Ask the Readers: Who Are You Writing For?

May 14, 2011

Here’s a topic I’ve been wondering about for a while now. If you write a blog, like most of you do, who are you writing for?

When I first started What Runs Lori (at the time, Run Lori Run), I wrote for an online journal of the trials and tribulations of my first marathon. I also wrote to post healthy recipes for recovery and real-food nutritional supplements to fuel my runs. This was mainly for myself and for my Team in Training teammates to read and gain information from.

Then I started reading other food blogs.

I was hooked.


Pure2Raw and Making Food and Other Stuff were two healthy living blogs that sparked my interest in this community of food blogging. From there I started reading more and more and writing more and more. Each time I posted something it was like a journal entry, sharing with whomever was out there my meals of the day, my miles of running logged, and my thoughts of the days prior.

Then you commented.

Well, maybe not you, but people commented. Getting just one comment from a “reader” was the most overwhelmingly wonderful feeling of connection. I felt alive! I felt like through all the typing, someone, anyone out there, was reading.

Each blog goes through many phases, topics and feels before coming to what really suits them as a person, a blog writer. Maybe you started writing about food and everything you ate yesterday but then you realized that you really like posting information about one topic: Baking. (or fitness, or story-writing, etc.)

It takes time to develop a writing style or even YOUR style. But that’s part of the fun of blogging. YOU get to chose. YOU get to experiment.

I write for you. I write because I love the feeling of connecting with other people through food and fitness, and really, just similar interests. I love that you comment and give me feedback on things. I enjoy making delicious, and sometimes odd, foods and I’m really enjoying taking pictures of them (something I used to feel so weird about). So, plain and simple, I write to hopefully inspire your way through a kitchen. 🙂

That leaves us to you. Ask the Reader: Who are you writing for? Who is your audience? Are you writing for yourself, just to get your thoughts out there? Are you writing for me, for the computer next to you in the coffee shop, for the reader? Are you writing to change the world one baked cookie at a time? Are you writing to inspire? To encourage? To get ’em fit?

Whatever your reason for writing out into the unknown land of the World Wide Web, who are you writing for?

If you don’t have a blog, what attracts you as a reader?

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Anne May 16, 2011 at 1:08 PM

I write for my clients and friends both near and far! 🙂 I love being a Lori Reader and am grateful you write for us!

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alyssa - fashion fitness foodie May 16, 2011 at 1:16 AM

Awesome post!! I write for my friends/family because they always ask me for my recipes, for advice on fashion/eating healthy and so many other things. Now they just say oh did you put this on the blog yet!? I first started writing after a friend introduced me to them in december. I was staying up til 330am every night reading them and could NOT pull away!! haha

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Monique May 15, 2011 at 7:00 PM

I like to think I write for myself 🙂 I started blogging because I am a writer and have always heard to be a good writer, you need to practice every day. Like anything, really.

Then reading all these healthy living blogs, I couldn’t help but join the party. That’s why I prob have 5 blogs or so ha 🙂 Now I like writing for readers, too. It’s a great feeling.

Keep doing what you do 🙂

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Rawxy May 15, 2011 at 6:50 PM

What a wonderful question! And, something I’ve never though much about. I think, for the most part, It’s a partnership – I stay true to myself when writing (i.e., dropping f bombs every now and again), but definitely am inspired and motivated by my readers to continue posting! Then again, readers or no readers, when times get rough, blogging can be a great release and/or outlet. So I guess, I blog for both my lovely readers (who have become more than just my readers – and more my friends) and myself.

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Tea-bag May 15, 2011 at 5:36 PM

I’ve started blogging for the connection I feel to other likeminded people. Sometimes it’s really hard to meet people that share my interests and love of food/exercise/nutrition. It can be so reaffirming to read that others feel the same way I do. Plus, how else would I look at 10,000 + versions of oatmeal! 🙂

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Pure2raw twins May 15, 2011 at 3:42 PM

we write to meet wonderful people like you!!!

love you girl

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Alisa Fleming May 15, 2011 at 2:24 PM

I’m not sure who I’m writing for anymore, which is a problem. I feel like I’m starting to write for the readers, which honestly, I think you always need to write for yourself. If you are writing simply for others than you are constantly trying to please others and give them what they want. I think the most attractive writers are the ones who stay true to themselves … whether on a simple blog or in a best-selling book.

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sapir May 15, 2011 at 11:27 AM

i have a blog, so i can understand what you are saying about the feeling of connection behind the words – the fact that someone was reading your post..
but i can say also, from a reader’s point of view, that i’m looking for some new-interesting-original posts. like yours 🙂

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Katie May 14, 2011 at 7:43 PM

I had no idea! Thank you so much for saying that, I am really shocked, actually.

I write for all the reasons you say, and just for the pure love of writing. I’ve found my voice in writing through blogging and it really does help balance my left brained science nerd tendencies. 🙂

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Chuck May 14, 2011 at 7:16 PM

I write for anyone who I can help. It’s amazing how many people have gone and are going through the same issues as me and it feels great to help

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Kelly May 14, 2011 at 1:31 PM

Excellent post!! I write for myself. Does that make me selfish? But it’s true. I write because I can’t sometimes keep it all in. I need an outlet and knowing that someone else will read it and someone will care makes what I have to say feel more important.

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Erika May 14, 2011 at 10:51 AM

I started blogging to connect with people who are as into eating and working out as I am…because no one I hang out with is and they don’t really ‘get it’. Plus blogging is an awesome outlet and it helps me stick to goals/track my progress!
Plus, if I never started blog reading I’d be missing out on soo many good recipes!

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Ela May 14, 2011 at 10:15 AM

This is such a spot-on, awesome post! It’s a question that I trundle around in my head all the time, and my recent ‘identity crisis’ post was about that too: the feeling that I’m not squarely a ‘foodie’ blogger but love to write about food, that I’m not sure if the fact I talk about poetry and writing craft puts off the foodies and the foodie stuff puts off the lit people…

You are so wise and acute in your expression of this. I love to think about audience and I feel that there is a tendency to assume that you need to have a ‘label’ in order to be able to attract an audience. You help me to see that that’s not true. I love to write and have interesting things to share on a variety of topics, and I love to tell stories for anyone interested. I love to start debate and ask questions about health, food, nutrition and also about literature and writing.

Oh, and I _love_ your food–I’m not a recipe follower but yours are some of the ones that I’m most likely to try out.
love
Ela

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Lauren @ WWoB May 14, 2011 at 9:06 AM

Is that the inspiration point sign in Santa Barbara?! I used to hike there often!!
I write for everyone, but my secret target group is college age/20’s. Misinformation about health and eating disorders is so common at this age that even making a minute dent in it is awesome.

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Sable@SquatLikeALady May 14, 2011 at 8:37 AM

I write for my readers!!! I LOVE the connection and the feel of inspiring and BEING inspired by others, and the sense of community.

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Lindsay Cotter May 14, 2011 at 8:23 AM

we seriously are on the same wave length! I was just thinking that! I write to connect, I write to vent, I write to encourage. I actually hate writing, but I love thinking. haha.

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Jenny (Fit Girl Foodie) May 14, 2011 at 7:15 AM

Great post Lori, I feel that I write for my audience too. I don’t have friends that are into fitness or eating healthy. It’s hard to feel normal when my friends live off fast food and I don’t eat that. I think of fried foods as a cheat meal not a staple. Sometimes I don’t feel supported in my eating habits so I made a blog to connect with other people that eat the same way I do. I love oatmeal, pb, fruits and veggies. It’s great to see other people who share that passion with me

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