Imagine you’ve just been in a car accident. An aggressive introduction, I know, but hear me out.  Now imagine explaining how you’ve just been in a car accident to your family. It would differ greatly compared to how you would explain the situation to your friends, right? You would put emphasis on certain details that might make the story much more exciting, whereas, you might leave out things that would otherwise worry your family members. Knowing which audience to appeal to is a key tactic in writing, and can greatly enhance your writing skills in general.

This line of thinking could apply to any number of concepts or ideas, but for writers it is absolutely necessary to ask yourself “Who am I writing for?” Are you attempting to appeal to one specific individual, a small audience, or to the entire internet? Does this person or crowd already have a vast knowledge in the field you’re covering, or are you explaining something new to them? All of these factors should play a role in how you write, and what you write.

When drafting emails, letters, or other direct forms of communication, it may be obvious who you are writing for. It’s much more likely that you’ll write more informally in this circumstance, but be careful. Consider the possibility that multiple people may be viewing this document. If there’s even the slightest chance that a person who you view from a professional standpoint may see your email or letter, write with that person in mind. Avoid slang and incomplete sentences, and maintain a certain amount of civility. The same can be said when creating reports, strategies, or marketing ideas within a company, for example. It is crucial to write with professionalism, as these pieces will more than likely be seen by corporate, or an executive board.

Basically, if something you write could be seen be the owner of the company you work for, you should write as if he/she is right there in the room with you.

Writing for a blog on the other hand, can be a little trickier, or easier, depending on your approach. This can be as formal or informal as you’d like considering your intended audience. The same questions can be asked beforehand when deciding on the tone of voice to use. Who are you writing for, and what are you writing about? Is your audience mostly experts, or beginners that need explanation? The great thing about writing for personal blogs is the freedom you have regarding the style of writing. However, if you’re aiming to grow a large following of readers, you may want to practice consistency, conciseness, and clarity for their convenience. A well written piece with just the right amount of flair in vocabulary can appeal to many people.

Before you sit down at your computer, or at your desk with a pen and paper, depending on your means of written material, always take into account the intended audience. Writing with a certain level of casualness can backfire in professional settings, and the opposite can be said for more informal settings. Knowing how to appeal to a crowd is essential when writing, and is a mutually beneficial method in all environments.