Let’s face it, people today very rarely read to the end. They spend MUCH less time reading your words than you took to write them. You spend hours crafting this piece of art that is intended to enlighten your audience and essentially make them smarter. Yes, smarter, because you have that power.
You finish, read it over a few times just to ensure that there are no key elements to educating your public that you have missed. It looks perfect. You tidy it up, hit publish, and then wait. Wait. Waiting for nothing. Nothing happens.
It’s discouraging and disheartening, but fear not. It happens to all of us. The problem here is that valuable content isn’t enough.
People prefer sweet to healthy, but they know that healthy is what they need. The trick is to offer your readers something healthy and sweet that they will enjoy but will also benefit them at the same time, akin to chocolate covered vitamins. Don’t just produce sugar laden product that satisfies your reader for the short term but does nothing to placate their souls. The vitamin is part of your worth. It offers a benefit that delivers.
It takes great content as well as great delivery.
Those “5 steps to…” pieces of writing promote superficial amusement. They don’t do much by way of offering your readers success in the long term. Your readers should be worth more to you than that. Story has power.
How it works.
Narratives do much to attract readers. When you throw out only information at your readers, they are only using the part of their brain that processes the language. This results in a loss of attention. When you offer your readers a story that they can relate to, we are activating their emotions. This prompts the reader to want to finish and feel the story.
There are a few points that I believe, once implemented, will help you capture your readers in a more authentic style.
- Improvise- this doesn’t mean that you should fabricate and entire prose , but sometimes a fictional story with a little bit of truth muddled in helps make your message more interesting.
- Picture it – Images help capture a reader’s attention just as well if not better than words. Opt out of the generic business photos and elect for something more relatable.
- Dialogue is a great introduction- Start with a little bit of dialogue or banter to get your reader comfortable to committing to reading what you have to say.
Go ahead and give it a shot. And remember- no straight chocolate. Only chocolate covered healthiness.