Your Readers Are Wet Sponges
Our readers today are saturated.
Think about what that word means.
What happens when you try to wipe up a spill with a soaked sponge?
You will actually leave more liquid behind.
It doesn’t absorb. It is already overflowing.
You audience is a bunch of soaked sponges.
It’s not that they don’t want to know, or that they don’t care. It’s that they literally are so full with information (so saturated) that they they struggle to absorb anything more.
And it’s not their fault. Information is coming at us all day, every day, from every direction – even when we aren’t seeking it out!
It is pinging us on our phones, blinking at us from billboards. The scroll of information is endless – you can just keep going and going and going…
We have a tendency to overlook this as writers.
Of course we think our topic is interesting, but, tossed in amongst all the other things each reader has going on in their life… how important is what you have to say?
The reality is that in today’s insanely information soggy environment, we have all become damn good at filtering OUT.
We have had to.
We’d lose our flippin’ minds if we didn’t.
What does this mean for you, the writer?
1. Write With Intention
To start with it means writing with intention – knowing your purpose.
Why are you writing this?
Who is it for? And what will they get from it?
Is it to entertain? Is it for information?
If you don’t know who you are writing to and what they are going to get from your writing, you are in danger of trying to be a little bit of a lot of things to a lot of different people, and in the end, not providing anything of value to anyone.
Having clarity about your audience and the purpose of your writing is the only way you can craft strong compelling headlines that attract readers who want to read what you write.
2. Be Vital – Write Content That People Need
I know… that sounds absurdly obvious. And yet…
It doesn’t hurt to ask yourself that question about your own writing.
Is there a group of people who NEED this content? Not, it-would-be-nice-to-read-if-I-have-the-time, but NEED.
Because guess what? Even a saturated audience clicks on content they need.
Why? Because they f*cking NEED it.
Let me give you an example…
If I haven’t slept for more than two hours straight for the past 15 days because my newborn keeps waking up and wanting to be held or fed, or whatever the heck it is that makes newborns act like complete pains in the ass, I NEED an article that is going to give me some quick actionable strategies for getting that little tyke to sleep. In fact, I might even pay… kind of a lot, actually… for a solution.
I might read an article commiserating over the pain of sleeplessness for new parents – that is if I ever get enough sleep to stay awake to read it, but I don’t NEED it.
Do you know what happens when I think I MIGHT read something at some point?
I bookmark it. And truly, I might read it later. I also might not.
And do you know what happens when I KNOW I NEED to read something?
I put whatever the f*ck I’m doing down, right now, and I read it.
3. Write Titles to Attract the Right Readers
Ok, you know who you’re writing to. You know what they will get from it. And damn it, these people NEED this content.
Now, you need to write a title that is going to catch these readers.
Don’t be coy. Don’t be clever. Don’t be ambiguous.
Be CLEAR. Crystal clear.
Your reader is skimming titles. They are only taking in what they can process in the time it takes for the title to pass in front of their eyes as they scroll down.
In other words – it better be simple. It should probably be short. It should catch their attention. There should be no doubt who it is for and what they will get from it.
Am I going to tell you how to do that?
No, I am not. That’s the work of a different article my friend.