The bottom line is simple: As a writer, you first must entertain your readers. To keep them beyond a quick and final read, you have to do more than that, whether it’s to educate them, make them feel, anger them by challenging their preconceptions — or all of that and more. But if you don’t entertain first, none of what else you do matters, because they won’t stay around.“
– L. E. Modesitt
A really cool trick for better content
Yesterday night I got the chance to hang out with a profession article writer whose work has been featured in numerous magazines.
I sat down, shut my mouth, and took mental notes on every insight.
One of the most interesting things that I learned, and something that never crossed my mind before, was a really neat little trick for creating better content.
When you finish writing, send your work to someone with zero knowledge on the subject. If they can read your piece from start to finish you’ve done a good job.
This doesn’t mean that you have to be generic, but it does mean that every single article should provide people with enough background and information that they can understand what’s going on and feel engaged.
It’s simple advice, but it makes a lot of sense.
When you’re too technical you’ll alienate a ton of potential readers.
You need to provide some sort of introduction and explanation for every idea that you are sharing.
How does this relate to blogging?
A magazine article is very different from a blog post.
Blogs are interactive and ongoing, print articles are typically one-shot deals.
Yet the same principles still apply.
If every blog pot is a continuation of your previous work it gets hard for readers to follow along.
There are plenty of websites I’ve visited that were just way too technical for me.
A long time ago I wanted to buy some Phenibut, which is a legal compound that increases your focus while reducing your stress.
Every site I found was too focused on the scientific aspects, and didn’t provide any real context for me to understand what was being said.
Talking about the neurotransmitter γ-aminobutyric acid is great, but I would have loved for a paragraph explaining everything in layman’s terms.
If you’re writing about lifting weights or online business it’s the same thing, give the reader a little context.
Everything you write has to hold up on its own. A new reader should be able to understand what you are talking about.
You can still create in-depth content and write about advanced topics, but you need to make your work accessible.
Link back to old posts, provide anecdotes, work to keep the reader entertained while providing them with information. Doing so makes your content much more accessible and allows you to reach a wider audience.