How to Write Well to Attract and Retain your Readers
The phrase “communication is key” is more important than you’d think. Effective communication involves more than just a sentence thrown together to get your point across, but instead organization, clarification, entertainment and more. It requires knowledge about your audience and how they will gather information from your writing as well as what will keep them intrigued to continue reading. No matter what career you have chosen, it is important to know how to write well. One article in particular I would like to site as an example of good writing is Vandelay Design’s post on “11 Essential Skills Every Freelancer Needs to Succeed.” Ironically, this article also highlights the importance of explicit communication and serves itself as both a primer and illustration of what fine writing should look like. To communicate properly in writing it’s necessary that your story- be concise, clear, informative, organized and compelling.
If you pick up a paper and notice that the first paragraph is as long as the page it sits upon, would you continue reading it? I wouldn’t. This is because the average attention spans is eight-seconds according to the New York Times- this is shorter than goldfish. We want information quickly, so breaking up paragraphs into various subjects and sub-sections helps put our minds at ease. Vandelay Design does this in their post by discussing the essential skills every successful freelancer needs. The blog post is broken up by subjects in the same manner as I have done here. Their organization allows even those that skim-read to easily and quickly digest their work. Readers know what the blog post covers without having to dig for it.
The whole point of communication is to reach an understanding between you and your audience. If you aren’t clear, then you are wasting both your readers’ and your own time. Clear writing does not have to be fancy, it can be crafted using everyday terms. Vandelay Design’s post has a conversation with its readers to inform freelancers that understanding good management, marketing and media skills can make them more desirable. The blog then goes on to provide examples and reasoning. By the end of the section, readers already have several different outlets in mind as to how they will improve their business in each category. Clear writing also requires writing free of grammatical errors. Poor grammar can lead to a reputation of unintelligence and laziness.
Don’t waste your readers’ time- provide information that either makes them more intelligent or entertained. Vandelay Design’s article provides eleven ways that freelancers can increase their success and the different outlets other freelancers have taken that have led to their success. These tactics include ways to properly handle feedback and criticism, as well as carefully listen to client’s needs and wants. They also provided the names of apps like “Basecamp” and “Freedcamp” that help manage projects, schedules and more. The article is intended to help freelancers improve and each sentence leads readers to that goal.
As stated before, having paragraphs and sections broken up into different categories makes it easier for the reader to understand the different points being made. However, it is important that the various sections flow together gracefully. The story should unravel as the reader moves from paragraph to paragraph. Having sections that do not relate or cause the reader to jump back and forth can cause confusion and irritation. Vandelay Design’s blog post transitions their 11 freelance skills smoothly from one to the next making it easy for readers to understand what they are about to read. This method keeps readers content and excited for the next topic.
Who wants to read something that even the author grew bored creating? If your work represents your passion for the subject then your readers will be enthused to hear what you have to say. When you write with passion you give your readers a reason to care for the subject and make them yearn to know more. Vandelay Design understands their freelance followers’ interests and needs and therefore, crafts their article to fit the concerns many freelancers have in reaching success. They provide tips on how to communicate one’s product, which gives freelancers hope to improve. They have done their research to provide interesting and influential information to their readers.
These are just a few of the elements that lead to great writing. Visit Vandelay Design’s account for more interesting and well-written blogs.