Write for the reader - about what the reader knows and understands
2 elements are important when you want to capture the reader and keep the reader's interest.
- You must write directly to the reader
- You must show that you know the reader and the reader's situation
Everyone wants to read about themselves - or something they can relate to. That's why you should write both your sales copy and your blog posts from the reader's point of view and only mention what the reader needs to know.
You can get far by writing "you" instead of "I" or "we" as often as possible.
In addition to the psychological aspect of the "you" pointing towards the reader, the word "you" automatically makes you write from the reader's world. And the better you know your audience, the more accurately you can hit the reader's world, problems and dreams.
Before you start writing, answer these questions:
- When does the reader most need your help?
- What will be most important for the reader to achieve?
- What is relevant to the reader?
- What is redundant?
- Which of your subject words does the reader understand?
- Should you use humour in your texts or be formal?
One of the well-known myths about good texts is that they should be short. This is not true. Because a text should always be long enough to convince your reader to do what you want the reader to do. Possibly to buy or to call you. And you convince the reader by answering the reader's questions - and avoiding information that is not relevant to the reader and disturbs the reader while he/she is reading. Because the more precisely you can hit the reader's questions, problems or thoughts, the more the reader will feel that it is him/her you are writing about.
For example, it often makes a big difference whether your reader is acting on behalf of a company or as a private individual. Partly because it affects the reader's entire customer journey. And because businesses and individuals act on very different needs and often prefer different ways of working together.
Different needs for beautiful gardens
If you're a landscaper, there's a big difference between whether your customer:
- hires you as a private person because the customer wants a nice garden and perhaps no longer has the physical strength to maintain the garden himself - or because the customer wants to impress with an extravagant garden
- is the chairman of a landowners' association, condominium or owners' association, trades for other people's money and primarily wants the neighbours to be happy so that the customer does not get complaints
- is an operations manager in a municipality and needs a permanent contract with several gardeners all year round
Besides the fact that the three different clients have very different needs in terms of the gardening contract itself, you will also have a very hard time convincing them all that you can advise them all just as well based on their own needs, because they don't need the same thing. And nobody is just looking for a gardener.
The pensioner who wants to have a nice garden may also need a new walkway so that he/she can better walk around and enjoy the garden. The president of the residents' association may need to have some easy-to-maintain beds laid out, and the municipal operations manager needs a stable and budget-friendly agreement that he/she can defend internally within the system.
Each of the three different scenarios gives you a very precise starting point for your texts. And as well as making the right audience want to buy from you, you'll have a big impact on who your customers become when you dare to focus on one specific audience. Finally, you can time your services and cooperation to suit this specific target group very well.
Hold on even when you don't want to sell
Sometimes a single, specific sentence can make all the difference, so your reader both finishes your text and buys from you. As long as it accurately shows that you know the reader well enough.
Even if your text is not meant to sell, but to position you as an expert, you also need to retain your reader. This is where you need to educate the reader about your speciality or elaborate on some of the details that don't lend themselves to your sales copy.
You can optimise your text even more with these focus points:
- Avoid too long sentences. Break them up with periods rather than using too many commas. This makes it easier for the reader to understand your content
- Write active verbs rather than passive ones. So rather "Write your phone number here. I'll call you" rather than "You will be contacted"
- Avoid "man", because the word "man" obscures who you are writing about. And no reader feels hurt by being referred to as "man"
- Beware of filler words such as "well", "really", "yes" or "of course". Often they make the text longer without contributing to the content
- Read your text again. Can anything be left out? Will the reader get all his questions answered?
The good news is that everything I've written doesn't just make your regular texts better. You also get rewarded by Google when your text is an SEO text. Because Google honors good texts that answer readers' questions.
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