It is time to discuss about what readers, in general, would want to read and what they don’t want to. There are just writings that people tend to flock to or avoid at any cost. There are several factors involved in identifying what readers will surely want to read, regardless of the subject.
Writing is not just about generating income, it is also an art that should be made closer to perfection with every words. Below are some tips that I see effective writers apply.
Tip #1: Avoid redundant sentences.
Image by: Charlotte D
If you haven’t noticed yet after reading the first tip, the first paragraph’s first and last sentence talk about the same thing: what readers want to read. It should not go like that, once or twice is pardonable but several of those redundant sentences would just irritate your readers. Doing such congests their minds.
Tip #2: If there’s a word for it, use it.
Image by: Simon Cataudo
Words are made to shrink thoughts in form of phrases. Make it faster to read and understand. Instead of writing “it was an unprecedented event that caused this” say “it was an accident”.
Writers, especially those who are very particular with SEO, would always think of word count and use all possible keywords which might exhaust the readers that would make them just go away. An eloquent writing is best for instructional and creative writing. This will also balance quality and quantity.
Tip #3: It is always ‘your’ not ‘our’.
Image by: Andrew Beierle
You are the writer, you tell; your readers will gain more confidence on you and your writing if it seems to them that you are in a far away place and not among them. Say “your website will look great with this add-on!” instead of saying “our website will look great…” Besides, ‘your’ sounds better.
Tell your readers things that will make their life better in every faculties possible. Make them feel important, because they really are! (Really, YOU are important!)
Tip #4: Do not command, just suggest.
Your readers don’t want you to be commanding them to do things. Instead of saying “use this tool” say “I find this tool very useful”. Although the phrase points to you finding the tool “very useful” it will give the reader an idea that it is indeed good, and might use it. Everyone has their ego to protect, yes it applies here too. A declarative sentence is more favorable than a command sentence.
You should follow these steps for you to be a good writer. Instant turn-off.
Tip #5: Strong words, strong memory.
Image by: Artem Chernyshevych
Make your sentences strong enough so that you won’t have to repeat it. Doing this will automatically earn you your medal for abiding by Tip #1.
People quote favorite movie lines, or from a book, because these impacted them in a way so strong they can’t just simply forget. Keep in mind that a strong word is sometimes backed-up by another word next to it, or before it.
Tip #6: Let them guess.
Image by: Rose Ann
Do not give it all on the first half of your post; add an air of mystery, leave a question, excite them and they will want for more. In a novel this is called a “page-turner” and in a blog post it is what makes readers stay and finish the whole post. Think that visitors are busy people with a very short time to spare for a post without excitement, they might not stay longer than 60 seconds. Keep on making them think, or say, “what’s next? what’s next?” but your goal should be “awww I want more!”
Tip #7: Figures of speech.
Usually when a writer explains a piece of very complicated material there is always the worry of boring the readers to death. One time I was asked to proofread an article about physics, specifically about the Higgs Field, I almost turned down the offer because that’s the first time I heard of the scientific term. But being a science enthusiast I accepted. What followed was pure hell. In the end I understood what Higgs Field is because of an analogy, he compared it to a swimming pool and I was able to do the job. Now what I just said is boring, here it goes: it’s like trying to understand what income tax is when it can be explained by “it is your contribution to the government’s budget.”
Tip #8: Humor.
Image by: Mary Ellen Rynes
You may add humor to lighten up the subject and make your readers feel at ease with you. It should not be forced, it should appear as naturally as possible. People deserve to smile while reading, and they will like you for making their hectic day lighter. And because you are hurrying to read the tips you haven’t noticed that there is actually no Tip #5. Now you are smiling.
Tip #9: Try before suggesting.
Nothing beats experience, really. I will not suggest things to my readers which I have not yet tried and proven. I fear seeing a comment below my article saying “&#^(@# that ruined the whole development process!!!” or read “That is so outdated.” Your credibility as a writer is on the line in everything you write, it is subject to many criticisms so better be cautious and share only what you have experienced first-hand or has a good knowledge of, even theoretical.
Tip #10: Read others’ work.
Image by: Ove Tøpfer
Not only does this increase your knowledge about the current happenings, it also gives you an idea on what people want to read and what they try to avoid. There is actually no such thing as “I didn’t learn anything from that” because you just did, you just learned it wasn’t effective (in a general sense).
I have never seen anything so insubstantial that I never learned something from.
In a Nutshell:
- Avoid redundant sentences.
- If there’s a word for it, use it.
- It is always ‘your’ not ‘our’.
- Do not command, just suggest.
- Strong words, strong memory.
- Let them guess.
- Figures of speech.
- Try before suggesting.
- Read other’s work.
Extra tip: If it doesn’t sound good, rephrase it.
Ultimately by applying some of these tips you are, little by little, creating your own persona amongst the legion of readers in the world wide web. They will know who you are based on the way you write. Priceless.
Rean concurrently served as the Head of Operations and Editor-in-Chief of 1stwebdesigner from 2011 up until Aug 2014. He regularly writes about freelancing, technology, web design, and web development with a little touch of internet marketing here and there.