Whether you have a website or are blogging, you need to know who is going to be interested in what you are offering. Corporations often hire consultants who build virtual customers, complete with a life story, profession, income level, family status and clothing preferences. They give each virtual customer a name and marketing is then targeted towards that particular customer.
You can do the same thing. Build 2-3 virtual visitors to your site. For example, here is a person I built for my business site:
Karen is a 40 year old graphic designer who is often asked by her clients to build a complete website. She would rather work with a dedicated professional to do the work and just handle the design and project management herself. She works out of a home office, has 2 school age children and is married. She worked in the corporate world for about a decade before deciding to start her own business and has been in operation for 5 years. She’s not interested in learning how to do all of the cutting edge things, but wants an overview of what is available so she can take it into consideration when designing a site and pitching a project.
With 2-3 of these kinds of virtual or ideal customers I can target the content of my website directly towards attracting all those Karens out there. This is especially useful in blogging; keeping a particular person in mind as you write will help give your posts personality and make them easier to write.
Feel free to share your virtual reader in the comments.