Spilling the Royaltea invites everyone to indulge in the guilty pleasures of the royal family.
Targeting an Audience
The audience I’ve envisioned for Spilling the Royaltea mainly encompasses royal family enthusiasts. These followers like to read about people’s opinions surrounding the royal family and follow anything from their day-to-day activities to huge bombshell allegations.
Hollenbaugh explains that audiences are difficult to preconceive and are usually amorphous. Despite this, people should create posts based on potential audiences by imagining their audiences and crafting their messages according to this. In accordance with Hollenbaugh’s guidelines, I know that if my site shows up in a Google search, someone who’s already interested in royal family gossip is most likely the one searching it up.
Royal family followers are my predicted audience. These could be people who either love them or hate them (but follow them anyway) and it doesn’t matter because my site aims to report from both sides. Because of my predicted audience, most of my content is targeted toward pertinent events or issues related to the royal family that followers have most likely heard about.
However, instead of reiterating what royal family followers have already seen, my targeted content is meant to build on their held knowledge with the hope of showing them different perspectives on what they already see in the news. For example, in my “hot takes” article, “The Royal Family Needs to Apologize for Racism,” I talked about how King Charles’s coronation is right around the corner, which my audience should probably already know about. But I also showed readers that this is a chance for the royal family to finally apologize for its dark history, which is something they might not have thought of.
Similarly, in my “making a meme” assignment, I focused my meme on Prince Harry’s book, which had just been released at the time the meme was made. Talk show hosts, TikTokers, and bloggers alike were all talking about his very revealing revelations, and I wanted to add fuel to the fire by creating a meme about his “family jewels,” which I haven’t seen too many of.
In terms of interests, in addition to my specific audience target, my blog also invites anyone, even those who aren’t too interested in the royal family to see why following their lives is such a guilty pleasure. To do this, I’ve been making sure to include background information on topics before diving into the specifics.
For example, in my post called “The Royal Disgrace” about Prince Andrew, I provided my audience with a background of the issue, including Prince Andrew’s association with Jeffrey Epstein and Virginia Giuffre’s sexual assault allegations against him. Then, I provided the latest updates on these topics, which with the background information, both royal family followers and newcomers can learn from.
Because I discuss sensitive subjects in my blog, including racism and sexual assault, and use language that could be considered inappropriate like talking about “todgers” and “royal members” and “family jewels,” my blog is targeted toward a more mature audience. It doesn’t really have a specific minimum age; instead, it’s more about the readers being mature enough to understand the more serious (and sometimes inappropriate) subject matter that the blog includes.
Warner argues that “a public” is very much not the same thing as an “audience” because the latter can’t capture the essence of “a public”. I thought this was a pretty interesting claim because I assumed that they were basically the same thing. The distinguishing factor between a public and an audience is that “publics” are predominately text-based instead of people-based, bringing people in as they become users of the texts. In this sense, I think I’ve done a pretty good job of establishing my text-based public, which consists of royal family-interested people who enjoy reading my articles about the royal family.
Another aspect of Warner’s conception of the public that I think my blog encompasses very well is the fact that the content is both personal and impersonal. The tone I use in my writing might make the reader feel as if we were having a simple conversation with each other. I include a lot of personal opinions too, which I hope helps my posts resonate with the readers. However, the content is still impersonal because I don’t know who’s reading my posts. I can write with an idea of what my audience might look like, but I’ll never be able to address my public based on their true identities.
What my blog is not doing the best at is circulating discourse, as Warner calls it. Right now, the sender-receiver model seems to be dominating, as I haven’t been receiving comments on my posts which generate two-way discourse. I think that discourse is one of the most important aspects of creating a public, so I don’t think I’m quite there yet. Hopefully, by continuing to create targeted content and building my audience, a public that I’m proud of will come with time.
Hollenbaugh, E. E. (2021). Self-presentation in social media: Review and research opportunities. Review of Communication Research, 9, 80–98. https://doi.org/10.12840/ISSN.2255-4165.027
Warner, M. (2002). Publics and counterpublics (abbreviated version). Quarterly Journal of Speech, 88(4), 413-425. https://doi.org/10.1080/00335630209384388
Wong, O. (2023). Mini assignment 1: Making a meme. Spilling the Royaltea. http://spilling-the-royaltea.com/pub-101/makingameme/
Wong, O. (2023). The royal disgrace. Spilling the Royaltea. http://spilling-the-royaltea.com/news/the-royal-disgrace/
Wong, O. (2023). The royal family needs to apologize for racism. Spilling the Royaltea. http://spilling-the-royaltea.com/hot-takes/piping-hot-take-the-royal-family-needs-to-apologize-for-racism/
Wong, O. (2023). The tea on Olivia. Spilling the Royaltea. http://spilling-the-royaltea.com/the-tea-on-olivia/
Sutyagina, Y. (2021). Lector man in suit speech behind podium on conference with audience in hall [Stock Illustration]. iStock. https://www.istockphoto.com/vector/lector-man-in-suit-speech-behind-podium-on-conference-with-audience-in-hall-speaker-gm1337396425-418295041