It's straight from Marketing 101, but it's also relevant. Identify your audience, and your sales will improve. As much as we writers want to believe that publishers and editors seek achingly beautiful prose that will become iconic literary treasure, they are first interested in sales. As in, who will buy this book? Why will theyread this article?
This is actually a good thing for writers because more sales = more exposure and more money. Writers want publishers and editors to be mercenary, because more exposure and money will create the freedom and fertile space for that literary treasure to develop.
It's a cycle, and you can help the process by identifiying your audience at the beginning. Are you writing for cancer survivors? Teenaged girls? Addicts? Football enthusiasts?
If you clearly identify your audience, your prose will be revised with that audience in mind. This helps develop a branding strategy, and it helps sell your prose more efficiently.
Challenge: Identify three distinct groups who will purchase your book or read your article. Be as specific as possible. (e.g. Instead of "Women," go with "Women between the ages of 35-50 who have traveled to Italy.") Once you have identified these demographics, notice how you revise things like language and tone with your audience in mind.