Who Is Your Audience?
If you are a writer who wants to publish online, in magazines or anthologies, knowing your audience can be the difference between an acceptance or a rejection letter. This is because while the same topic may appeal to more than one group of people, how you approach it depends on your target audience. Let me show you what I mean.
I write activities and crafts for multiple markets. Although the same game might be acceptable for a Gryphon House anthology, Education.com or Highlights for Children, I will have to use a slightly different emphasis for each market because their audiences are not the same.
Many Gryphon House anthologies are written for use in the preschool classroom. Because these books are for professional teachers, the layout of each piece must include learning objectives, vocabulary, appropriate children’s books, preparation steps and guidelines for assessment. I have to keep in mind how the activity will work in a group setting and how it will help preschoolers meet developmental standards.
Education.com is used by some teachers but the primary audience is made up of “involved parents.” This means that I can’t assume there are a number of children on hand for any single activity, but it isn't completely disconnected from school. I need to relate my piece to what they are studying in school and how this will enforce or expand on it. This means that art projects also need to address math skills, reading skills or multicultural learning. Fun and enrichment go hand in hand.
The audience at Highlights for Children isn’t either teachers or parents but the children themselves. While adults may be present, you have to catch the young reader’s attention which shifts the focus yet again. Education is a plus, but the emphasis is on fun and being able to do as much as possible yourself.
No matter what type of writing you focus on, audience matters. In travel writing if your audience is seniors or parents of toddlers, you might emphasize accessibility while an audience of teen boys would want high adventure.
Not all women’s magazines have the same audience for your fitness article. Women with young children might focus on family friendly fitness while young executives want a fitness regime they can take on the road.
Learn to write with your target audience in mind and start catching the eye of editors with slots to fill.
Sue Bradford Edwards blogs at One Writer's Journey.