Who do you write for?


#1

Tell me, who do you write for? Do you know who your audience is? If you do, do you think you are creating relevant content?

Just curious…


#2

Depends on the post. I have a few personas I imagine when writing (young me, my wife, my dad 20 years ago), but I don’t do the best job of gut checking each post against these. The main persona that I’m writing for is something like this:

Millennials or older who are seeing their parents retire and are starting to wonder if they’ll be working until that same age. They want to make a change in their life to cut a different path for themselves through hard work and smart choices - despite not always having the best start.


#3

I write for the people who either are like me now, or who I once was. I seek. I experiment. I delve. I fail. I try. I succeed. Only 20% of my interest is in actual money. The remaining 80% of my interest is in the personal character and life adventure I am building with the money I save. I write for the people who want to think this way, but maybe just never had an introduction to it. I want to introduce them to this way of thinking. The mind is an unusual and powerful place. I write for the people who find that sentence interesting.


#4

I write for me.
I don’t change my tone for any “demographics” or anything, I write whatever goes through my mind and things I like to share.


#5

Not sure. I just write…my site would probably do better if I did write for somebody.


#6

I write with my own voice and the way I think. If I tried to change that, I probably wouldn’t last for too long. This probably doesn’t mean much right now, since I just started blogging early July and only have a few articles to show for it.

Over the long run, I’d like to write content to help (new) immigrants and self-employed folks but don’t want to focus on that audience completely as the issues that the general population grapple with also apply to them.


#7

I write for people who consume pop-culture financial BS and financial bloggers who put out half-baked articles that don’t consider dependencies, jump to conclusions, misrepresent/misunderstand their material, or are filled with logical fallacies - especially argumentum ad passiones. My writing often comes across as rants and preaching, which I’m totally okay with. So, I guess I write for me :slight_smile:


#8

I am in EBA (Elite Blog Academy) which has a HUGE focus on writing for an avatar. It is all about creating a persona of one specific person you view as your ideal reader and trying to write everything to them. Their point is that while many people who aren’t your avatar will read your blog, you’ll create more lasting fans by writing consistently to one person.

My avatar is a married woman with 2 kids, a middle income job (I usually imagine her as a teacher), and little-to-no debt outside of her mortgage and maybe a car payment. She worries that she and her husband aren’t saving enough, isn’t sure how to stay on track for retirement and saving for her kids college educations, and wants her kids to have less anxiety about money as adults than she does. Her husband is more laid back, he tells her not to worry so much and that they have enough money. Sometimes they argue about these differences.

I am in a very active moms group and know a lot of women who fit this type of demographic. My moms group was part of the reason I even started my blog. Most of my posts are actually written as direct answers to questions they have asked me. (In my first month, I asked them all to send me their most pressing money questions about saving, budgeting, investing, and preparing their kids for the future. I got over 100 questions and they still send me new ones sometimes.)

I have found that while these women may not read every post, they are busy with work and kids and not super interested in just random money discussions, when they see a post about something that they’ve wondered about they read and share. Even in just six months I’ve gotten emails from people that say, “My friend ____ sent me this and I was wondering…” It is kind of fun!

I often struggle with writing to a more advanced finance crowd and this avatar, especially as most of the people who comment on my blog are other personal finance bloggers like you guys! Sometimes I feel like I miss the mark, but I’m trying to stay focused on that demographic.


#9

I’m in EBA too, @MamaFishSaves! I have an avatar too, but basically I think of one of my friends when I write - she’s a savvy Millennial who’s in debt, works a job she LOVES but doesn’t pay much, and is trying to live a fun life (dating, going out, or getting engaged and married). Oh, plus save for retirement.

If it sounds like it’s all over the place, it is because that’s how life is. For me and my friends (particularly my one avatar), we’re bombarded with “pay off your debt you mooching Millennial!” “make more money and forget your passions!” “why aren’t you saving for retirement?” “why aren’t you settling down/getting married/having kids?”

It’s a lot of pressure and I want to write for people who are overwhelmed by it, so they can follow practical advice and do all of the above without going into more debt or feeling so overwhelmed they just give up.


