How to Win Over New Kinds of Readers

How to Win Over New Kinds of Readers

Reader Comments (52)

  1. Interesting analysis of readers 🙂 I’m not much cat, but a bit of everything else.

    My web magazine has a staff of 9.5 staff writers (9 humans + one “writer” whose articles will be ghostwritten by a number of different humans in order to provide a consistent brand to that article).

    I tried to build a heterogenous group, to avoid “groupthink” issues. We have writers from 3 different countries and a variety of backgrounds. Some are in their mid 20s, a few in our 30s, and a couple in their 40s.

    I allow each writer a lot of freedom with their styles, and I think that each writer appeals to a different mix of readers.

  2. Thanks, Sonia. I’d not heard of this 4MAT system before today. Do you think it’s best to appeal to all 4 types in each post, or write one post for each?

    Also, I’m surprised I haven’t seen more VIDEOS on CopyBlogger, since some people prefer to take in information through the eyes and ears. That’s another way of appealing to a different type of reader. (Wait, they wouldn’t be readers, then. Ah well, a different kind of audience.)

  3. Interesting concept. I can see my readers fitting in these through comments they leave. Valuable info I can definitely apply – thanks for sharing.

  4. Sonia, as usual your content was useful, informative and a cracking good read. This content is particularly relevant to an ebook I’m currently writing, so the cat in me thanks you!

    Oh, and you’ve convinced me to sign up for the Teaching Sells waiting list to try and stake a place – this should be great 🙂

  5. Thanks for the eye-opening post.

    I find myself in the rat and dog camps, with some cat mixed in. I’m not much of a monkey at all. It’ll probably take a while before I can effectively tap into my inner monkey, but I’m certain I can attract more visitors to my site just by trying.

  6. @Pace, how scary would a real catmonkey be? (shiver)

    @Paul, I would say mix it up in a way that feels natural. Some posts, especially cornerstone content, will hit all four. Others will focus more on one or two styles. One neat thing about content is that it all works together, so different pieces can play different roles.

    And we’ve definitely been thinking along those lines as well, in terms of video and/or audio content. I particularly like to do multimedia content for more enduring content, like special reports, introductory videos, autoresponder add-ins, etc.

  7. Another brilliant piece by Sonia, I am officially a huge fan. This type of info is always useful. It reminds of the sales and leadership courses I’ve been through but this twist is of great value to me as a fledgling blogger ( I recommend you and CopyBlogger to all writers and bloggers I meet.

  8. Sonia, I’m so glad you monkeyed around with Bernice McCarthy’s stuff! You did show us as well as tell us, and this blog was superb. One of my favorites. Keep them coming, you CopyBloggers are always interesting, very informing, and imperfectly perfect.

  9. Really cool analysis Sonia.

    It is similar to the 4 types of people. I am familiar with the colour metaphore. Red, Blue, Green and Yellow.

    It is pretty much the same with the rats, dogs, cats and monkeys. 🙂


  10. Interesting and complex approach to blogging.

    I tend to take the ‘be entertaining’ model, realizing that if I try to write for everyone, I’ll write for no one.

    These factors actually never really enter my mind. I just try to write in a manner that I’m impressed with. If I sincerely like my stuff, there’s probably other humanoids who will as well.

    Anyways, l love feeding my mind with various approaches to writing. Good stuff.

  11. I hadn’t thought about grouping my readers into different types before. This is a really clever way of doing it. It looks as though my readers are mostly dog/monkey. Helpful to know all the types so I can mix it up a bit and attract different readers.

    Thanks Sonia – a great read.

  12. Many people and companies probably don’t think of their readers as different types. Knowing that there are cats, dogs, rats and monkeys all out there makes you more able to attract to all four.

  13. Hye, just know about the blog.
    Wow, what a great concept that I think it is vital to practice it because I do blogging but my problem is it’s hard for me to express or disgorge what I’m going to say.

  14. Sonia, that’s one of the best analogies I’ve seen. (I know that’s a bit OT from the post) We all know those animals and can relate to their personalities in our readers. I’m off to look up the 4MAT information and Teaching Sells.

    Back on topic, I think we all tend to stick with a style that we’re comfortable with. This is some great information to shake it up a bit and introduce some new angles.

    I’ve been wondering about how to increase readers, (heck, when are we all NOT trying to increase readers!) this gives me something to work on in the next week.


  15. Knowing what persona your readers are will lead you to an appropriate and generally pleasing cotent that will satisfy the readers. Having something for everyone will make a blogger beneficial to a bigger audience. Thanks for categorizing the readers and their characters. I think I might be a combination of all of them. That’s possible right? Where do critics belong or are they included?ss

  16. I am stuck in Rat since I graduated from grad school and still doing “thesis speak.” I am practicing Dog and Cat, but thanks to you now I have to add Monkey, too.

    This was a brilliant analogy to use in expressing the various styles of reaching new audiences. Thanks, as always, for a great thought-provoking article!

  17. Thanks Sonia, this reminds me of my old timeshare sales days. I only tried my hand at it for a bit, but the sales training I received was some of the best. I know now that I should break out the old training and use it for my blog!

    I’d say I am a dog blogger, but I think I’ve been focusing too much on attracting the Rat reader. It’s cool to realize that I can switch it up and don’t have to focus on just one type.

