Who’s in My Audience?

A lot of time is spent identifying the right audience for one’s message, and rightfully so. It’s important to target a receptive audience. Sometimes, though, a person doesn’t have any control over who is in the audience. The person then has to deal with different types of audience members, something I discuss in my latest video.¹

I know I didn’t cover all the people (Although I did cover orcs, purple ponies, and monkeys.) who comprise an audience. As I said in my video, I would be here all day if I were to talk about the different types of audience members. I chose to generalize and to focus on three, over-arching categories.

How do you handle the different types of people found in your audience? How do you remain focused on the Timmy’s and not the orcs or the purple ponies?

¹I know I bombed this video. Watch the part with the orc. I say “knife” instead of “tongue.” I let the error stand because my second and third takes always are worse than the first.


  1. Hah I love the credits! Great to hear your voice. Yes- knowing your audience was one of the fundamental writing skills I would teach my students (back in the day) . 

    • RebeccaTodd Apparently, I need to watch my own video! I’d forgotten about the credits – funny, since they were giving me a devil of a time. I wanted rolling credits, but I couldn’t figure out how to slow the speed.I vaguely recall lessons about audience, but they centered on whether you were writing for a professor or an employer. I don’t remember a professor ever talking about “haters.” 🙂

      • Erin F. RebeccaTodd This was at a much lower level- I taught JI- 4-10. I would align audience and styles of writing. So we’d write a persuasive letter to the Principal, for example. I did a lot of Non-fiction writing activities, because most of us don’t write fiction in our adult lives. 

  2. You make excellent points — are you marketing to orcs or Timmies? When we blog, there are trolls everywhere; that’s also a good analogy…be prepared for the trolls, but don’t let them derail you.

    • Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing If I’d had a troll doll, I would have used it. :)I think new bloggers sometimes have an idea that everything will be smooth sailing. I prefer to give new bloggers and writers a real-world perspective. Trolls are out there. Fortunately, so are Timmy’s.

  3. That’s great Erin! Maybe there’s another character — the people in your audience who are just interested in learning. They need your experience and expertise, and they absorb it all. How do you attract the people who really need you? Best wishes,Timmie

    • barrettrossie Ah, the people we don’t know are here except perhaps via analytics. I guess I attract people by being myself and staying true to what makes Write Right what it is. Also, by addressing the three “C’s” of content: cornerstone, connection, and customer. I’m obsessed with the three ideas after attending a Copyblogger webinar. No worries; I’m planning a post or a series of posts about the ideas.

  4. Sometimes it is just best to overlook the trolls. They do nothing better than pull you down… why bother! They is a big difference between giving me constructive criticism and throwing crap at me…

    • Hajra  It can be good to ignore the trolls, but I still think people need to know they exist. We all know they do because we’ve experienced their trollish behavior, but I don’t know that people new to blogging know that. They’re still in the honeymoon phase or something. When the trolls come, they aren’t prepared and, depending on their character, may give up blogging or descend to the level of the trolls.

  5. timbo1973 I haven’t had much experience with trolls yet, either, just a few nasty remarks here and there. I think the response depends on the type of troll.
    Perhaps you can change the monkey’s name? It would be strange to focus on the “Erin’s” in the audience, too.
    It probably is easier to convert a purple pony than a troll. Purple ponies at least are receptive to your message.
    Your daughter would have great fun at my house if she likes the toys. I can be her U.S. aunt. I’ve already designated myself as an aunt to @MattLaCasse’s baby girl. 🙂

  6. Aw hell no; I’m ok with the Prisket’s or Brisket’s or whoever they are. I never tire of people telling me how great I am…..:).
    Ok, maybe that’s not a realistic view and you certainly won’t or can’t grow if people are only saying the good things. I think people do that for me because they know how sensitive I can be and they don’t want to hurt my feelings. I’ll take my ball and leave………
    Cool post; I think that is the first time I have seen you live and ‘in action;’ cool beans indeed………

    • bdorman264 Haha! Yes, I try to record one video per month. Now that I publish less often, I can think of more creative ways to blend videos into the writing. 🙂
      It is nice to be told how great you are. You need that as much as you need constructive criticism.

    • Right bdorman264 sensitive. Ok! Ha,hahaha.

  7. Erin, great stuff. Video is fun huh? I have done a couple myself (book reviews) and now am focussed on doing one monthly as well. It’s a fun medium and opens up all kinds of opportunity to share stuff that is challenging in writing alone. Also, it’s great to get some of the real person behind the blog. THAT’s the real value for me.
    Interesting points on the types of audience. I have no time for Trolls. The rest help shape how you move your content forward. I agree with Barrett. There are the learners out there. Not sure if they are Timmy’s but could be.
    Congrats. I have to go back and watch the others.

    • rdopping Well, if you want a good laugh, you can start with the earliest ones. They’re awful. I should redo the one about the Rules of Writingland. I was getting over a cold, so it’s doubly awful.
      I’m not sure what category the quiet learners fall into. They’re the unseen visitors except by Google or other analytics tools. You and barrettrossie are right, though; the learners are there, and they sometimes become active participants.
      Video has been a great tool. It’s helped me in a lot of ways, both in terms of being more pro-active with taking action and of being braver when I’m in a new setting or am surrounded by strangers.

  8. Erin, I don’t know how I’ve missed your last few posts: must be that “secret project” I’m working on;) Doing video’s a great idea: something I’ve not yet embarked upon, but must. Keep writing: keep video-ing, keep #TeamBlogJack’ing:) Cheers! Kaarina

    • KDillabough Now that I’m publishing less often, I have a little more leeway with getting my videos into the mix. 🙂
      How goes the secret project? Are you able to talk about it without talking about it? 
      Video has been a great adventure.

      • Erin F. I really must get my act together and do some videos. I really enjoy seeing them on others’ blogs, and I know that it’s something that must move up the priority list for me. Secret project? Did someone say secret project? 😉 Cheers! Kaarina

        • KDillabough You can blame MSchechter for the videos. He gave me the final push last year. I actually want to explore podcasting, but it’s just not doable right now. I think I need to build my audience more, too, before I pursue that.
          The videos will come in due time. You have work to do on the undisclosed project first. 🙂


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