Roving Report: What the Internet Reveals About Your Target Audience

Two teenage girls doing homework together on a white background one is looking over the other's shoulder cheating

There are big differences between how you listen to and speak with an online audience compared with more traditional offline media.

That was Nick Usborne’s message when he met with the Managing Editor of Wealthy Web Writer, Heather Robson for an interview. Nick talked about how to research an online audience, and how to really listen to them so they’ll interact with your message.

He described it as “the difference between writing at someone as opposed to engaging with them.”

I always learn a lot from Nick, so you can be sure I tuned in. (You can listen to the teleconference HERE.)

What is it that gets Nick Usborne out of bed in the morning and still excited after 40 years as a professional copywriter? Why, web writing!

Twenty years into his copywriting career, Nick decided to write exclusively for the Web. He’s one of the top-tier people doing online copywriting, and he’s — quite literally — written the book on it. A big part of Nick’s enthusiasm about web writing is that it moves and changes quickly, providing a never-ending source of opportunities for web writers.

Why Is It Important to Know Your Audience?

Nick reminded us that, if you apply for a job, you take the time to get to know the company before you go in for your interview. “It would be crazy to go in without any preparation,” he pointed out.

If you’re dating someone new, you maybe don’t want to research them first — that would be kind of stalker-ish — but in your initial date, you make every effort to get to know them. In fact, the strength of any relationship you develop will be based on how well you know the other person, whether it’s a professional one or personal one.

That’s true for web writers and their audience, too.

“You don’t want to be writing at them without any regard for what your audience wants to hear. That’s a recipe for disaster,” Nick told us.

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Susanna Perkins

Susanna was dragged back, kicking and screaming, into freelancing after losing her job in the banking meltdown in March, '09. One 3-month stint in an appalling temp job persuaded her to get serious about establishing herself as web writer. In March, 2012, she moved to a small town in Panama with her husband and three small dogs. After enjoying the writer's life in the culture of "buenas" and "mañana" for 2-1/2 years, she's returned to the US. At least for now.

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