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Blogging 101, Day Six: Write to Your Dream Reader

Today’s Assignment: publish a post for your dream reader, and include a new-to-you element in it.

Welcome to Blogging U! This course isn't currently active, but you can learn more about what we offer and register for upcoming courses on the BU home page.

Time to put your writing caps back on, and start honing your blogging focus.

We often create posts hoping that someone in particular will see (and appreciate) our work. Today, publish a post for that person — whether they’re a real-life figure or not — and stretch your blogging chops as you do.

Today’s Assignment: publish a post for your dream reader, and include a new-to-you element in it.

Why do this?

  • Because writing with a specific reader in mind is a great way to focus your thoughts.
  • Because exploring new elements (photos, audio, video) and post styles (short, long, poetry, Q&A) adds more tools to your storytelling toolbox.
  • Because publishing different types of posts and media adds visual interest — and white space that makes text easier to read on-screen. And when your posts are easier to read, more people read ‘em.

Even if you’re simply blogging to have a place to practice writing, there’s someone you’re hoping will read. Maybe it’s your dad, so he’ll finally understand your life choices. Maybe it’s the head of Random House, so she’ll skyrocket you into literary limelight. Whether serious, frivolous or purely hypothetical, focus on your dream reader and write a post — about anything — aimed at him or her.

This doesn’t need to be the Greatest Blog Post of 2014 — it can be on any topic at all. The key is to keep your dream reader in mind as you write, and see how that influences what you create.

In your post, include one new kind of element. If you’re a photo blogger, try add context to your images with some haiku. If you’re a parenting blogger, add a photo. If you’re discussing current events, embed the tweets of other folks chatting about the same topic. If you’re an Instragram or Pinterest user, embed one of your own shots or some pins. Embed a song that resonates with what you’re posting about, or a map of a place mentioned in your post.

Trying something new brings an interesting twist to your blog, and thinking about what you post from a different angle is a useful exercise for any blogger. And the more tools you have at your disposal as a blogger, the more effectively you can tell your story.

Here are embed instructions for WordPress.com bloggers:

Before you hit “publish,” make sure you’ve added the zerotohero tag to your post — it’s the easiest way to make sure other participants can find you. (Still not sure how to add tags? Read this.)

Questions? Hit us, or share your works-in-progress in The Commons.

Editor’s Note: Using The Commons and feeling overwhelmed by new post notifications? If you’re following the Commons, head to https://wordpress.com/following/edit/ to modify your settings. Find the 101 Commons and click “Edit” — you’ll be able to turn notifications off entirely, or choose to receive them as daily or weekly digests.

 

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  1. Oooooh! Very interesting. :). Would like to try this one.

    Oh! Question though! I missed the sign-ups for 101 since I only knew about it today. Can I just join in? I’m a new blogger and would like to try these things! :P.

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    1. Hey, what are those “moving pictures” in your blog? Sorry, but I’m not sure what they’re called :(…and how do I get them? Thanks.

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      1. Hi there! They are called GIF’s! :). You can simply Google the word and I’m sure you’ll find tons and tons of pages with GIF’s! :).

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    2. Another question.. and I know others are struggling with this is well. How do we enlarge and move around a gif?

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  2. Thanks, this is a wonderful idea. I often find that I write quite organically when I’m writing emails to my friends, but once I try to write for an abstract audience, my thoughts can get watered down or even overwritten.

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  3. This is a great assignment! One of the purposes of my blog is for my dream reader to enjoy my posts. My dream reader is in the blog title: http://homeless2harvard.com. I’m still looking for tips on how to improve the overall design. I added an “About me” section last night, as requested. Thanks for reading and for the tips!

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    1. You have an astounding story, and you are so right to share it with the world. I also love your URL because right away I knew what I was going to be learning about.

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      1. Thank you Liz! I was so nervous about putting everything online that it took me over a year to really get going. Glad you like it and please, everyone, feel free to share!

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    2. Loving your blog! So much so you are the first one I have followed 🙂 Keep going, from what I’ve read so far I know you will hit your goals, motivate others and change the world for the better!

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  4. Who am I writing for? I guess first of all I’m writing for myself. I am writing anonymously about a personal crisis. I am writing to help myself heal and get a better perspective on love and life and perhaps myself. It helps crystallize my thoughts.

    Secondly, I’m hoping someone else going through a similar crisis can get some comfort from knowing that someone else has gone through what they are struggling with. My very first post was about this: http://humpingheart.wordpress.com/2014/04/03/story-so-far/

    Other than that, I really don’t know… I guess I’m writing for whoever is reading!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. If I write an article and put it on my blog do I link it to this page like I do with other writing challenges, or just use zero to hero as a tag.

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  6. Fabulous idea, Michelle – and, were it not for the fact that I am having a five week break from blog-writing, I would, as the old saying goes, be in like Flynn!

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  7. I joined this challenge a little while back not knowing i would be in the hospital so I am 6 assignments behind. supposed i will just wait for the next one 🙂 i have been reading and looking at alot of the posts on here for this challenege…we certainly have some amazing people in this world of ours….great job everyone its been a pleasure reading today

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  8. I have just closed my eyes again. Climbed aboard the “dream reader” train. Driver send the readers to my blog. And leave some comments behind.

    Ooooh, Dream Reader, I believe you can get me through the night!
    Ooooh, Dream Reader, I believe we can reach the morning light!

    Okay.. sure it isn’t “Call Me Maybe,” but I’m sure there’s a few of you who still remember “Dream Weaver” and Wayne’s World!

    Anywho, assignment six is in the bag and I’d love to hear your thoughts on my eclecticism. Ha!

    http://www.leftcoastbydesign.ca/2014/04/zero-to-hero-dream-reader/

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  9. I never really started writing with an ideal reader in mind: I just wanted to tell stupid stories about my housemates. So, I elected to write a post directed at my current readers, to whom I apologized yesterday for fussing about with themes. I also told them if I changed a theme they’d really liked, I’d draw them a unicorn in a bowler hat.
    So today I drew a unicorn in a bowler hat. And here it is:

    http://annabelmcquade.wordpress.com/2014/04/20/sorry-guys/

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  10. I’m very new to WordPress, and would like to try all the Blogging 101 exercises, but I can’t find the posts. I’ve looked for a way to search with no luck. Help?

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  11. I love beauty and makeup and everything related. I also love how photography can complement a beauty blog post beautifully. I would love to become a big beauty blogger, making connections with brands and reviewing their products. Today I have created a beauty post that I think this kind of audience would love. I have also added an easter theme seeing as it is easter! So if you love beauty, makeup, nail varnish etc and appreciate good photography.. or even if you don’t enjoy these things I’d love for you to take a look and let me know what you think!
    http://whatsasssays.wordpress.com/2014/04/20/chocolate-and-nail-varnish-what-more-could-a-girl-want/
    Sass x

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    1. Don’t fret fellow blogger friend!! Think of these recent assignments as stretching for the big marathon! They are mixing it up and getting our creative juices flowing..

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