Your blog post could be well-written, beautifully formatted and packed full of useful information, but if your reader doesn’t get your message, that blog post is worthless. Effective communication, communication that resonates with your readers, involves much more than the transfer of information. Here are three principles of effective communication that will help you connect with your readers.
Deliver Your Message
Most bloggers are pretty good at delivering a message. You come up with a basic post idea, write it up in a clear, concise manner and post it on your blog.
The biggest problem seems to be understanding what message you want to convey. Every post on your blog should be written with a purpose in mind. Do you want to convey information, or is there some action you want your reader to take at the end of your post? The only way to get your readers to take action is to know what action you want them to take and to write your post with that purpose in mind.
The next two principles make it easier to accomplish this connection between message and action.
Tell Your Reader Why Your Message Matters
You’ve probably heard dozens of times that it’s important to know your audience, and the more you know about your audience the better. Most of the information you present on your blog can be found on dozens of other blogs. To connect with your readers you need to be able to tell them why your message is relevant to them, why it matters to them, how that information can be used to change their lives for the better. The way to make your readers care about your message is to show them how it applies to their life.
Give Your Reader A Way To Remember Your Message
Your message might make an impact on your reader while he’s on your blog, but you want him to remember it after he leaves, too. Here are three steps to help your reader remember your message:
Keep it short: Keep your message short. The average online reader only spends about 90 seconds reading a post and during that time he only absorbs and remembers about 240 to 400 words, no matter how long your post is.
Be clear and concise: Get to the point, fast. Let your reader know, in the first paragraph, that you understand the problem, you have a solution, and here’s how the information will change his life. And then tell him exactly what that solution is quickly. Don’t save it for the last paragraph of your post.
Make it actionable: Present your information in such a way that the reader feels compelled to act on it immediately. For example, your post may be about how to find targeted followers on Twitter. Instead of giving your readers a 10-point list of things to do and wishing them luck, use language that encourages them to go to Twitter right now:
“Follow along and I’ll walk you through this quick, 10 minute process. Click Here to get to Twitter. Now, enter your keyword in the search box at the top of the page.” And so on. End you post with a statement that lets your reader know if he takes action right now he could have a few dozen highly targeted followers by the end of the day.
If you keep your posts short and sweet and tell your reader why your message matters, the reader is more likely to get your message and take immediate action. When he takes that action and he’s successful, he’s going to remember your post forever. And THAT’s effective communication!