    Can’t wait for the new session of Teaching Sells! Put my name on the waiting list today!

  18. This is great, I knew there was a reason I subscribed to this blog! (Some of us can only spend so much time thinking about headlines, you know?)

    Thanks Sonia, that really made my cogs whirr. I want to play with these concepts.

    In fact, here’s a free graphic for anyone else who feels like taking this and running with it:

    So, do these concepts also apply when you’re learning rather than teaching?

  19. Great, clear way to explain the four reading types – thanks so much, Sonia! I find things often “stick” in my mind more easily when I have an analogy to hook them too.

    Willie, that is an amazingly fab pic! Wow! I think Brian should use it for the article – I don’t see a rat or a monkey in that one… (plus yours is cuter and more colourful!)

  20. That’s a pretty great reasoning as well on why some people comment on some posts while others on different ones. It’s a personal prefernce I guess.

  21. @Melvin, and it actually goes beyond preference, different people are wired differently in terms of how we best process information. But again, we’re all a blend, so people who are primarily Dog learners will still need facts, and Monkey learners will benefit from understanding what’s in it for them.

    @Carole, I’m a Monkey-Rat mostly, though sometimes my Dog takes over and I just need to do it to figure it out.

    @Willie, love that image! Especially the happy blue monkey.

  22. Yes, just do it. I have finally taken the plunge and am learning as I go. I’ve even let the Dog, or the Cat, maybe the Monkey out to play sometimes. They just need to learn that they are welcome to play any time they want….

  23. Interesting metaphors you use here. Where’d you do your research? I need more monkey readers–they seem like fun! The problem I run into is that no one cares about my content–just kidding–but it’s few and far between. The real trick is producing stuff they are interested in continuously.

    Nice article!

  24. I knew I was brilliant to love your content. This post is more proof (as is the recommendation you got in the new Trust Agents book). Maybe Chris and Julien are as smart as me! Heh, heh.

  25. A very interesting and helpful read for any blogger. I will have to try and remember to think about those different reader styles, next time I write a post.

    Thanks for the great info!


  26. Very thought-provoking post. I would definitely try to imply some of your valuable advise onto my next post 🙂 Thanks Sonia!

  27. Interesting way to categories your readers.

    John Chow, Shoe Money or you people are Lion who set the trends and give reasons to us to think … and to come again to your blog.

  28. Obviously, I’ve never thought of my readers from this vantage point but it seems to make sense. Since folks tend to be a little of all four, mayhap my posts should be spiced with catnip, cheese, rawhide and bananas. I do believe I’ll give it a try…



  29. That’s an interesting concept. The concept isn’t relatively new and I’ve seen it somewhere but you used elucidated it in a easier to understand matter. It is funny because I tend to see this concept correlate with the typical blogger “create content that has value” and it is similar to it. This expands though with the rat and monkey added to it.

  30. Hi Sonia,
    I am new to blogging and am learning a lot so far, I am beginning to realise why some blogs are not so interesting as other posts. I did not realise this was built in each of us as it were. Very interesting!! I know you are all very busy, a pointer or two would be very much appreciated. Or even a comment.
    Regards Steve.

  31. Very impressively written about readers. I agree to all of types of readers But one thing i want to share is that a writer can’t be a successful writer until he become a reader of its own itself.

  32. Interesting blog. I think i was one of those that had the idea that it’s way things are if people don’t read your work. It makes sense what you are saying and with that we can all learn something about our own writing. Thanks Sonia.

  33. The most important idea I took away from this that a blog’s role is to satisfy some need, some personality trait of its readers. As bloggers we can get tricked into thinking that satisfying our needs will equal the satisfaction of the reader.

    Not true! Thanks for these tips.

  34. Knowing about the four types of readers is very important because it does not simply increase your knowledge about reading but it also gives you idea how to catch each kind’s attention. Thanks for the information.

  35. Hi Sonia,

    Great information. Seems like the four reading styles are similar to the four basic personality type.

    You’ve got people who are most interested in power and money (cats). Then there’s the folks who are more family oriented (dogs). Next, the analytical one who can never have enough information (rats – btw that’s my personality and I really wish you could have come up with something else to represent it – lol). And then theres the party animals who just want to have fun (monkeys).

    Great idea to pattern your writing to the different types. I often think about it when I’m talking with folks, but it often slips my mind while writing. Thanks for the reminder.

    Steve DeVane

  36. Have you ever read the One-Minute Millionaire by Robert Allen? He describes how business model for 4 different types of people that each help get things done in order to produce results.

    In charge of brainstorming great innovative ideas so fast that it can’t really focus on working because it’s mind is racing so much.

    The nay-sayer of the group that finds fault in every idea. This is important to spot before difficulties arise so you can plan solutions before-hand.

    The wise strategic planner of the group that lays out the fundamental steps to completing a project in a logical way so each step flows into the next.

    The go to person the runs errands and is always reliable to get things done when it is asked. This person executes most of the steps in the owl’s plan.

    Pete | The Tango Notebook

  37. I think I am a rat-dog, which is ironic seeing as I write for a pest control blog. I have heard of 4MAT before, but this explains it in a much clearer way. Loved the post Sonia!

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