Creating an audience avatar, also known as a reader profile, is one of the easiest ways to ensure you are always producing content for the right audience.
An audience avatar is essentially a fictional description of your ideal reader, and it delves into exactly who your ideal reader is, what demographic information there is about them, what they are interested in, and how they want to be communicated with.
Creating an audience avatar is a powerful way to connect with your readers time and time again.
Once you have created your audience avatar you will then use it every time you write a new blog post, create a new product, work on new creative. It should guide you to create relevant communications with your ideal audience.
Why do you need to create an audience avatar?
Make it personal
By creating an audience avatar you are able to create an imaginary person that looks and thinks exactly like your ideal reader. This means, that when you are creating your content you can picture your ideal reader and communicate in a way they want to hear. It makes the whole blogging process more personal, which given that so much of it is behind a screen, it helps make the experience tangible. Writing for someone called Emma, or Mark would be easier than writing for ‘someone interested in healthy food’.
Find your voice
The best way to find your voice in blogging is to have some kind of parameters within which to write. If you are talking directly to a specific kind of person you will find that you will use the language that they relate to. Over time this will help guide your content to one that is most relevant to your audience and reinforces your brand values.
Hone your tone
Likewise, the more specific your audience avatar is, the more you can hone your tone of voice. You can pick the right vocabulary, and use a tone of voice that best matches your audience preferences. For instance, if your ideal audience prefers humour as a way to communicate, you need to employ a tone of voice that is light, witty and full of fun.
Be an authority
Having your audience avatar to hand helps you narrow down the content you write. You will be able to
become an authority in your niche by speaking directly to your audience, and they will be more likely to become a loyal reader.
What does an audience avatar look like?
An audience avatar can be as simple as a one-page document detailing the demographic information, likes and dislikes, preferred communication methods, style, and language factors. Ideally, you want to give your audience avatar a name, that helps with imagining and remembering them when you start creating content.
And if necessary, create a few audience avatars to represent the types of readers you want to connect with.
Not a good audience avatar:
‘Anyone who likes healthy food.’
A basic definition would be:
‘My ideal reader is a 25-40 woman. Works full-time in a professional career. She is time-poor and needs quick, healthy recipes to help her balance her health with a busy work and social life.
An improved definition would be:
Emma is a full-time career professional with a live-in boyfriend and potentially marriage on the horizon. She is struggling with snacking and takeaways as she is too busy with work and her social life to cook big meals. She enjoys the clean eating trend on Instagram but finds it inaccessible to someone like her. She needs quick and healthy recipes to get the nutrition that she needs.
In her spare time, she likes to take yoga classes and the gym close to work. She is an avid reader on her commute to and from work. She likes personal development books such as … and … . She also recently started getting into podcasts such as The Lively Show and … .
Emma wants to go on a retreat this summer, possibly in Ibiza.
How to create an audience avatar
Open up a fresh notebook page and start brainstorming the following prompts. By the end of the process, you want to type up a few paragraphs that sum up your audience avatar.
What other hobbies or interests do they have?
How do they spend their spare time?
What websites do they visit?
What blogs do they read?
What social media channels do they spend the most time on?
What do they want to learn about your niche/theme?
How important is your niche/theme to them?
What common questions do they have?
How knowledgeable are they about your niche/theme?
What format do they prefer? (video, text, photos, audio)
What length of content do they prefer?
How often do they want content?
How will they want to follow your content?
Final thoughts on creating an audience avatar or ideal reader
A successful blog is one that knows its readers. Know your readers and you will increase your engagement. As a long-time blogger (nearly 10 years now, week!) I know that it’s so easy and tempting to just ‘write for myself’ but honestly, if you want to make your blog successful it needs to be written for others (otherwise surely you’d just keep a private journal, yes?!).
Over time your audience avatar may evolve as you get to know your readers better. Keep an eye on the comments, the emails you receive and social media feedback. Track what your real-life audience say and do in response to your content. Does it meet your brand values and blog mission statement? If so, adjust your audience avatar to include extra information.
Tip: If you’re a visual person perhaps try making a moodboard (Canva would be good for creating this, and Pinterest for visual searches) for your audience avatar instead. You could include images about what your reader likes to do, the colours the enjoy, words that resonate with them, etc.
I hope this helps you create an audience avatar. Let me know how you get on!