Think of writing that makes an impression on you across the web. Why does it resonate? Often writing strikes a chord because the writer seems to encapsulate something you were thinking already. They capture an idea that was swirling around in your mind, and they skewer it perfectly. That’s it, you think! Exactly what I meant to say! Bingo!
The intimacy that this kind of resonance creates is powerful. We trust people that understand us and share our world view. We want to get closer to them.
So how do these writers do it? What’s the secret for writing so it feels like a one-to-one conversation?
Sadly there is no magic formula, but there are some techniques you can learn which will give your writing more power, and make more people feel that you are genuinely talking to them.
5 quick tips to pull people in with your writing
- Write with a real person in mind. Picture someone you know well – a client you’ve been working with, a colleague you know inside out – and tailor your writing precisely for them. This act of visualization will set the right tone. You want writing that feels like a conversation, not a lecture.
- Be specific. Don’t tackle too broad a subject. Better to be deep than wide. But won’t less people read it? Perhaps, but it means that the people who do choose to read it are already in the zone. Your niche headline will pull in the right readers, who in turn are more likely to share it with their circles of like-minded contacts. Try and be everything to everyone and you end up pleasing no one.
- Give something of yourself away. There’s nothing like a spot of confession to make people feel more inclined to warm to you. I’m not suggesting you fill your business blogs with your deepest darkest fears, but revealing something of yourself instantly makes your writing feel more intimate. If you want to see this done brilliantly, sign up to Chris Brogan’s newsletters. He’s the master of copy that feels like it’s written just for you. *
- Be brave. Don’t be afraid to tackle difficult subjects. Some of the strongest writing touches us deeply because it taps into things we’re not even admitting to ourselves that we’re thinking. It’s a cliché to ask clients what keeps them awake at night, but writing that addresses those issues in a helpful way demonstrates that you understand, and will be welcomed.
- Be useful. If you know your clients well, you’ll know precisely what it is that they’re searching for, and you can provide the answers or guidance that will help. The right article, at the right time, creates that buzzy serendipitous feeling that gives your writing power.
*Confession time. I am writing this wearing reading glasses that make me feel old, listening to 6 Music and eating M and Ms. Right now I should be writing something else entirely.