Who should you write for? Your friends and family? Your colleagues and peers? The people you look up to? Everyone in the community? Everyone on the Internet?
The answer? None of those people. You should only write for one person and one person only: you.
Me? But who would read the things I write only for myself?
Well, you would. Or, more precisely, all the people who are a lot like you. People who are a good match to your interests, your ideas, your values, and who can, therefore, relate to your stories. And on the Internet, more people than you think might be a lot like you.
There are, roughly estimated, about 4.5 billion people online, of which about 25 % speak English. That’s around 1.125 billion potential readers. If only one out of a thousand people is a bit like you and enjoys the work you create just for yourself, that’s still more than a million people. Of course, you won’t reach them all. But the more they love what they read, the more likely it is that they tell someone who is also a lot like you.
So, the next time you start thinking about your audience and whether they might like what you are writing or not, or what you can do to appeal to as many of them as possible, try this: do it like Tim Urban and picture a stadium full of people who are just like you*. Would they like what you write? What would they like to have a discussion about? What would make them laugh? What would fascinate them? Would they care if your English not be perfect? Would they be angry if you made a spelilng error? (I mean, if they really would, go ahead and correct those errors, but you get the point.) And then, do it like Chris Coyier and “punt out a thought early rather than wait until [you] have some perfect way to present it.”
Someone just like you might like it, share it, mention it at a meetup or conference, and, most importantly, might connect with you. Because ultimately, all of this isn’t about clicks, visits, and likes. It’s about human connection and building relationships while we share a bit of time together on this little blue dot. Right, Miriam?
*This is just one of the many interesting topics Julian Shapiro and Courtland Allen talk about in their latest Brains podcast episode about writing with David Perell and Tim Urban.