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Als freiberuflicher Autor ist es immer wichtig, für Ihr Publikum zu schreiben. Deshalb müssen Sie sich fragen:

Welche Sprache sprechen sie?

Oh, wait, could you not read that? Being an English-language author in an English speaking country with an English domain, selling English-language fiction books, it’s unlikely much, if any, of my audience is German! Although, I do have two or three fans that do speak German, and I’ve studied enough of the language to know enough to get by. I certainly can’t hold any deep meaningful conversations in German, and I can’t write it well enough to translate my books into German. The latter is a disappointment after studying German for six years, but anyway….

This article isn't to bash other languages. I know English, German, Latin and I started studying Russian as a challenge. This is about knowing your audience so that you attract and keep the right people on your website.


But, with this example, I’m merely illustrating a point.


As a freelance writer, it’s always important to write for your audience. Therefore, you need to ask yourself:


  • What language do they speak?
  • Who would be interested in the content?
  • If I’m using measurements, what’s the most common type of measurement used in that country?
  • If it’s not American English, which English do they speak? Are there any different spellings? Different words? Different terms? Slang?


My Biggest Pet Peeve is Measurements


This is where I find the most errors. I’ll be browsing my news feed. My phone is set to English. I’m registered in the US.

This tiny home is 3 by 5 METERS!

So, it’s 3 by 5 feet? I’m in the US. We use feet, yards, acres and inches. We use centimeters to a lesser extent, and that’s the ONLY meter thing we use, and I’m guessing most people in the US couldn’t tell you how many centimeters are in an inch. I’m sure I used to know it. I don’t anymore. That’s how little we use them.

However, the first thing I think when I see anything with meters in it is that it wasn’t written for a US audience. Why is it on my feed? My news feed obviously made a mistake, and the writer was LAZY. There, I said it. Whoever wrote this article was lazy and didn’t take the time to figure out WHO might be viewing their article.

When I write an article, and I think maybe someone who doesn’t use my measurements might read it, I put in the most common measurements. This means that I’ll put in feet and meters. If I really have no idea what measurements the intended audience might use, I put them all in, or at least as many as I can remember or research.

Why do I do that?

Because the editor can either leave all those measurements in or delete the ones that aren’t used. What they don’t have to do is all the conversions. Also, it means that whoever reads my article doesn't have to LEAVE THE PAGE to go do the conversions. Once someone leaves your website, they may not return, and you’ve probably just annoyed the shit out of them. They may also get offended that their measurements were not used. In that case, they may click that happy little button in their news feed that says – Never show this to me again! Do you want them to do that? I doubt you do.

Using the Wrong Language or Version of the Language

This is more common in videos than in print. You should 100% know the language of the intended audience, and you can either write it or you can’t, and if you can’t, you’re not the right writer. I tend to write American English, British English and Canadian English. Those are the three versions of English I know.

Of course, you don’t see this much in print. I mean, if you’re going to a German domain, the site is in German. I recently had to go to a Swedish site to get some information. It was written in Swedish, and I expect it to be written in Swedish. Thankfully, it can be translated. There’s a button that shows up. You click it, and it gets turned into English. That’s easy.

The problem is usually videos. If your TV is set to English. The app is set to English, and the channel is ENGLISH, the whole thing should be English. They track this stuff. They KNOW what language the viewer is watching it in. So, you’re watching your show, and all of a sudden, a commercial comes on. It’s not in English. In fact, it’s not in a language you’ve ever deliberately listened to ever anywhere. You’ve never in your life studied that language! Yet, there it is in the middle of the channel you were listening to. Someone screwed up. I mean, the best-case scenario is that someone screwed up. The worst-case scenario is that they don’t want any people speaking your language in the store.

My most recent favorite was turning on the English language old horror movie channel. It was playing Dracula. Excellent. I love vampire movies. I bet you didn’t know that. So, I turn it on. Walk back to my computer. I have to have background noise in my current house. It just is what it is. I can’t wait to move so that I can go back to silence, but anyway.

So, I have my vampire movie on.

Tyhftyt jgijtiorhgrtjkh jioretjeirojtrieo rjtoeidtjriehtger

rejeidtygjreio tjiorejtiroe rejiotejtioger tejoitjiore

What the hell is that? What is that noise? It should be playing some old back-and-white Dracula.

I sigh. Grumble. Curse. Walk back into the TV room. It’s the wrong Dracula. I check the channel. Set to English. App. Set to English. Channel – ENGLISH. This movie is not in English. I switch it to something else. Again – they didn’t know the audience or chose to ignore it. Either way, it’s bad.

Why Should You Write for Your Intended Audience

So that they come back for more and don’t leave your site because they’re not the targeted audience, and it’s obvious they aren’t. The whole way to get more traffic and sales and revenue is to make sure you’ve dialed the audience in, and it goes beyond knowing what your targeted audience likes and dislikes. Make sure you get the semantics right. Use the right language or version of that language. Use the right measurements. Use the right slang. Use the right spellings. If you get it right, that person will be back for more, and they may tell their friends. If you get it wrong, they may never be back.