One of the most important words in the vocabulary
of a Web writer is the simple little three-letter word
Many Web writers fail to understand the importance
of this little word, and for that reason they don't
attract an audience of hungry readers.
You need to understand the importance of this little
word if you want to get your Web content read.
This article will show you how to increase the power of your Web writing by using this one little word effectively.
**What Do All These Different Kinds Of Web Writing Have In Common?**
Here on the Web we do a lot of different kinds of
writing. Maybe you have a blog, and that takes one
kind of writing.
Then you have a home page on your Website, and that
takes another kind.
And then you have a sales letter which you send people
to where you sell your product or service, and that
takes yet another kind of writing.
And then you have content pages of one variety or another
which take still another kind of writing...
Not to mention the emails you send out, the reports
and articles you write, your newsletter...
The list goes on.
All requiring a slightly different kind of writing in order
to be done most effectively.
Now, it's not my intention here to get into a discussion of
the different kinds of Web writing and how we can make our
voice different when writing for them.
But there is one thing that practically all forms of Web
writing have in common.
And that's this:
They're for the benefit of your reader.
Or at least should be!
**Writing For The Benefit Of Your Reader**
Copywriting principles teach us, and wisely so, to think only
of our reader, and not of ourselves. To think first and foremost
about what we can offer our reader.
Maybe you had a writing teacher once who hammered home to
you the importance of audience.
"Audience, audience, audience," she or he said.
Well it still holds true. But not in the same way it did back
That's because on the Web you're writing for an audience of ONE.
And that ONE person is your ideal reader. The person you most want
to read your content.
Think of it as "selling" your content to them. In order to sell
you have to grab your prospect's attention quickly and hold it
before they click out.
It's the same with your Web readers. They'll click out in a heartbeat
if there's nothing that grabs their attention.
Yes, I know that blogs can be different. But if your blog teaches
or sells in any way, then it too should grab them and hold them.
**Keep YOU In The Forefront -- Make Your Writing "You-Centered"**
When you write for your audience of one, you need to keep "YOU"
in the forefront, because YOU (your reader) is who you're writing
to (not you, meaning you the writer).
When your writing is "you-centered" it speaks right at your reader.
It gets them right in their emotions, because it includes them.
So how do you make your writing you-centered?
By really, truly including your reader. By bringing them into your
personal space. By letting them know you aren't just another squawking,
selfish writer who wants to show how clever you are with words.
No distant third-person narratives for you. No sirree. Or even chatty
first-person narratives (yes, you certainly CAN tell your own
story, but it needs to be for the clear benefit of your reader,
not just for you to blow your own horn).
Instead, you reach out to your reader and talk about things they are
interested in. About things that speak to their emotions, wants, and needs.
**How NOT To Win Friends And Influence People**
The other day a teenager came to our door selling something (I think
it was magazine subscriptions). His sales pitch, if you even want to call
it that, was to tell us how much he wanted to go on a trip to
That's all. Nothing about how the magazines would benefit us. He
never once used the word YOU when he spoke to us.
And then when we didn't buy he had the audacity to get mad!
NOT the way to win friends and influence people.
That teenaged salesman forgot about the power of YOU. Instead he concentrated
on ME. And tried to get us to buy just so we could help him.
Yes, fund-raisers do use that approach when soliciting contributions.
But they still concentrate on YOU. Fund-raisers are you-centered. Not
**Become You-Centered And Watch Your Web Writing Come Alive**
You too need to become you-centered with your Web writing.
The next time you write, take a look at how often you use the word
"you" (or some form of it) in your copy. Concentrate on using that
little word as much as possible.
And when you're done writing, sit down and actually count how many times
it appears in what you've written.
Making your content you-centered is one of the surest ways there
is to get read more. To make your writing come alive.
So, starting with your next project, put the power of YOU in your writing!
It'll make a huge difference. I guarantee it!
Copyright (c) 2006 by Bruce Carlson