By in Writing

Writing for Different Types of Readers

As all of us who write online know, the Internet attracts different kinds of readers.

This fall I've been blogging mainly at Blogjob. (For a while that site was trying to recruit new bloggers, and I'd posted a referral link youall could use to get paid for blog posts too. The recruitment period ended. The door is now closed. They cap the number of posts and interactions bloggers can get paid for doing per day, and the number of bloggers who can use the site, in order to have enough money to pay everybody...unlike Bubblews.)

Blogjob is a Wordpress-hosted site, and Wordpress does a lot to help bloggers who want to publicize business efforts. If you sign up for the appropriate programs they'll prompt you to use the right number of keywords to maximize discoverability through search engines. This attracts the kind of readers who are not looking for something to read, or for a connection with you personally, but for something to buy. If you're launching a business this is probably the kind of readers you want.

Some of us are most interested in building and publicizing our writing skills, more than in marketing a product. I write about books, and I sell books, but I've never sat down and worked out a plan to market the newest books, or the books I most enjoyed, or the books whose authors are paying me to publicize their work (none of them ever has), or the books I think everybody ought to read, or even the books that will help people understand my belief system. I'm all about the general idea that writing is work for which people should be paid. The books I've been ready to sell first have been the ones that I didn't want to keep, but didn't want to burn either--the ones that somebody out there could use--and the book reviews I've posted reflect that. Their purpose is more to keep my blogs active than to sell more copies of books that, in some cases, I actually unloaded twenty years ago. My primary target audience is writing clients and publishers.

Some people who write online are more interested in maintaining connections with friends, as revealed in Coral Levang's post:

Persona Paper does seem to be set up to help this type of writers and readers find one another. This is a beautiful thing.

As mentioned in my comment on that post...I'm an introvert. When I have some sort of painful but minor and temporary symptoms, unless they include a few degrees of fever , it doesn't occur to me to write or talk about them. Maybe a note in a private diary just in case they turn into something more serious...but my general rule is "Sprains, burns, bruises, etc., are boring; people like me will tolerate one mention of them, by way of an explanation for not doing something, but they certainly wouldn't want to read page after page about them."

Though of course people can always act contrary to their natural tendency. On sites that pay people for socializing, I do read page after page about e-friends' minor symptoms, and what they had for breakfast, and the thoughts that go through their heads while they're waiting, because they're my e-friends and I want them to get their fair share of pennies for their trouble. I don't think those are their best posts, don't "plus" them or add them to Link Logs, but I do read them. Even while thinking "Advertisers are paying for this? Well, maybe...a company that sells home medical supplies..."

I care about my a very introverted sort of way. In real life I'm definitely not the sort of friend people call to chat with about their everyday minor symptoms. (I am the one they can call if their ankles aren't making progress as expected, if there are "complications" of residual pain in their hips or backs or wherever, because I took the specialized training to be able to Erase Pain of that kind.) I'm the sort of friend people could stay with for a few months if they became homeless, and the sort who would sit with them and focus intensely on every little symptom if they were in the hospital...but my introvert brain just doesn't grok that "other people are nearby, so that somehow makes things better, even though they don't need to do anything in particular to help" thought process. Except when I have a fever, in which case not only does "My teeth feel more sensitive" seem interesting, but so does daytime television, because knitting and reading the newspaper seem strenuous.

For me, reading everything one person writes at a low-pay-per-view site is Doing Something for a Friend--a tiny act of love I'm able to do occasionally, after doing everything I can do towards paying my bills with Real Work. That's probably a small niche of readers, but it definitely does exist in cyberspace. People who can't afford to buy John Grisham's new book, even though they like him, can afford to read the things we post at the social sites that pay for views and comments. And they will. While wishing they could do more for us.

Because e-friends are a small niche within the total reading market, all the how-to-write, how-to-blog advice out there tends toward "Don't waste time writing for your close friends and relatives! Write for one or more of the larger niches that pay!"

Nevertheless...e-friends do care, and they do count. So it's nice that there are social sites like Persona Paper where e-friends can relax, stop worrying about links and keywords and target market demographics, and just connect.

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LeaPea2417 wrote on December 9, 2015, 4:34 PM

Does a person have to be recruited to join Blogjob , or can they just search it online and sign up?

RuthCox wrote on December 9, 2015, 5:25 PM

I don't publish on BlogJob but know several who do so I do visit and comment on their work occasionally. I do whatever time permits to help my friends earn online. And I do enjoy the atmosphere here at PersonaPaper, which is why I am working to get more steady with my article publications here. I enjoy the interaction with others, like minds, and meeting different people. Variety may well be the spice of my life, ha!

cmoneyspinner wrote on December 9, 2015, 5:50 PM

I very much agree with you. eFriends matter.

Paulie wrote on December 10, 2015, 3:07 AM

I too am an introvert and completely agree with your writing philosophy about social media sites like Persona Paper. Perhaps this is why it is so difficult and at times frustrating for me to write and interact on social media.

PriscillaKing wrote on January 8, 2016, 2:45 PM

People can search online, but won't be allowed to sign up until more funding is available. Membership closes and reopens. Some people who joined last year had been waiting for a year or more to be able to join.

When new members *are* accepted, each one can boost another Blogjobber's earning quota by 40% by naming that person as the referrer. When I signed up, the system somehow ignored the referrer's link. I posted an in-house comment to ensure that she got her points and boost.

PriscillaKing wrote on January 8, 2016, 2:48 PM

I hadn't thought of that as a problem with social media, though, myself. Facebook wants too much information, Google + and Tsu use too many graphics for a laptop computer to handle, and Twitter moves so fast I seem to miss most of what goes on...but they do make it easy to control the amount of interaction one does.

Paulie wrote on January 8, 2016, 11:07 PM

Persona Paper is definitely a social site for e-friends who care. I enjoyed reading this post very much!

crowntower wrote on January 17, 2016, 11:01 PM

True... but hopefully you cancome back now and share your thoughts often with us. I pray that you can enjoy more of your time and your life as day goes by. I have lots of dreams and plans to be with my friends and family, and travel the world, I am a person who does not go out of our house and mingle with my neighborhood but I am a girl who wants to go far and see other people with the same hopes and dreams like me, and encourage one another to be the best of what we can be i the near future. Dream more, live more! Aja (korean language means "fighting" or Keep going) and to Christ be the glory in everything we do, we all destined to be happy and explore the world and enjoy it with our family and friends and share it with our e-friends as well.