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The Greeting: James’s Simple How-To of Writing to Your Target Audience

Award-winning writer Kathy Widenhouse has helped hundreds of nonprofits and writers produce successful content and has gained 600K+ views for her writing tutorials. She is the author of 9 books. See more of Kathy’s content here.

An online devotional for writers

A Word From The Word

I am writing to the “twelve tribes”—Jewish believers scattered abroad. (James 1:1, NLT)

A Word To Writers

A simple how-to of writing to your audience is this: fill in the blank.

As in, “I am writing to ….”

The Greeting: a simple how-to for writing to your target audience. An online devotional for writers based on James 1:1 with Word Wise at Nonprofit Copywriter

Why is this important? Because when you identify your target reader clearly, you can direct your content to that person, his situation, and his needs.

James gives us a beautiful little model to follow in the first line of his letter: “I am writing to …”

Then he identifies his readers clearly: Jewish Christians who were scattered away from Jerusalem. 

These are folks who had born into Jewish families (they were members of the “twelve tribes”) but had become followers of Jesus. It is likely that James had pastored some of them. Yet one thing or another – Roman occupation, trade, persecution – had driven many of them into other countries.

James directed his letter to these believers so they could stay connected to others in the faith. It was practical. It was useful. It is filled with godly principles and truth for Christian living packaged in way that they needed in their situation. 

His readers knew they couldn’t keep the letter to themselves because James had clearly stated who was to read it. So, the Jewish believers passed along the letter from town to town, house church to house church, all across Palestine. 

Use James’s simple how-to of writing to your audience as a self-check to direct your writing project to a specific audience. Scribble the sentence, “I am writing to …” on a sticky note, fill in the blank, and post it on your desk or computer screen.

It will help you target your content. Which will help your readers.

A Wise Word

Direct your writing project to a specific audience.

A Word To Pray

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for your Word, which meets my every need. Help me clearly identify the audience for my writing project. Let my words meet their needs.

In Jesus’s name, Amen.

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