Tips, Tricks, and Secrets to Help Writers Gain More Readers

Dawn Bevier

Format, organization, and a special journalistic strategy go a long way towards getting more reads

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As a writer, you want people to acknowledge your efforts and to appreciate your craft. It is a writer’s most painful moment to see others ignore his or her work. Shame, doubt, and pangs of sadness come when an audience disregards the long hours you spend at the writer’s table. But you can make this unpleasant phenomenon a lot less likely by incorporating a few simple strategies and special formatting into your written work. Let me show you how.

1. Write about what you know and what you want to know. Your best audience is others like “you.”

Don’t you know whether a person is being authentic or genuine after about thirty seconds of lip flapping or computer typing? Most people do. Stop talking about the things that you think people want to hear and start talking about the things you want to hear, to know, and to read.

The good thing about human beings is we share the same basic psychology. We all have goals, pains, preferences that move our lives forward. And trust me, someone [actually many people] will undoubtedly share your desires, your heartaches, and your hobbies. Play to that.

I’m not saying you don’t have to think about what your audience wants, but it is a heck of a lot easier to know what these people want when you want the same things too. So here's what to do.

Brainstorm your own desires and needs. Then research and share.

What problems tug at your heart? What unmet needs do you struggle with daily? Do yourself a favor. Do others a favor. Solve your own problems and share your information with others who want to eradicate the same condition or situation.

Don’t write political articles because they seem to be where the money is. Don’t suggest marketing strategies if you have never served your time in this industry. It won’t fly.

Focus on what you know, what you need, and what you want, and the readers will follow. There are more “you’s” out there than you know, and focus on serving them first.

2. Use emotion generously. It speaks more loudly than anything else.

Kevin Kruse’s article in entitled “50 Pieces of Advice for Aspiring Authors” states an undeniable truth. The article states that “we are not thinking creatures with feelings, we are feeling creatures that sometimes have thoughts.” It goes on to say that “readers want an experience” and that a writer needs to induce an emotional state in their audience to be engaging.

A more profound truth would be hard to find.

So touch the reader’s heart first. Then touch the mind.

Think about what heartstrings you need to pull as you are writing.

Perhaps it is hope you need to create in the reader. Or motivation. Or empathy. Or anger. Again, it all depends on the topic.

Engage a reader’s desires and/or echo his or her struggles. Both of these techniques induce an emotional response. Then tell him or her how to work at achieving his or her aims or overcoming his or her tribulations.

An old marketing strategy echoes this claim when it states that good writers “agitate, then solve.”

Agitate then. Make your reader sad, angry, motivated. Then tell them how to move forward.

The heart first. Then the head.

But just because logic plays “second fiddle” to emotion, doesn’t mean that you should treat it lightly.

3. Do the research for your audience. Find the science, the steps, that will help their goals become a reality.

Do this by finding experts who know their “stuff.” Do it with simple, actionable steps that the reader can take to appease his or her heart, to give him or her the peace or excitement or success he or she craves.

Perhaps, this is why publishers often want writers to write shorter paragraphs and use lists or bullet points. They want readers to see right away that they can gain immediate value or advice if they want simply by skimming telling headings or going straight to the bullet points themselves.

As a matter of fact, in’s article by Pamela Wilson entitled “8 Incredibly Simple Ways to Get More People to Read Your Content,” Wilson uses the metaphor of readers as “impatient searchers” and cites Jakob Nielson’s seminal web usability study whose findings show that “79 percent of web users scan rather than read.”

Use a reader’s scan to your advantage.

Use the fact that readers “scan” rather than read to write your article in a way that works with this truth. Emphasize the richest, most important information possible so when they “skim” they can see immediate value.

How do you do this?

  • Use bold headings that provide the basic “tidbits” of advice.
  • Use bulleted points that break that advice down into “doable” steps.

4. Give readers proof for what you say.

After giving readers the strategies they need, provide proof that these strategies actually work.

  • Give examples of how your research has changed a life, a mind, an aching heart.
  • Data works. Scientific research works.
  • Quotations by experts in the given topic work.
  • Personal examples from real-life people who have done their homework and changed for the better act as proof.

If readers know your ideas and advice have worked for others, their hopes soar that it can work for them as well. If you do this, readers’ emotional responses and logical responses work together to create a sense of satisfaction in you as a writer. This also will compel them to be more likely to read other articles you write when they see your name next to the title.

5. Organize these four steps under the journalistic style of writing known as the “Inverted Pyramid.”

This strategy of organizing your writing to promote readability is simple and easy.

  • Write the conclusion and place it first. The conclusion [or in this case, introduction, since you will place it first in your article] should include the answers to the famous “5W’s plus 1” questions: who, what, where, when, why, and how.

For example, say you are writing an article for weary parents who want to make mornings less chaotic for their family. Identify who you are talking to, in this case, parents. Tell them what you will be discussing [how to make their mornings more peaceful and productive]. Briefly inform them of how they can make change [the bullets and headings you use later will elaborate on this concept], where and when the changes must be made [for example, making careful preparations the night before or during free time on the weekends]and why said changes will work for them.

  • Next include the “meat” of the topic, the specific details and pointers that will allow them to utilize your advice. [Remember, bold headings and bullets].
  • Finally, give them the background information such as supporting data and more resources that they can peruse that will allow them to delve more deeply into the topic.

The bottom line:

A writer’s success depends on so much more than just style or a strong voice. Perhaps the reason your own writing is not as successful as you would like is simply a matter of organization, of not putting your good advice in the right place at the right time using the right format.

A few simple tweaks and you could see the writing you do reach more people and propel you farther along on your writing journey.

Good luck and happy writing.

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My goal is to provide you with thoughtful, informative, and inspirational content that may increase your productivity, relationships, and well-being.

Sanford, NC

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