Confessions of a Newbie Blogger: Audience

I am so ashamed.  Seriously, I just want to go all ostrich and bury my head in the sand.  But let me start at the beginning:

I met Deven Black, spedteacher, during #Edchat on Twitter this past Tuesday night.  (Please see Teacher Reboot Camp for an excellent explanation of and invitation to #Edchat).  I began to follow him, and he in turn followed and direct messaged (DM’d) me.  (Yea!)  In his DM, he mentioned his blog, Education on the Plate.  I checked it out and was impressed, and then told him I just started a blog and would appreciate any feedback.  Here’s what he said (in less than 140 characters each time, of course):

  • I just read your blog and my only advice would be to figure out who your audience is; it was not at all clear.
  • I read all your posts and it seems like you have three very different audiences. If so, that
  • If so, it is hard to reach and keep the interest of all three with one blog. I had no idea what you were talking about in your..
  • ..top post, and that is not good. If I don’t know what you’re talking about, I am not coming back to read more.

Ouch!  Oh, no!  Five posts in and I’m already driving people away.  Yikes!  After my panic, and given my TLw/ASMP affliction it took a while, I realized how right he was and how lucky I was to ask for his help.  For goodness sake, I was an English teacher.  I taught about audience, but I was so excited to get feedback from my students and then share that feedback  that I completely forgot about my audience.    I promptly went back and revised my last two posts in an attempt to make them clearer and more reader friendly.  I hope it worked…

However, I am still unsure about my audience.  I’m guessing that the “three very different audiences” Deven mentioned are social media educators, librarians, and students.  Is it wrong to write for all three?  My intention is to focus on learning (with an emphasis on my experimentation with Web 2.0), education,  and libraries but not necessarily all together in each post.  I’d really like any educator to enjoy reading the blog and also wanted to invite students into the conversation, too.  Is this asking/expecting too much?  Now that I have revised the last two posts, does my blog seem more consistent or do I have to make some choices?

If you have any advice or insight about audience for blogs, please share them here.  They will be a great help to me, and I can share these lessons with my students who are blogging.

As always, thank you!

One thought on “Confessions of a Newbie Blogger: Audience

  1. There’s nothing wrong with writing for three audiences as long as you understand that that is what you are doing and that each audience has its own needs, interests and expectations.

    It is also okay to write, as I do, with no particular audience in mind. My blog’s readers are mostly teachers, but I’m discovering a small but growing, actually, my total audience is small but growing, minute but growing group of non-educators who subscribe, all but two of them not related to me.

    All that matters is that you write mindfully. Be aware that you write to communicate and if readers — whoever they may be — don’t understand your writing you have not accomplished what you intended.

    I am confident with your new attention to audience that you will develop your voice. I look forward to reading more of your writing.

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