5 reasons why good writing is reader-centred
Writing text about yourself or your business is difficult because nobody likes talking about themselves. The good news is that your text shouldn’t be all about you or your business: it should be about your reader.
Confused? These five reasons why good text focuses on your reader will help.
1. You are an expert but your reader is not
If you are the best person or business in your field (we all are, right?), then you are an expert. The thing is, 90% of your customers are not. They rely on you to give them the best service, products, and information.
With this in mind, then, your text should cater to the majority of your clients. It doesn’t matter where your text appears — in marketing materials, information sheets, or on your website — you have to target the lowest common denominator.
2. Jargon frightens people
As an expert who is seeking the custom of Mr & Mrs Average, you want to make them feel welcome. This family is likely to be clueless about the niceties of your field. What you don’t want to do is make them feel stupid.
For example, let’s say you run an internet service provider. You can bang on in technical language about servers, pings, and technologies, and it all sounds very impressive. But does anybody outside the field really understand it?
More to the point, does your average family understand it? Probably not. What they want to know is whether you will give them great service and value for their hard-earned.
Baffling people with jargon will make them run. Fast. It’s very unlikely they’ll come back. You want them to understand you, not run away from you.
3. Simple language makes scanning easy
Nobody really reads anything any more. Online, people scan for key words. With marketing materials, people do the same thing. Your readers are doing this all the time, and you want to catch their attention.
If you are able to create simple, inviting text, that gives your readers what they are after, you are onto a good thing! Helping your readers find information quickly is like holding up navigation signs for them.
4. You want people to be interested in what you do
This is especially the case if you have a news page on your website. Or an e-newsletter. What do your readers want to read? Information? Helpful tips?
You could always just write about yourself or your business, but it gets boring very quickly. Just like it does on Twitter, or on Facebook.
What you really want to do is give your readers a reason to keep coming back, and to keep opening your emails.
5. Writing for your readers is good customer service, and good PR
It might sound really stupid, but if what you write gets through to your reader the first time, you are providing good customer service.
Do yourself a favour and read your marketing materials, or your website content, out loud. Does it sound like something you would have to explain?
If it does, consider revising it. You wouldn’t stand in a shop and answer a person who comes in with a basic question with a long-winded, hard-to-understand reply. You don’t want to do that in writing either.
Good public relations is built on good relationships with people. Targeting your reader every time you write something, instead of thinking about yourself, is one of the best things you can do. A measurement of this is how often people come to you through word of mouth.
Of course, the obvious thing is that having a copywriter like me in your life means you don’t have to deal with all of this mind-numbing pain. Click here now to get things rolling.