How to Create an Ideal Reader Persona for Your Small Business Blog

Have you heard of Jane Dawson?

Jane is my person, you see.

Whenever I write a blog post, I am writing for her, my person – Jane Dawson.

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Jane Dawn is 41. She is a mum to two school aged kids. She lives in Sydney, Australia.

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Jane Dawson

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Jane left her corporate law job and stayed home to raise her two kids. While doing that, she rekindled her passion for creating custom designed, handmade jewelry and started making pieces for her friends and family.

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She eventually started her jewelry business from home and set up her website. Her current annual revenue falls between 25-30K. She mostly works from home, in her tiny home office creating beautifully designed, unique pieces.

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Handmade jewellery workshop

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Taking advice from her friends, she started a blog in the hopes to bring in new customers and create awareness for her brand. She is always looking for inexpensive ways to market her business.

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While she is excited about this ‘blogging thing’, she is not exactly sure if she is doing it right. While she is building her list, she is far off from her current goal.

She finds it hard to drive traffic to her site, she doesn’t get many social shares and she is little bit scared of marketing to her peeps – readers who have subscribed to her list.

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Confused blogger

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She is an avid reader and subscriber of lots of magazines and reads top industry blogs such as Life hacker, Entrepreneur, Huffington Post and Problogger.

Did you get a clear picture of Jane Dawson as you read the above description?

Good thing you did because let me tell you something – Jane Dawson is not real.

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Yup – you read that right.

Jane does not exist. I totally made her up. She exists in my head only.

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Jane is what I call an ‘ideal reader persona’. Jane is not real but she is what I imagine my target audience to be like. Not exactly like her, not all of them are jewelry makers but writers, artists, trainers; people redefining their careers, following their passion and setting up online businesses.

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And if you haven’t created your own ideal reader persona that defines your target audience; you will find it very hard to create content that resonates with your ideal audience and gets the attention it deserves.

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Give your content good response

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So let’s talk about that a bit. What is an ideal reader persona?

It is exactly what it says it is: a description of your ideal reader. The person who is most interested in reading your content, staying subscribed to your newsletter and eventually becoming your loyal customer.

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As a business blogger, the biggest mistake you can make is to address anyone or everyone. By doing that you end up attracting no one.

There is a simple fix to that problem and that is to create an ideal reader persona or profile.

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Why create ideal reader persona?

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It helps you truly understand your reader

You get to know where they hang out and what they like to do to discover ways to promote your content and stay in front of them.

Jane likes to read women biz websites so I like to guest post there and get even more eyeballs for my business.

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It lets you create hyper focused content that appeals to your target market

You publish content that solves their needs, problems and answer their questions. It addresses issues that are of interest to them.

Jane wants to know how to build her email list, how often to write, when to email, and how to promote her content. This is what I address on my blog.

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Sharing your knowledge

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It lets you show off the real you

It allows you to inject your personality into your writing, strengthen your personal brand and not be afraid to be yourself.

When I talk to Jane, I like to picture her sitting across the desk from me. I talk to her like I would talk to a dear friend. I don’t have to pretend to be someone I am not.

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Show off the real you

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It lets you discover opportunities

By truly understanding what your ideal reader needs, you come up with monetization ideas by identifying gaps that currently exist in the market.

Jane helped me create by flagship e-course that has done really well.

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So now let’s take a look at how to actually create your ideal reader profile or persona. It is actually quite easy. Before you go ahead and start answering these questions, think about what sort of products and services you are offering and what makes you different from others.

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How to create an ideal reader persona?

There are different ways to do this but as a small business owner, your process would be different to the one used by, let’s say, a big department store.

Answer these questions and you will come up with a snapshot of who you want to attract. You can create more than one persona if you like.

  • Is your ideal reader a man or a woman?
  • How old are they? (Think of a number not a wide range – you can imagine a woman in early forties but not a woman between 25 and 40 – that’s not helpful.)
  • Where do they live?
  • What is their level of education?
  • Are they currently working? Are they holding jobs or running their own businesses?
  • What is the estimated level of annual income?
  • What is their problem you can solve? What are their needs?
  • What is keeping them from solving this problem? What have they tried that didn’t work?
  • What other interests do they have?
  • Where do they usually hang out?
  • Give this person a name.

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Now, can you see how I have created my own reader profile? Just by answering every question on the list, I have created an avatar that seems so real that I can’t help by stay on topic when I am creating posts for my own blog.

Not coincidentally, this person is also my most likely buyer.

This should be your goal as well.

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Think about your offerings to begin with – your products and services and then come up with the perfect reader who can’t get enough of your content. Most importantly, they can’t wait to buy from you.

So, what does your Jane Dawson look like?

  • Teresa

    I love this article, heard of this technique before. Yet I have never really tried writing it out, but I am starting my own reader persona file as of now. Thanks for this!