How to Write to Engage your Readers
Whether you’re writing marketing materials, blog posts or a company profile to promote your business, one of the first things to consider is … Who is your audience? Who will read what you’re writing?
While your message may be the most important thing you wish to convey, unless you think about how you can engage readers, your message may not hit its intended target.
Identify your audience
Think about who you are writing the information for and then tailor the content to your intended audience. Get to know and understand the group of people you’re targeting. What are their fears, desires and aspirations in terms of your product or service? Your text needs to appeal to these aspects.
What does your audience need to know? What do they already know?
Once you’re clear on who you’re targeting with your message, you need to be more specific. Firstly, identify the knowledge levels your intended audience has on the topic you’re presenting … are they beginners, intermediate or advanced? This will determine the level of information to be conveyed in the document.
What’s your message?
Exactly what is the message you wish to convey and what is the outcome you require? If you clearly identify this upfront, your document or post will have a clear direction. It will also be much easier to outline the content you need to include.
Create useful content
Whatever your message is, the content you create MUST be interesting and useful to your target audience without sounding too “salesy”. It’s important to focus on your audience’s needs, yet craft the words in a way which also helps achieve the outcome you require.
Which communication channel should you use?
Consider where your intended audience gathers their information from. Are they more likely to read a printed publication, a blog post on your site, a guest post on a well-known industry website, a social media post, advertising or marketing materials, company profile or any other message which represents you and your business to the marketplace? You’ll get more people to read your information if it’s easy for them to find it in the first place. You’re also more likely to connect with your ideal client if you turn up in the right place.
Most people are time-poor and many of us scan rather than reading every word. Make your document or post easy to read.
Wherever possible, use headings, paragraphs, bullet points or numbered lists to break things up. Bold text or CAPITALS are great for emphasising an important point. Colour can also be used to highlight particular sections or points of interest to your audience. Or you can use formatting to Highlight some text in a blog post.
Think about it – do you look at the pictures, video or graphics when you read an article or document? Use images which the reader can relate to and which support the point you’re making, such as the picture below. Visuals are really helpful in illustrating your point and can help solidify the message in the reader’s mind.
Edit, edit, edit
This might sound like really basic advice, but we all make mistakes! Before you publish, be sure to edit your article or document. This includes spellcheck, scanning for typos and correcting any grammatical errors. These can easily be overlooked, particularly when you spend quite a bit of time on a document. Ask a colleague, friend or family member to read your document before you hit that publish button.
Does your document engage readers?
Before uploading, read back over your document or post again to check that you’ve included all the relevant information. Is it in a logical order? Is the document is easy to read? It’s easy to overlook small details, especially when you’ve been working on a document for a while and you may have rearranged the order of the information.
Does the document or post achieve the outcome you stated at the beginning?
Be sure to make the final tweaks, then PUBLISH!
I hope you’ve found these writing tips useful in helping to engage readers and connect with your intended audience.
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Hi, I’m Lyndall Guinery-Smith, The Professional Writer. I write copy dedicated to attracting and engaging your ideal clients … and improving your bottom line. I happily work with clients all over Australia. Email me to arrange an obligation-free discussion about your latest project.