Readers’ Expectations: 10 Rules Every Blogger Should Follow
It’s easy to over-think things when you’re a blogger. Everybody puts so much emphasis on quality content and over-delivering. It’s hard to know how much is too much and how much isn’t enough when your audience consists of beginners and people who’ve been following you so long they’re almost as experienced as you. But let me make it easy for you.
Here are 10 things every reader wants from a writer, no matter what their experience level. Follow these guidelines and your readers will love you.
1. What intrigues you? – If you’re intrigued about something, your readers will find it intriguing, too, no matter what their experience level. Tell them why you find it so interesting and let them share in your excitement. On the other hand, if you find it boring, they probably will, too, so why bother blogging about it?
2. Outline a simple path – Draw a direct line from Point A to Point B and make it a clear path that’s easy to follow. If the path is easy to follow it won’t matter if your reader is an expert or a beginner.
3. Write for someone just like you – Write like you’re explaining something to a friend, but a friend who doesn’t have all the knowledge you have. Your tone will be appealing to your experienced readers and the beginners will appreciate the attention to detail.
4. Trim the fat – Stick to the topic. Before you even start writing make firm decisions about what you’re going to cover and don’t cross the line. Even experienced readers can only absorb so much information in one sitting.
5. Include the obvious – You may think it’s obvious but if I’ve never done it before I need to know about it. Include every single step and detail necessary to understand your message. But only include the necessary information. Anything else will be distracting and confusing for all readers.
6. Use simple language – Industry jargon is fine, as long as you explain it. But leave your 14-syllable words at home, please. Use simple, little words that everyone can understand.
7. Be respectful – Don’t talk down to your readers and don’t try to talk over their heads. Talking down makes you look arrogant. Talking up makes you look stupid.
8. Be firm and strong – If you’re expressing an opinion, don’t apologize for it. If you’re telling your readers how to do something, don’t back-pedal. Nobody wants to follow a wishy-washy leader.
9. Include a recap – Include a brief recap at the end of your post that ties everything together and drives your point home.
10. Respond to all questions – Respond to all comments and don’t answer some questions and leave others hanging. Their name is right there for all the world to see and they’re embarrassed that you’re ignoring them.
If you follow these guidelines when you’re writing your blog posts they’ll appeal to your audience as a whole. You won’t have to worry about writing for beginners or more experienced readers because everyone will understand and appreciate your message.
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