Before Posting: Think Like a Common Person

Recently, I wrote what I thought would be a great link bait about vehicles that I would love to own, but in doing so, I might not have been thinking like the common person in the demographic I was supposed to be targeting, as my post quickly got a vast number of negative comments towards it. The vehicles I had chosen were either too expensive for the average person to ever own or too cheap to be lusted after like the super cars of today.

I had created a post that very few people could really enjoy and see the positive aspect of. I had created something that wasn’t realistic to most and wasn’t outlandish enough to be drooled over by others. While writing the post on College Crunch, I hadn’t thought about this issue, and so when this backlash started trickling in, I was shocked.

I had made too many assumptions about the people that would be reading it, and of course the vast majority weren’t happy with what I had published. I have always been the type that reminded people to publish what they wanted and not worry about the audience, but in this case, I didn’t know what to do as I had attempted to publish for a certain demographic only to realize that I didn’t necessarily understand it as well as I had thought.

Had I taken some extra time to try and really pick apart what I had created and think of it in a more common person way, rather than the slanted view I normally take of the world around me, then I think the article would have been a much bigger success rather than being such a controversial mess with some people taking either side of the issues at hand, and others dismissing it completely.

Success in writing online can sometimes mean thinking like the common person in any demographic you are targeting. Don’t write something that most of the people you are writing for can’t empathize with or understand and support. I have done this far too often in my career and while that can sometimes divide people and make posts controversial and as such, very popular, other times it can mean hours of work on a single entry can be a big flop.

So before you publish a pillar article, check your post for these simple things:

  • Will it interest others?
  • What response am I looking for?
  • Could there be any misunderstandings?

If your post passes those three simple questions to your satisfaction, then it should be ready to publish. When trying to hone in on a certain demographic or niche, make sure you truly understand what they are looking for before giving them what you think they want.

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9 Comments

  1. Rob O. September 17, 2008
  2. Tech Blog September 17, 2008
  3. Clairvoyant September 17, 2008
  4. Andre Thomas September 17, 2008
  5. Alexandra September 17, 2008
  6. Kevin Muldoon September 17, 2008
  7. Handbag for life September 19, 2008
  8. Chubby Chasers Datin September 20, 2008
  9. mrtruckster November 4, 2008