In the second lesson, I talked about providing positive results to your readers through the health articles that you publish on your blog. I emphasized how important it is to provide positive results and how to make your blog popular among your readers.
In this lesson I’ll highlight some principles that can potentially ensure positive results. But before we proceed, I would like to stress the importance of understanding the nature and characteristics of an internet reader who visits your website after reading the attractive title that you provided when publishing your content. Your reader demonstrates the following:
- Your reader is always in a hurry; s/he doesn’t have the time.
- Your reader expects a “to-the-point” answer to his/her question.
- Your reader pushes the title of you blog post into his/her short-term-memory and begins comparing your blog post’s content with the title. Do they “match” or “relate” to each other?
- Your reader has a short attention-span; maybe a few seconds.
- Your reader has a lot to read NOW; there are several thousand articles that can potentially answer the question s/he is looking for.
- Your reader is ready to give you a “few seconds of time” or a “few lines of reading/listening”.
- Your reader hates distractions like “pop-ups” or “requests for sign-up” etc. (especially if they obstruct the view of content s/he is reading).
- Your reader is eager to learn anything that transforms his/her life.
- At the end, your reader expects a ‘wealth of knowledge’ for the investment s/he just made. Remember “time” is your reader’s investment.
Quite a challenging situation – right?
How do you handle it?
First thing: Calm down!
Second: Picture this:
One fine morning, after you get up and have your breakfast, you hear a knock on your door. You open the door and find a very attractive Man/Woman there, willing to meet you. The visitor tells you that one of the friends sent them to you, since you are an expert in (title of your blog post) and s/he wants to learn about it by talking to you. You let the visitor come inside; tell him/her to take a seat in your drawing room. For some unknown reason, you like the visitor and you are willing to entertain him/her in the finest way possible. So you start working to make their ‘experience’ enjoyable right from the start. What do you do?
You provide your visitor the best place to spend his/her time. You spare some time to spend with him/her and to answer the questions. You behave as an expert. You give to-the-point answers to what s/he asks. You explain things with examples. You try to be witty at times, but again within limits. When you feel that your guest is lost, you try to guide him/her back. After a few minutes of discussion, you go to your kitchen and bring something to serve your guest. While coming back you try to anticipate your guest’s next question and when you are back with your guest, you answer before s/he even asks it. Lastly, you let your guest know about the future prospects of the topic at hand. Finally, when your guest asks for permission to leave, you walk to the door with him/her and say good bye.
Your website visitor/reader is your guest; or maybe guest of honour!
Treat your website visitors like your guests and don’t let them leave your website dissatisfied.
How to do that? Lets see.
The following principles will help you provide Positive Results to your readers and an overall satisfying experience:
1) Always identify you audience. Writing with no audience in mind is useless. I find it helpful to know anything and everything about my target audience before I start writing. Obviously if I am writing for my fellow clinicians, I have to maintain a tone that sounds more technical and my choice of words will revolve around medical terminology. On the other hand, if I am writing for my patients, its a totally different story. So, NEVER fail to know and understand your audience, as this will influence your final written product tremendously.
2) Never choose a broad topic; instead focus on answering ‘specifics’. So, instead of writing about Sexually Transmitted Diseases in general, prefer to write about Gonorrhea. AND, instead of writing about Gonorrhea, prefer to write about ‘Gonorrhea Treatment'.
3) How long should your blog post be? My simple rule is to write detailed posts on subjects that are simple and write short posts but with simplified-concrete-information on subjects that are complicated. The problem is most writers omit the details when they encounter a simple topic, assuming things are 'already understood'; in reality, most people need details! Likewise, when writers work on complex topics, they go into useless details, most of which are incomprehensible to the readers; here again, they lose the reader. A better approach is to write only about things that are essential and easily remembered by anyone. So, make it short! By doing this, your content stands out since your reader likes it this way.
4) One topic - One blog! The temptation to share all you know is natural, but just don't do it here. Spare your 'EXTRA' knowledge for 'ANOTHER' blog post or article, with a different topic and different discussion. Trust me, your readers will be happy. Stay relevant to your topic; this is all what your reader wants!
5) The Black Hole Effect: Black holes are strange objects in outer space that have tremendous gravitational pull; so much so that even light cannot escape from their grasp. Your opening or first sentence should have similar attraction. Always start with a sentence that grabs attention and hooks your visitors. Once your visitor is sucked-in, all you need to do is maintain this condition.
6) The second sentence should explain or relate to the first one. This is meant to support the first sentence while prolonging the attraction that your first sentence generated already.
7) Leave plenty of white space between paragraphs and keep your paragraphs short.
8) Split your content by using subheadings. This makes your content easy-to-scan.
9) Discuss ONLY ONE THING in one paragraph or a subheading.
10) Don’t complicate things; instead simplify them. Use plain language. Write short sentences. Avoid complex terminology, except where it is very necessary. Twisted sentences hinder reading which directly impacts your reader retention.
11) Talk to your visitors as you talk to your real-life guests. One-2-One!
12) Somewhere in the middle of your article, take a chance to offer your visitor something for free. This is equivalent to serving a drink to your real-life guests. In your blog this could be a free e-book, or sign-up offer to a free newsletter that you publish etc.
13) Don’t waffle. In the short window of time that your reader will provide you, this is not an option.
14) Always anticipate the next question that your reader might ask; then answer it when appropriate. Never leave it unanswered as this will force the reader to leave your website in search of another.
15) Always conclude with a strong message. By doing so, you are in a position to entice your reader to take further action.
16) After you have completed your blog or article, read it once. Then answer the following question:
"what contribution has your blog/article made to the life of your reader"?
17) Add a ‘Resource Box’ at the end of article. This should contain information about the author of article and references or links to his/her other similar works.
Go To Lesson ONE
Go To Lesson TWO