So you’ve crafted the perfect piece of writing. You love how it reads, how it looks and you get ready to push that “post” or “send” button to share it with your clients or the world on social media.
But before you do, I want to ask you a question: did you write it for yourself or did you write it for your reader(s)?
Not sure what I mean? Let me explain. A lot of the time when we write, whether it’s a small social media post or a larger document, we have a purpose in mind and we sit and begin writing. The step that people often skip is the most important of them all. It’s the step that gives your piece of writing focus, relevance and ultimately determines whether people will read it…or not.
Are you dying to find out what I’m talking about? I’ll get right to it: you need to take the time to think about 3 extremely important questions.
- Who is the audience: Who is going to be reading it? Is it one type of person, or a few different types of people? What do they already know about the subject? How do they feel about it?
- What is the purpose: Why are you writing it? What do you want the reader to do with the information?
- In what context will they be reading it: How will your reader use the document? Will they be reading it on a screen or in print form? Will they be close up to it or far away? Will they read it from beginning to end or will they just be using certain parts of it?
Asking these 3 questions before you sit down and start writing is essential. It gives you a reference point to return back to if your writing gets off course. It allows you to focus your writing on a specific audience. It allows you to take into account where your reader will be when they come across your piece of writing. All of these factors are extremely important when it comes to whether or not your writing will be read, understood and enjoyed, or simply skipped over.
Implementing these 3 simple questions in the planning stages of your project will take your writing to the next level. Start using them to ensure that you are saying what you want to say, to the right audience, keeping in mind the context in which they will consume your content.
Don’t just write for the sake of writing. Keep it focused, keep it reader-centered.