Who’s your audience? If you are publishing your articles online, you are talking to somebody. Yes, you might have the goal of sharing what you write to explore, be accountable, and remember. If you are sharing your thoughts to attract interests or find like-minded people, you need to ask yourself this question: who’s your audience?
You don’t need to be definitive. You can start with desires and assumptions about who you want to talk to and what kind of readers you would like to find. But how do you refine your target? How do you know if you captured the right traits of your ideal public? And, most of all, are you sure those people are sharing the qualities you imagine?
Talk to them. Get out of your building, physical or digital, and reach to them. You will discover so many different worlds. You will find that “user personas” are just rough approximations of infinitely more complex scenarios. You will also learn that you might be attractive to other people you were not expecting to be. Or that you might have other occasions to provide value to them you would not think about.
Online comments and emails are not the best media to research your audience. Only a tiny part of people interact directly with authors and online publishers. You should reach out to them in any way possible.
Set up meetings in real life or online. Webinars, meet-ups, zoom calls, group events, workshops, and any other collective or individual way to talk to real human beings are the most valuable way to learn about your audience.
By talking to people, you practice being yourself, being the author or creator you are, and you will have chances to stand behind your creative choices. Let your mission be made of assumptions to be validated by talking to your audience.
Talk to people to improve the chance of building successful products and services. Talk to people to know better what interests them and how you could provide the best value to them. Talk to people to avoid building in the void and shooting in the dark.