Today's challenge is to PLAN a blog post for your target audience. If you don't have a blog, you can just as easily write it for a page on your website. This is a long challenge. Just plan it out today. You may get a first draft done, but don't post it. In fact, some of you might consider the challenge to be NOT posting it.
Before you start, get out the list you made on day one, about the attributes of your target market. (If you missed that post, go here.) These are the people you're writing this post to. What kind of post would they love to read?
This post you're going to write is for them, and it's also going to serve as a showcase of your writing. After they've read it, they'll know what they're going to get in your books. So consider what ties your books together, even if they're in different genres. Are they all romantic? edgy & nouveau? inspiring? family-oriented? fast-paced adventures? If you write non-fiction, consider your style of writing. Is it analytical? anecdotal? Whatever it is that is uniquely you that you put into all your books, that's your brand. You want to write a blog post that features that. Edgy posts, or family-oriented posts, inspirational posts or informative posts. That's your brand. And if you've described your target market correctly, they're people who like that kind of writing. That's what moves or interests or attracts them in a book.
This sounds complicated. Let me give you an example. John Locke is a high-selling self-published author on Amazon. He attributes much of his success to his blog posts, and he only writes 4-6 posts a year! But he works at them, he gears them to his target audience and at the end of the post, he subtly ties it to his books. He takes his time writing each post, and then he leaves it up to be read, instead of burying it under subsequent posts. It's another way of looking at blogging, for those who struggle with writing regular blog posts.
Locke describes his readers as "compassionate people...who have a sense of humor". "More than 70% are women" and most are "above age 50". "They mostly read to relax with a fast-paced, breezy read that makes them laugh out loud." He also describes the things about his writing style that they like. (From "How I Sold 1 Million e-Books in 5 Months," by John Locke)
Here is one of his posts. While you read it, notice the tone - sincere and personal. Notice how he's written it to appeal to the emotional triggers of his target readers, as I've listed them above. Notice that the content is timeless, so he can leave it up as long as he wants. Notice how he subtly ties in his book at the end so it seems a natural part of the post, not a tagged-on advertizement. Here's John Locke's blog post:
I don't suggest you write the same kind of post Locke has written, because your target readers might be completely different from his. (And you don't have to like his books to learn from him.)
But I do challenge you to take time over one post, to plan it out with the age, gender, intellectual/emotional triggers and interests of your target readers in mind, and maybe even to write a first rough draft.