3 Things Your Readers Wish You Knew
Three simple things readers expect writers to know.
Writing is easy. What’s difficult is creating content that resonates with your audience.
And creating such content is not just about weeding typos from your articles. It is far more than that. I’ve read countless clean articles that got no engagement to show that readers resonate with them — no comment, no contribution, and sometimes no applause.
Here’s the truth: People read articles about issues they care about. And resonates with articles and writers that address those issues.
If you’ve been wondering why people don’t read your content, maybe you don’t understand what your audience expects from you. And until you come to terms with that understanding, you’ll keep wondering why your writing on Medium sucks.
Here are the three things your audience expect from you and wished you knew:
1. That’s the story, or article is about them and not about you.
People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care about them.
The strongest reason people do anything, including clicking your articles, is the knowledge that there’s something in it for them.
They won’t click until your title promises them a solution to their problem, an answer to their question or signals a profitable opportunity.
They may not voice it because you have the freedom to write whatever you like on your blog/site. But majorly because they expect that you should know by now.
But whether or not you are aware, that’s what is responsible for their behavior. To click your article or scroll to the next one by another writer.
At a subconscious level, the things that get our attention — articles, people, and activities — are the ones that have something to offer us.
Many writers publish articles as if the content were a continuation of their about-page. And that’s a colossal mistake.
Your articles are not an extension of your about page. Instead, they’re the about pages of your audience.
An article is a writer’s genuine attempt to identify a reader’s concerns — essentially their dreams and fears — and suggesting ways, strategies, and advice that address them.
People only read the stuff they care about.
And the stuff they care about are things close to their hearts. Things that bother them including how to write better, how to become a better wife, how to raise godly kids, how to end racial injustice.
For that reason, titles like “ Why I Love My Dad,” are not an excellent fit for articles people would love to read.
I mean, who in the world cares about why you love your dad? The only person who does is your dad and probably your mom?
The title doesn’t sound like what people care about. And so may not want to check the content.
Instead, rewrite the title.
How to Make Your Children Feel Lucky To Have a Dad Like You.
Now, that title sounds like articles most men will love to read. And women who will love to share such articles with their husbands or their brothers.
2. That they are the hero of the story.
For a long time, I have stopped reading articles with these kinds of titles: “How I Made $10, 000 in one Month.”
From experience, I’ve learnt that the energy around some of those articles is not healthy for my psyche. Especially because I’m still a beginner in the game.
“Money should never come first,” my late father once told me. “ When you’re just beginning, do it for love. And as you continue to do, the money will come anyway.”
Some of those articles have got some expert pieces of advice and insights. I agree. But just so you know, many of them take the spotlight off the human purpose for art to the selfish desire to make money the aim of writing.
Ideally, art should be something we do because we love it rather than for the gains we can get from it.
However, I will advise that you read a few of them from selected writers. But be careful to focus on the lessons they teach than the emotions they incite — especially if you’re a young writer.
The outcome of ingesting more than a couple of those contents into your veins can corrupt your creativity. Especially for writers who are new or aspiring to be one.
Always remember that the article is not about you. It’s about your audience. And second, your audience is the hero of the journey. It’s their adventure. So hand them the stage and make it about them.
3. Your Goal is to Help Them Achieve Their Goals.
Write like a mentor to a protege; a senior advisor to his loyal client, a father to a son.
Motivate. Inspire. Teach. Instruct. Offer guidance. Share the lessons you learnt in your journey. Give them the template to living a better life. Guide them step by step on the journey to victory.
- Choose simple words over the complex ones. Like a father writing to his 12-year-old.
- Be candid. Hold nothing back.
- However, don’t be wordy. Edit your draft. Identify the essential and eliminate the rest.
- Break the idea down. Make it practical.
- Use subheads. Give them the gist in the headline and subheads.
Be accessible. Provide avenues for them to reach you. A safer place to share some personal information that is not safe in the comment section of your articles.
That way, they will see you not as a salesman but as a mentor, a coach, an advisor, a guide. Someone interested in their success in life and business.
That’s your role in their journey.
And the result?
After reading your article, they will leave their thoughts. Some will thank you for offering such immense help. Others will contribute their thoughts and experience to validate your argument.
Some will go the extra mile to tweet some thoughts that leaped out to them from your article. That way, sharing it with their family and friends and consequently increasing your visibility.
All these by knowing what your audience expects from you and meeting those expectations.
Getting people to engage with your content engagement — comments and contribution- is not accidental. They directly result from writing on issues they care about and offering relevant, actionable, and effective information and solutions.
This article was originally published by Joshua idegbere on medium.
I am Joshua Idegbere and this is my column. Stories with actionable tips to help you make the most of your life, career and relationships. Welcome!