#10

I write about whatever’s on my mind and what I’m interested in at the time. Not only does it help the words and enthusiasm flow easier, but it then forms your own audience naturally instead of trying to craft it yourself. Not that there’s anything wrong with that - business-wise it’s smart! - I just know I’ll personally burn out if I try and write for other people/business vs myself so I don’t do it. The only rules I have is that it always has to be about personal finance, and I have to be as real with my thoughts as possible :slight_smile:


#11

Like @WealthWellDone I am writing for someone a lot like me, or a younger version of me. Physician or other high income professional, family focused, not entirely satisfied with his or her career, and interested in learning about ways to life differently than the usual script.

I think there’s a bit of danger in writing for a single-person avatar. If I write only for a man, that leaves out 50% of the population. If I wrote specifically for anesthesiologist, that leaves out 93% of physicians. If I wrote just for physicians, that leaves out the lawyers, dentists, business owners, and Ph.D.s who find themselves in a similar boat.

I think it’s valuable to find a niche and focus on it. For me, that’s FIRE for high income professionals, or FatFIRE as it’s called over on Reddit.


#12

I write for me.

Mostly I write to work through in a structured way whatever PF issue I’m puzzling over in my own life at the time, or something I’ve read that I react strongly enough to write about.

It means the posts are helpful (to me), and I don’t have to worry about maintaining a “voice” or pretending to be something I’m not. That said it also means I’m not telling people what they want to hear, which probably hurts how popular my blog is.


#13

Right now I write out of a form of therapy. I had all these things in my head and wanted to get them out since I don’t have any friends that are on the FI path to talk to about it.

Plus now that I’m writing I’m more driven to keep pushing to FI


#14

I write for me too.

I write because I want to remember things, or as a way for me to become more accountable by putting it online.

My husband writes for himself + family/friends who may read the blog. He blogs based on experiences/learnings.


#15

I primarily write to the younger versions of my husband and myself, but also to those at or near my age whom still don’t have their act together. It’s evolving over time.


#16

Younger versions of myself. Moms interested in personal finance. Breadwinning moms. People who want financial freedom but have obstacles like medical events, low income, etc.

In terms of using avatars, there’s pros and cons to that. At my day job we use that in developing new products, but we use multiple avatars-not one. Then we consider how the product we’re looking at would impact those different avatars. E.G. Are we pitching it to one specific avatar, or all of them? Different products impact people in different ways, and thinking through those various perspectives can be a good way to position your product effectively.


#17

Many of my first posts have been about what I have experienced as an investor. I see that trend for the near future. My general theme is that anyone can succeed financially if they are willing to consistently do the next right thing. As for age groups, I write for both millennials and gen-xers.


#18

Bingo, me too. I don’t have a specific audience. I blog for fun, which means I write about whatever I want to write about. :slight_smile:


#19

Defining the target audience was the first thing I did. Like a few others, my target audience is basically a version of myself. Urban 20-40 somethings who like nice stuff but also want to save. They might want to buy better quality stuff but don’t necessarily know how or don’t make a lot of money. I assumed my audience would be mostly single females so I’m always pleasantly surprised when I see a dad likes my stuff! But not surprisingly my content tends to resonate most with young Asian women. The hardest part for me is coming up with the editorial calendar. All posts have to answer ‘yes’ to the question: “Would anyone care about this?” So I always try to add useful aspects to my posts.


#20

Wow, guys, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and insights! It’s been awesome reading the variety of responses, split between writing for “me” and for “avatar”.

Starting this blog has been amazing, but I will admit, there were times I was super confused who I was writing for, and what I wanted the blog to be all about (confession: perusing 100 other PF blogs was definitely not helping…I felt drowned and incapable of adding anything new). I soon realized, I had to let this blog be an extension of my personality (shout out to @Slow_Dad who gave me great pointers in an earlier post).

I love money, and all things personal finance but what attracts me more, similar to @WealthWellDone, is the mindset behind it. Because that’s how my personal journey has been. And, getting that part down right prior to implementing FIRE strategies has allowed me to enhance the accepting and living of a financially independent life.

To @J.Money’s point, yes, I am cognizant of the business aspect of writing, and therefore, want to make sure I create content that’s relevant.

Again, thank you all so much. :slight_smile: