Your Ideal Reader

Take a deep breath and in a moment, I’m going to ask you to close your eyes and do a quick visualization exercise:

Think about your ideal reader, your ideal customer, and your ideal web traffic visitor. Imagine what they are like, the problems that they have, the demographics and psychographics they have in common, and really consider for a moment how you can help them the most.

Many experts begin writing an article with the hopes to communicate a message or a string of thoughts and concepts with very little regard for how their words will be perceived and received by their ideal reader. Instead, you must begin thinking about your ideal reader’s needs, pains, problems and the solutions you can offer them.

Imagine the positive expression on the face of thousands of readers who are each reading your article having a 1:1 experience with you as they consume your written word as it translates to their world (and not yours). While keyword research does help give you some intelligence about what your target marketing is searching for, there are times when you must go beyond that to answer your readers unspoken needs, wants and desires.

Who’s your ideal reader/client/prospect/web traffic visitor?



RE: Getting in touch with your ideal reader

Some of the ways I get in touch with my ideal reader is ask myself a few NEGATIVE questions…

What is their pain?
How does it make them feel?
How does that make their spouse feel?
How has that impacted their family?
Has that impacted their income?
How’s that impacted their life in general

Then I ask questions wrapped around their SOLUTION.
How would their life be different with a Solution?
How would that make them feel?
How would that make their spouse feel?
How would that change their family?
Would that improve their life in other ways?

Thanks for the EzineBlog, it’s great!

Comment provided May 3, 2007 at 3:58 PM


Neill Neill writes:

You said:

“Many experts begin writing an article … with very little regard for how their words will be perceived and received by their ideal reader. Instead, you must begin thinking about your ideal reader’s needs, pains, problems and the solutions you can offer them.”

I like to think of myself as an expert who writes good articles to connect with my ideal reader, although I have not submitted much to EzineArticles yet.

But sometimes a subtle change in wording can make a big differece. The quote above makes the point. You say, “You must begin thinking…”
That turned me off immediatly. You’re not talking to me, because I always begin by thinking about my ideal customer and you’re telling me to sart.

WAIT! I added the word “by” to make, “begin BY thinking…” If that’s what you meant, then all is well and you are aknowledging me and suporting those who are just beginning as well.

the little word “by” made all the difference.


Comment provided May 3, 2007 at 4:12 PM


Susan Scharfman writes:

I love this. It fits in with what I am now working on.

Comment provided May 3, 2007 at 5:11 PM


Thad writes:

Hey Chris,
I am glad to see you putting that Tony robbins seminar to work good usuage

Comment provided May 3, 2007 at 5:30 PM



Thad – What Tony Robbins observation am I missing?

Comment provided May 3, 2007 at 7:38 PM


Lance Winslow writes:

I disagree. After years of experience I disagree that trying to profile your ideal customer is wise. I think it is a mistake, in some businesses a million dollar mistake. I think if more people did exit surveys of customers that it would open their eyes from this closed eye thought process. I have too many numerous experiences to buy into this concept on an absolute basis. Those are my sincere thoughts.

Here are my happy merrily go along with all the people so they can fell all warm and fuzzy and all agree with such a pleasant concept:

What a great idea, more people should do this. Great concept, wow, this is brilliant, yes, it makes so much sense, wow God Bless you and the world and hallullah!

I can debate either side, but would warn people to think about this a little more deeply. Unless you are running for office and giving a specific speech to a specific group of people, knowing there are no TV cameras in the room broadcasting it. And really the internet does not work that way. If you profile too closely, you lose the rest.

Unless you write one article for all your different targets, but realize in doing so some will reading articles meant for others and vice-versa. Your best client in online marketing is the one who will pay you for your wares or services.

Comment provided May 3, 2007 at 9:53 PM


Jan Verhoeff writes:

This is perhaps the most incredulous idea I’ve ever read… Think of what the customer needs???

Oh – wait, that’s what I’ve been telling my marketers… Wow, Chris, you must have read the Godiva Chocolate comment and realized I was talking to Chocolate lovers…

I’m going back to my corner and eat my dark chocolates…


Comment provided May 3, 2007 at 11:03 PM



Lance your point is well taken that you do not want to act like a politician by trying to be all things to all people – for instance, writing with a southern drawl.

At the same time, any of my students, both in article writing/marketing and private practice marketing have wasted a great deal of time, effort and money in the past writing and creating products that THEY thought were great, only to find that THEY were the only ones who thought it was a great article or product.

The great art of article writing is finding the sweet spot where telling your truth and what the reader want/needs to know and learn intersect.

There is a seldom used yet powerful technique that helps any writer to find this sweet spot. It is over 2000 years old, and was used often by Socrates, among others. Get your pens and keyboards out boys and girls, cuz this is ancient and powerful and complex.

Ready? Here it comes –


That’s it – ASK.

Uh oh, this is an awful long post. Ya know, this could turn into a …………….

Comment provided May 4, 2007 at 7:37 AM


Jan Verhoeff writes:

Uh oh – I can see it now… 47 new articles from Jeff on the art of asking…


Let’s see…

How to market your business with the rich taste of Godiva Chocolates?

What does Dark Chocolate have to do with Decadent Marketing?

Who eats Chocolate? Do they Market?

I have four new articles to write and post – bye


Comment provided May 4, 2007 at 7:45 AM



Jan – Decadent Marketing – love it – go buy the domain name!

Comment provided May 4, 2007 at 8:07 AM


Jan Verhoeff writes:

I own it —


Comment provided May 4, 2007 at 8:41 AM



I have a confession to make. I never do visualizations. I never close my eyes when people tell me to. However, I LOVE IT when Chris talks marketing. I’ve never been to a Tony Robbins seminar – but I was taught these principles in college. I support the target audience profile 200%.

I have to disagree with Lance in the below statement. At least I think I’m disagreeing. Maybe after I write this I’ll figure out that I’m actually agreeing.

Lance Said: “And really the internet does not work that way. If you profile too closely, you lose the rest.”

Actually, the internet DOES work that way. You’re marketing to the world. So now you get your pick of people to talk to. Who, out of everyone in THE WORLD, do you want to develop a good relationship with? Sorry, you can’t have everyone in one place.

You’ll have to be one thing to one set of people on one website, and another to another set of people in another. But you can’t be two different things in one place – because if you are, everyone who comes to that place will become confused about what you’re saying. No one will think that you have any convictions. And people without convictions appear weak. Nobody follows weaklings. And there you go.

I’m OBSESSED with being categorical – and this is why I LOVE the web. With every niche whom you plan to market to, you’re supposed to create a target audience profile and creative platform around those demographics and psychographics. If article marketing is your weapon of choice, then the next step is devising an article marketing campaign that speaks to that audience, in the way that Mr. Knight described above.

What I’m saying is – yes, I support target audience development. If you’re not targeting, you’re not marketing.

Comment provided May 4, 2007 at 9:49 AM




You know what I love most about blogs & blogging?

That the comments are sometimes better than the original blog entry that started the thread.

The Tony Robbins references are most likely referencing the use of Transformational Vocabulary (something I believe in) and NLP. My certification from Tony is in Neuro Associative Conditioning, but that’s not saying a whole lot… as application is everything and understanding without action is nothing.

The Irony:

I was just thinking about how crazy it was for me to ask you to close your eyes and imagine your ideal customer/reader because that’s contradictory to the keyword research movement that scientifically attempts to understand what the customer/reader is looking for.

The Difference:

Is that YOU alone choose who your ideal reader or customer is going to be like. The market doesn’t even have to agree with your choice…but the market always votes with their wallet and time investment.

Comment provided May 4, 2007 at 10:26 AM



Hi Chris

Can I open my eyes yet?

Comment provided May 4, 2007 at 10:32 AM


Thad writes:

Of course, but what I am really excited about is the new “Relationship” category.
I always knew that it deserved its own category and that it was somehow misplaced in News and Society but traffic is traffic so it wasnt really worth sing my energy for. However, just when I am about to past tthe Don Diebel for the #1 spot in Dating I wake up and discover several knew categories along with “Relationship” finally being on the front page. I cant help but imagine that my writing of articles did more to create the new catagories than me complaining about it could have ever done and the beauty is it doesnt even matter. Well that is my rant for today time to start writing some more articles my goal is 7 a day for the month of May

Comment provided May 4, 2007 at 10:59 AM




Busted, you caught us adding a new category before we could tell the marketplace about it.

Jeff Herring gets the credit for “Relationships” becoming a new main category as he complained about it during a live teleclass.

…But I’m glad you agree that it should be a new main category.

Pssssst, we didn’t plan on telling anyone about this just yet, so give us a few days to move articles around into more appropriate sub-categories in the new “Relationship” section expansion.

Comment provided May 4, 2007 at 11:18 AM



Chris – “complain” is such a nasty sounding word………….

I would prefer “strongly, gently suggested” over and over again over time, and yes I did “mention it” when you spoke to one of my mentee groups, cuz they were holding a gun to my head……..

I’m just so glad you are moving that way – just let me know when I can let my world know and they’ll help you fill up your categories!


Comment provided May 4, 2007 at 11:41 AM


Thad writes:

Hey Jeff,
As an American Male I have issues with the whole kissing other men thing but if you were anywhere close to me I would give you a huge one on the lips and still would be thankful for you using your power of influence to get EzineArticles to create this new category even after you hit me.
Since we arent that close just want to say thanks and keep on squeaking the good fight us other wheels or at least this one really do appreciate it.

Comment provided May 4, 2007 at 12:05 PM



Thad – your welcome!

Now, how ’bout that Bears game!

Comment provided May 4, 2007 at 12:26 PM


Susan Scharfman writes:

Speaking of new categories, hope you’re adding stand-alone science too. Thanks

Comment provided May 4, 2007 at 12:36 PM


Susan Scharfman writes:

Hi Again: Vanilla Sky: Open Ur Eyes. (Don’t like Cruise but liked that movie) Hey, I still can’t log in member manager without getting the old email call letters, which it won’t accept. Help.

Comment provided May 4, 2007 at 4:08 PM


Ed Coet writes:

This is a useful article. Thank you.


Comment provided May 5, 2007 at 10:27 AM


William Bagley writes:

I find the statement below to be true .

Thinking about your ideal reader’s needs, pains, problems and the solutions you can offer them.

As to Your above quote: I was noticing most people are using the internet for finding solutions to their problems.

They want answers and often times in key word searches they type in a word related to thier problems, or solutions, and other emotional key words followed by the subject they are looking for.

It’s only commen sence to think of them as we right articles for the benifit of the reader, or you have no audience.

I didn’t know people where wrighting articles with out the readers perception in mind. maybe I don’t read enough articles. Thank for the post.

Comment provided May 10, 2007 at 6:53 AM



Hi Chris!

I think an article writer has to write for his ideal reader and client, and give him the information he wants to have. If he’ll be happy with the article he’ll read, he might be interested in the product we are offering him. Everything is intrinsically related.


Comment provided May 13, 2007 at 6:22 PM


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