Monday, November 3, 2008

The Second Secret to Writing Blogs that are Read

When was the last time you read an blog that was flat, uninteresting and not even relevant to your needs?

If you're like most people, probably yesterday, today, and no doubt there will be another one tomorrow ~ until you decide to unsubscribe.

That's the problem. Most smart businesses publish a regular blog, and sadly so do many wannabes. The difference is in the content and the way it is presented.

Recently, we discussed the first secret to writing blogs that get read. That is to think of the reader first.

There is now so much competition out there that for blogs to survive and thrive, they need to address issues of interest to the reader, rather than continually promote the publisher's products and services.

But it's not enough to simply think of your reader, you need to write as if you are addressing each reader personally. Consider these four steps to writing personally:

1. Write for an audience of one

We all know that the best way to communicate with someone is on a one-to-one basis. And that's the way you should write your blog. Picture in your mind your "typical reader" and write just for that person.

Your blog may be distributed to 10, 100 or several thousand subscribers, but you will have the greatest impact on them personally, if you write personally.

2. Be personal

Many autoresponding systems, like which I use, allow you to also include the first name of the person in your communications. Like all tools, $firstname, this should not be overused. You may wish to address your reader personally a couple of times in each blog.

3. Be respectful

Remember, your blog may be competing with a dozen others on any one day, so be respectful of your reader's time. Write short, sharp and insightful articles that address your reader's needs. That's not to say you cannot include product promotions. Just make sure your ads are written in a customer-focused manner ~ you'll find your readers won't mind and your sales will reflect it.

4. Keep Spam in the can

A final point on respecting your reader. Never, ever spam readers. That means never send unsolicited communications those who have not subscribed or requested it. In some parts of the world this is against the law. But in all parts of the cyberworld, this is frowned upon, and it's a sure way to lose respect and business.

Writing for an audience of one is not just a powerful way to be read, it's also a great way to write. When you focus on your 'ideal reader', you'll find the words flow easier, your message is clearer and the impact . . . well, just ask your readers ~ every one of them ~ they'll tell you how they feel.

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