Start by identifying the target audience for your favorite topics. Then get to know the target audience, seek them out and learn to think like they do. Finally, stay focused (I know, its difficult sometimes but worth the effort) and get the full benefit of everything you write.
Target Your Audience
Make a decision about the type of topics you want to write about. Who are the potential clients and interested readers for that topic? Where do they gather (where can you meet them)? What do they need to communicate or what do they want to know and be told about?
Choose a broad topic and then narrow it down. Broad topics can scatter a freelance writer’s energies, distract them from the task at hand and keep them from reaching their goals.
For instance, choose a freelance specialty topic like home improvements and the home remodeling market. Who is the target audience?
Home improvement stores, anyone remotely connected with the products and services needed to start and complete a home improvement project, the manufacturers who make home improvement products, the people who sell appliances, lighting, furniture, flooring, paint, lumber, sheet rock, doors, windows and all the other items involved in a remodel, the folks with homes that need a remodel and those that don’t even know they do. Also included are home insurance agencies, banks offering home improvement loans, publishers with a home improvement/interior design focus, architects, interior designers…whew!
Get the picture? Find them.
Think Like Your Audience
Get to know the target audience, all of them, and learn about their needs. People are generally pleased to tell someone in a position to help them all about what they need. From their responses a freelance writer can develop story lines, features, tips, tricks, case studies and how-to’s. Learn how they think and you will be handed ways to structure articles and topics that bring in the “gold”.
For example, returning to our home improvement writer, the writer has a blank wall with a single window in his or her office that needs some improvement. The writer has also come across folks who need something similar but are confused about where to start, how much it will cost and how long it will take.
Here’s what the writer can do:
Contact 3 local interior designers, tell them about your project, ask them for bids and ideas and let them know you will be writing a feature article focused on the process and price. What business person doesn’t like a little free publicity? Pitch the article to a design magazine, local newspaper, online publisher or even the marketing department of a bank offering home improvement loans.
Don’t Waver From Your Goal
Jumping from topic to topic can water-down a freelance writers efforts. It takes time to develop the trust of your targeted clients and to understand how they tick. If a topic needs to be narrowed for better focus then narrow it but don’t replace it with a completely different subject if it doesn’t bear fruit immediately. Tweak your approach, consider applying strategies marketing experts, sales people and other writers may use.
Developing the story will take time. While it is developing, take a look at what else can be gleaned from the project:
- product reviews about available drapery hardware
- an article on choosing the best sheers for an office window
- an article on window molding styles
- an article about different styles of drapery treatments
- tips on measuring windows for blinds
- an article on windows and UV radiation
- tips on hiring a carpenter or an interior designer
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