If you’ve clicked on this article, chances are you create written content of some kind. Whether it’s for fun or for your career, it’s important to understand what holds your readers’ attention, and why you might not be captivating your audience as best you can.
Especially on Medium, when are read percentage stats are always just a click away, it becomes easy to get discouraged when you discover people reading your work for less than thirty seconds.
Here’s a few simple tactics you can implement on your next piece of written content that might just work wonders for your readership.
Structure your articles.
Don’t just throw paragraph after unrelenting paragraph at your readers. No one wants to take the time to read what looks like a college essay, but is actually just a long winded rambling.
Go into each writing project with a specific objective in mind.
Be concise in your speech, and do your best to get your message across directly to your readers.
Don’t use fluff language for the sake of extending your articles.
It’s easy to fall victim to the trap of cramming as much as you can into your work. When you have a word limit to reach in your college essay that’s fine, but in the internet world of fierce competition, it’s best to be as transparent and straightforward as possible. Provide real value, not just catchy taglines.
Write better than you speak.
In Stephen King’s book On Writing, he tells you that it’s a great idea to write how you speak, which is to say, directly, and with common language.
This is an awesome rule, but after conversing with a mentor of mine I was led to the realization that as writers, we should strive to write better than we speak. Refine and polish your writing to make it sound even better than you’d usually sound speaking in person.
This is easier said than done, but with time and effort it’s achievable. Here’s a really helpful article that I think delves just deep enough into this point:
Choose your niche.
I’m a twenty two year old business owner. You won’t see me writing any articles on marriage advice anytime soon.
What you will see me write about is what I know best, and if you’d like to stand out as a writer it’s important you do the same. No one wants to spend their valuable time reading from the perspective of someone who really doesn’t have a clue what they’re talking about.
The best way to separate yourself from the competition is to live your truth. As a writer, be willing to put yourself out there for the sake of your readers. Write about your experiences and what you’ve learned. If you have knowledge to share, spread it! Rather than writing on every topic, choose to write about what you love or know a lot about. This actually gives people a reason to follow you and read your work.
Ever hear the saying “jack of all trades, master of none”? The same concept applies to writing.
Rise to prominence by only speaking on what you know.
Take your time.
Actually re-read your articles.
Say them out loud to ensure they sound natural.
Double check your grammar and do your best to avoid overusing certain words or phrases.
My full time writer friends have told me that they’ll even go as far as to save an article and work on it the next day. This way they’ll be able to re-read their work through a fresh lense and edit effectively.
However you work best, just make sure you aren’t writing for the sake of producing alone. Give yourself enough time to put out your best work and the rest will fall into place!