Why do readers have such a hard time listening?

Well, for one, we’ve built a culture of now. You no longer have to wait until you’re at home in front of a computer to respond to an email. Your phone dings, you respond. So constantly, we check it. While we talk with others in person, we’re busy wondering if someone is trying to get ahold of us, and what they might be saying. We sure are a distracted bunch.

That distraction manifests for your readers, too. They have options. Their Facebook tab is likely open at the same time they’re reading what you write. Their email dings, and there are five different pertinent results for the search that they found your information under.

As communicators we can do our readers a huge favor…

Write Interesting Content

It’s really that simple. Keep them on their toes. Write something different, and something better than what your competition has.

  • Get to the point. What do you want your blog to be about? Don’t give me unrelated anecdotes. You’re on a mission. Get in and get out.
  • Summarize. What does your audience need to know? What information will they benefit from? Instead of delivering the 100-page legal memo, give them the 2-page bullet-point summary. Their backs and their eyes will thank you.
  • Short sentences, short paragraphs. Leave the long-winded meandering for novelists. Picture your readers as someone staring at their watch while you talk. The quicker you arrive at your point, the better off you’ll both be.
  • Be their “guy.” When someone’s interested in your industry, you want them to think of you. The best way to do that is to give quality content on a consistent basis. Find out what your readers want and deliver it in a fun, personable way. Consider pulling the dates from your blog posts. There’s nothing worse than finding an awesome blog, only to discover the last post came over a year ago.
  • Live life from another perspective. As a business owner, we see your stakes in the deal. We know that you stand to benefit, and we know that you know a lot about your industry. The trick is to see the customer’s problem and fix it. Tell us how we’ll benefit from your products, services, and expertise. Make your readers’ lives better.

Lets just face it, not everyone was created equally as awesome. The more you can make readers love what you do the better off you’ll be. People will stop looking at their watches and gasping as you talk. They may even finish reading what you write. Your message will more often be received.


Matt Brennan is a Chicago-area marketing writer and copy editor. He is also the author of Write Right-Sell Now.

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