Whom Are You Writing For?

By Sharon

One of the key issues when crafting any piece of writing is who your audience is. If you’re writing for a newspaper or magazine, you’ll probably be able to find some statistics about your readership profile. Most publications rely on advertising to keep them going, and in order to get the best ads, they need to know who their readers are so that advertisers know where their dollars will be spent. The information available might include:

  • the average age of readers
  • whether they are male or female
  • what kind of education they have had
  • what kind of job sector they are in
  • what they earn

Many publications also undertake more in depth reader surveys to find out about their readers’ special interests. So how does that help writers? It’s simple. Knowing who your readers are helps you to create content that they want to read.

When researching an article on cars recently, I came across two versions of the same website, owned by the same company. One was intended for men, and contained lots of technical details about the cars’ performance. The other was meant for women, and had a lot more information about accessories. They may have been stereotyping, but they were also writing for their readers.

If you’re blogging, then it’s even easier to find out what readers like, provided you get some traffic. You can tell when your audience responds to a particular post because there will be comments and links that show that people thought that your content was worth reading.

I find that a good technique for deciding on new content is to look at what readers’ interests are and write articles that cater for those interests. When blogging, I look for posts that got a good response, as well as for the questions that readers have asked. These provide a good starting point for thinking of new material.

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13 Responses to “Whom Are You Writing For?”

  • Donald James

    Good article — poor grammar. “For WHOM Are You Writing?” would be the grammatically correct title.

  • Mr. Pedantic

    Not to be nit-picky, but shouldn’t the headline read “Whom Are You Writing For?”

  • Daniel Scocco

    You guys are correct indeed, this passed my editorial eye 🙂 . I just fixed it.

  • wontha

    pls help for my english

  • Najmuddin

    Doesn’t “Who are you writing for?” sound correct? (just like “who are you waiting for?” used in everyday usage).
    Please correct me if I am wrong.

  • Daniel Scocco

    Najmuddin, it sounds correct because many people use it incorrectly.

    On the sentence mentioned, you are “writing for someone,” so that someone is the object of the sentence.

    The objective form is whom, while who is the subjective one.

  • margery smith

    when I studied English grammar in the 50’s ‘For whom are you writing’ was the correct form.

  • vumanhtuong

    i can’t understan when everyone speaks E because they speak quickly

  • mochamad imail

    this is my problem to know more about how to write to the right target. I just write my article in my blog i never think first about to whom i write i means about my style of writing. I just write, write and write in my style (coz i ‘m still new in writing especially in english ). What i think is how to make it easy to read and to understand. that’s all… Success 4 all. GBU

  • Denise fedorchuk

    Q: how is it used with “to” as opposed to “for”? Is it correct to write “to whom are you addressing”? in a formal message?

  • Denise fedorchuk

    Q2: re: previous) is it correct to write:

    “To whom WERE you addressing”?
    “To whom were you speaking”
    “Who were you addressing in this photograph.”
    “Who were you addressing when this photograph was taken”?

  • Tracy

    The problem is that the grammar rules were based on Latin, not English. In Latin, you really cannot end a sentence with a preposition. In English, there is not reason not to . Turning a sentence into a pretzel to avoid ending it in a preposition is an archaic practice and the silliness of it may have been best illustrated by Churchill when he wrote, “This is the sort of bloody nonsense up with which I will not put.”

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