June 16, 2011
How to write the kind of blog copy that turns readers into fans who cannot live without you!
This is an article for people who want to be smart bloggers! Bloggers who change lives! Bloggers who get people to sit up, take notice and say, "Wow! That guy is right! That guy is on the money!" Bloggers who don't just want readers...
... but fans who sit next to their computers waiting for your next blog post.
In this article I am going to show you the secret to becoming a producer of "must read" copy.... and becoming, in the process, a person who goes way beyond having readers... instead creating fans.
400,000+ words in the last year.
This article celebrates achieving a "personal best" goal for me... a goal I challenged myself to make one year ago.... and which I have, with the publication of this article, now achieved. I wanted to see if I could write at least 400,000 words of copy in 365 days; not just drab, undistinguished, pedestrian copy either, but copy that's timely! Intellectually distinguished! Lyric! Insightful! Yes, the kind of copy that stops people worldwide in their tracks and forces them to sit up! Take notice! And pay attention... because they just couldn't bear to miss a single word!
And I am pleased to tell you that this is precisely what has happened! My blog, where you can find all my articles, now generates millions of hits and a stream of gratifying comments from people worldwide who feed my ego and make my day.
This is me!
And it can be you!
1) Tell stories.
The greatest communicators on earth -- Jesus! Abraham Lincoln! Mark Twain! were story tellers. They used the power of stories to make things easy for their audience to understand... and to drive home their points, no matter how difficult and complicated.
You must become a story teller, too, not just a finder and disseminator of facts. Facts alone don't move people. Mere facts don't capture minds. Facts, no matter how important, don't touch hearts. But stories do... they always do... and that is why your blog posts must rely on stories that capture people and leave them begging for more...
2) Today's successful article starts with yesterday's motivating "heads up".
If you want readers today, titillate them yesterday. You see, the power of yesterday is to entice readers today.
People will only be moved to the extent that you move them. If you want readers tomorrow... the crucial process of exciting them starts today.
"Tomorrow! A story of love! Power! Treachery and despair! A story that will move you! Outrage you! And, if there's a tear in you, cause it to fall! All coming tomorrow to a computer near you!"
This'll get 'em!
3) Write short sentences where every word counts.
Thanks to the marvelous technical tools writers have nowadays, most don't write; they "typewrite", in the withering phrase of Truman Capote. He was masterful, and he knew that writers could kill their points, their stories and their readers by pouring out too many words and sentences straining to digest them.
Don't make this mistake.
Look at the sentence length in this article... short, punchy, easy to take in at a glance...
Your sentences should move accordingly.
Moreover, prune your articles mercilessly. A sentence that exceeds just a few words is a sentence smothering itself. And dead sentences will never move live people.
4) Short paragraphs give a story the air and space they need.
Today's readers are restless readers. They are overwhelmed with information... but have the same number of hours in a day as Caesar. In short, they are looking for a reason to put your copy down... never to be picked up again.
Short paragraphs and airy lay-out forestall this tragedy.
Look at this article... short, often real short, paragraphs with pages that look inviting, easy, not prolix and hard.
Contemporary readers demand ease... and if you don't give it to them, they walk... fast.
5) Make your people real, not caricatures.
The reason volumes of commentary don't work is because its authors create card board characters. They then laud the characters they like and demolish the ones they don't. Not only is this unfair... but it makes for lousy copy.
What distinguishes the best commentary is the way you handle people whose opinions you may not only dislike, but actually abhor. Do you give them the courtesy of presenting their point of view fairly, objectively, honestly... or do you want just a cheap shot that not only misrepresents the people you're writing about... but proves you're a writer not worth reading?
This point is worth elucidating because it's one too many commentators miss.
One reason writers like writing commentary is because it turns them from word peddlers into gods, omniscient, all-powerful, always right, never wrong, with the ability to access every human heart and brain at will.
Such people of course become insufferable in short order.
Your job as a commentator is to be sure you have done everything possible to ensure that all the people you write about are presented without prejudice, honestly, completely, with sincerity and with care.
This does not mean you necessarily agree with their positions or actions. It means you intend to give your readers the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth... even if you strenuously disagree.
Only when you have done this can you in good conscience and to best effect proceed to your opinion. Because only if you have allowed even your most pernicious characters their say... can your say be meaningful, insightful, and worth reading.
Use these recommendations.
The best commentators can have enormous influence... which is why you must use your commentating position wisely, not least by producing copy that moves your readers, with every word you write.
These suggestions will help.
By using them you will produce copy -- starting today -- that changes your readers' outlook, opinion, point of view, one apt word at a time. When you do this not only will you have a legion of readers, followers and fans.... but you'll deserve them!
About the Author
Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., providing a wide range of online services for small and-home based businesses. He is also the author of 18 best-selling business books. Republished with author's permission by Robert or Nicole King.