Because the Irish author, James Joyce, was nearly blind, he wrote the majority of the novel, Finnegan’s Wake, laying on his back, in bed, with a blue crayon. John Steinbeck, author of many classic novels including Of Mice and Men would always keep exactly 12 sharpened pencils at his desk while writing. Whether it was because of medical reasons or superstition, these famous writers were able to compose some of the most influential literature of all time.

You may not be writing a novel, but there are important lessons we can learn from history’s best authors about writing in today’s technological environment.

In an earlier blog post, I discussed the importance of quality content for the purpose of business expansion. This week. I’m revisiting the topic in a two part series explaining how businesses can tackle the issue of producing influential content from scratch.

Part one will outline the meaning of Audience, writing with Voice and Tone, and how each theme can be used as a tool to create engaging content for businesses.


An audience is made up of individuals whom are the target of businesses’ editorials. Different businesses have different audiences. Competition is created when audiences between businesses begin to overlap. In this case, the business with the most effective and focused editorials will produce the most engagement with the individuals in that particular audience.

Editorials Examples

  • Social Media
  • Blog Posts
  • Advertisements
  • Newsletters
  • Webinars
  • Business Website
  • Sale emails
  • Client emails
  • Reports

The above list are examples of different forms of editorials businesses often send out to either influence audience participation or communicate with clients. It’s important to understand that different editorials can be used to target different audience members.

I won’t get into the importance of each particular editorial in this blog, but if you are interested in learning more about the impact of social media, blogs, or quality content check out some of these blogs.

The Psychology of Facebook UsersTo Pin or Not to PinInsert Creative Content Here Building Brand Recognition on Snap ChatDo You Have the Edge?The Power of Writing Blogs

How to Define Your Audience

Editorials are tools to reach your audience, but certain editorials will resonate more with certain individuals. Making this connection becomes the next step in discovering your audience. Before we move on, I want to make it clear that one business may have more than one audience.

Audience Example

Pew Research Center conducted a survey, Demographics of Key Social Networking Platforms, telling us that 42 percent of internet users that visit Pinterest are women compared to only 13 percent of men. Knowing these percentages, a Home Furniture Store could utilize Pinterest to post pictures of home décor that would interest female buyers. This would produce more engagement with the businesses’ female audience.

If we continue this example, our Home Furniture Store does some research and finds in an article, blog readership demographics – investigating the world’s top blogs, finding that 25-35 age group are the most active readers of the world’s most popular blogs. Another study, The Average Age of First-Time Home Buyers, says that the average age of a first-time home buyer is 31-34 years old.

Using this data, our Home Furniture Store puts a blog page on their website, which discusses new styles of furniture and affordable options for young adults looking to decorate their homes.

In this example, the Home Furniture Store has taken multiple steps to target and engage with specific audiences.

  1. They understood the services and products they provide
  2. They conducted research to find key demographics to which they could reach out
  3. Using their research, they chose two separate editorials to target each specific audience


If you’ve ever had to writing anything, one of the most intimidating sights to see is a blank word document staring back at you. Writing poses a lot of challenges for those who have been assigned the task of creating content. We often find ourselves asking questions like, how should this post sound? How long should this blog be? Should it be funny or serious? Can I use this word? Our friends Mr. Joyce and Mr. Steinbeck from earlier would struggle with the same questions. However, there are ways businesses can help their writers.

Voice and Tone

It’s important to understand that each and every business has a voice. Any form of editorial distributed by a business reflects the goals, personality, and intelligence of each individual in that particular business. This is why creating a unified voice and tone enables businesses to create coherent and influential content.

What a Beautiful Voice You Have!

The difference between voice and tone is subtle, but different enough to change the content in an editorial. A businesses’ voice is comparable to a personality. A human’s personality is made up of ideas like morals, abilities, or communication skills. Similarly, different businesses will have different company goals, they will each offer their own unique service, and each will use communication differently.

A businesses’ voice reflects these fundamental ideologies of the individuals involved with the structure of that business.

Don’t You Take that Tone with Me!

When we venture into the tone of a business, an easy way to think of it is like a person speaking to different audiences. When a person speaks to their close friends they will use different words and phrases then if they were speaking at a graduation. Tone changes to enforce the message of the company. Facebook posts have the ability to contain more fun content, while blogs can be more informational. Each editorial retains the personality of the business, but different editorials will allow for more or less leeway for content.

Wrap Up

I’m going to bring part one of this blog to an end by tying together the three terms we discussed. Competition is generated by the shared audiences of business. This creates the need for influential content. Focusing on specific audiences will create more engagement with your content. Make writing easy by defining your businesses voice and how you can use different editions to express your tone.

In Part Two, I’ll discuss specific steps and exercises businesses can do to develop a Voice and Tone.