Friday, January 20, 2012
Why Would People Gossip About You?
A common mistake fresh writers make is telling others to buy, to read, to spread the word. People don't like to be told what to do. The intelligent writer with wares to sell and image to project makes the reader want to repeat what he found, tell others what a cool writer you are.
Dan Zarrella of danzarrella.com, recently guest posted on Problogger, providing a piece entitled What Motivates Readers to Share? He stated that you must: first--have an online presence, second--put updates in the hands of readers, and third--motivate the reader in that update. Then through studies, databases and research, Dan analyzed what messages get repeated, i.e., gossiped. The results?
1. Simple wording.
You write for your audience. Ask a professional children's writer the different between writing for Pre-K, grades 1-3, grades 4-6, grades 7-9 and so on. Ask a sci-fi writer about what his reader expects. Same for romance. If you want the masses to know you, then write in a language that the masses can understand at first glance. Keep it simple - less wordy - crisp and clear.
2. Pertinent wording
Using words like I, my and me aren't nearly as attractive as you. Also, using please and help works. Amazingly, nine of the twenty most commonly used words relate to social media. What does THAT tell you. And words that sound boring, come across boring and aren't usually repeated. Note that ING words, the words writers should see as passive, don't catch the eye either.
Bottom line . . . write for the reader in your advertising efforts to sell, not you. Use a call to action, but make it sound voluntary and polite. When the reader feels compelled to help you because you've respected him first, you've done a good job. That makes for great gossip.