Unless you were born yesterday, you know that people give the most attention to themselves. From the United States to Germany to Japan, people are so self-interested and self-absorbed to care about much else.
Because of this fact, they’re looking to read material that is beneficial to them. That’s why authors who write for themselves make a crucial error. When you’re writing for yourself, you’re often serving something the audience doesn’t want.
For example, unless you’re famous, no one wants to read a book about your life. Even if you think you have some crazy story where you survived a car crash and it changed your world forever. It may seem like an amazing book to you, but most people won’t care.
People want to read something that will benefit or entertain their life. It’s all about them. This supports the idea in my post What Makes A Good Book Title that titles with clear reader benefits do extremely well.
Use This Insight In Your Writing
Simply put, if you write for yourself and don’t write for a specific audience then you’re going to struggle. If you don’t know who you’re writing for, you’ll be on a journey with no direction, map, or signpost.
Instead, you can make your blog stand out and sell a lot of books by getting to know a specific audience and writing for them. Answering these questions before writing will make your life a whole lot easier:
- Who is your typical reader?
- What struggles do they face?
- What do they want to accomplish?
- How are they feeling?
- What do they think is funny?
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The best authors have a firm grasp on the feelings and desires of their audience and write specifically with them in mind.
Many famous self published authors in the young adult genre, like E.L. James who authored Fifty Shades of Gray, noticed the popularity of Twilight and capitalized on this huge audience’s desire for more content.
Beyond selling books, it’s a good business plan in general to look outside yourself and see what problem you aim to solve or improve. But a terrible business plan is to look inside yourself and create a product that you hope the public enjoys.
And knowing who you’re writing for and how to make their life better has another benefit: You don’t risk spending months on a book that you thought was a great idea only to find out after it’s too late that no one wants to buy it.
For all of these reasons, the question “who are you writing for?” needs to be answered every single time before you begin typing.
Forget that question, and your writing will lose its purpose. Remember that question, and you’ll stay on target.