, people in bookshops - wherever. Just get those answers to try and figure out everything that you can about them. 

Study their behavior

One of the great things about the digital movement is that we have access to so much information. If you are truly dedicated to discovering your audience, you can find out so much about them. Once you have a vague idea of who your audience might be and what kinds of things they like, you can start to use the internet and all its clever data capturing and analytics programs to help you discover information. This might include the types of questions they are asking search engines, popular keywords that are linked to your genre that you can use in your book’s blurbs, the time of day they are most likely to be online, and what motivates them to buy, and so on. All of this information is invaluable when it comes to devising a marketing strategy for your own book.

Discovering who you are writing for is vital. So before you publish your next book, in fact, before you write it, ask yourself who your audience is, and take the time to really find the answer - your book’s success could be dependent on it!

So now you know more about discovering your audience, why not learn how to know your readers better?

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bethany cadman
Bethany Cadman - bethanycadman.co.uk

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