Who doesn’t want their blog post to go viral? Who doesn’t want more eyeballs on their masterpiece? Considering the time it takes to research, draft, edit, proofread, and publish a blog post, it’s a shame when it only gets a handful of views. Usually the posts that go viral have one thing in common: they create an instant connection with their audience. Writing a compelling headline can help to a certain degree but, it’s all about the connection and we all know that ‘connection’ cannot be made without effective communication.
So, let’s find out how to create a real connection with your audience and get them to share your posts by using the principles of effective communication.
This is a concept I learned in my Business Communication class when I was studying for my MBA; a different and indeed a fun way to approach writing your next blog posts. This will help you to create blog posts that people want to share without having to write sleazy headlines. So let’s get stuck into it.
When you write a blog post, you may need to ensure that you convey all the relevant information in order to make it easy for your readers to understand your point of view and the action you want them to take.
This doesn’t mean that your blog post should resemble a book. I am not talking about the scope or length here. All important and relevant information that is necessary for the readers to get the full value of the post, need to be discussed.
For example, let’s say you’re teaching people how to create a pasta dish. You would perhaps begin by telling them about:
- different types of pasta
- most suitable kind of pasta for a particular pasta dish
- ingredients they need to make the pasta dish
- alternative ingredients in case they can’t find something
- cooking time
- what to do if something goes wrong along the way
Never assume anything. Give people all the information they need.
The ability to say something concisely without sacrificing any other Cs of effective communication. This is my most favorite C principle of all.
This means you get to the point quickly. You don’t go on and on about something. In essence, you will avoid unnecessary words and repetition.
Brevity is indeed your best friend. It gets your message in front of people without wasting anybody’s time. It’s succinct and elegant, and people are drawn to it because it avoids unnecessary reading.
For example, if you share a blog post that is under 1,000 words, just by the virtue of it being short, it has a higher chance of actually being read. Then, does it mean long form content shouldn’t exist? Blog posts with more than 2,000 words are not consumed? Not at all.
What I am trying to say is: avoid rambling. Make sure your sentences are complete, and your message is clear and concrete. Before publishing your blog post, take the time to double check for any redundancies in your writing. Your readers will thank you for that.
Consideration means stepping into the shoes of your readers and approaching your topic from their perspective.
You must consider your readers’ level of expertise and point of view before you start writing. You need to know why you are writing for them and where they stand.
Picture your ideal reader as you create your post. What are they struggling with now? What emotions are they going through? What is truly helpful to them? What would make their day a little brighter?
Then write with a ‘you-attitude’. Meaning, focus on them instead of yourself. Use words like ‘you’ and ‘your’ in your writing. Show it in your writing that you take real interest in them.
You can’t go wrong with consideration.
Getting your message across in the way you intended is the purpose of clarity.
Convey your message clearly. Explain what you mean and give examples when appropriate. Do not confuse your readers. You need to express, not to impress.
Don’t be pretentious or overly academic in your writing. Remember, you are writing a blog post not a thesis. Conversational writing works best.
Write as if you are writing to a friend and you really want them to understand something that is super important to you. How would you say it? How would you persuade or make your case? How do you get them to care?
You want your readers to take action after reading your blog posts. You want them to leave comments, subscribe to your list or make a purchase. In any case, you want them to share you posts, so always keep this in mind: A confused mind doesn’t take any action.
Take a look around – the most widely shared pieces of content are almost always written in a simple language and really break things down for people to understand. Do more of that.
Another way to add clarity to your content is to make it concrete. And by that I mean, give them facts and figures when possible.
Furthermore, instead of saying something like ‘next week’, you can give people an exact date. Instead of saying a client made thousands of dollars with your coaching, you can mention the name of your client or at least refer to their respective industry. For example, ‘a health coach made $8.5K in the first month after working with us’ (and that’s way better for credibility purposes also).
Another way to use concreteness is to make your writing specific and definitive instead of using a language that is vague and general. If you’re talking about an ideal spa day, don’t talk about how ‘relaxing’ and ‘rejuvenating’ experience it is. Give your readers some details. Did you get a glass of champagne upon arrival? Was your robe as soft as a cloud? Did your facial mask smell of peppermint and was it good enough to eat?
Paint a picture and your post will be well received.
I like to show courtesy towards people, be kind and treat them with respect. I am guessing you are the same?
Show that in your writing. Don’t be rude, pretentious or have a holier-than-thou attitude.
Reply to comments. Interact with people on social media. Thank them for sharing your blog posts and supporting you. In short, be courteous to your readers.
Also, I need to say something here: I am not sure if you have seen this trend of being ‘cool’ or ‘hip’ by using inappropriate language in your writing. If you swear in real life, and your stuff is not for kids, that is fine but please don’t try to be something you are not. You’ll end up alienating more people than you imagine.
I don’t cuss in my writing, I keep it clean but I don’t feel offended by a well-used F-bomb either. However, reading something that reads like a long list of profanity is not something I gravitate towards and I’m sure a lot of people don’t either. So, decide if you are fine with that before you go down that route.
In a corporate or traditional business environment, correctness means creating a message that doesn’t have any errors, such as:
- precision and sticking to the facts.
It’s important that you check your written words before publishing them, otherwise you may come across as unprofessional.
Using correct grammar is important but an occasional error won’t break your blog post. You’ve got to understand the goal of writing a blog post is to connect with someone, to inspire, educate or entertain. The grammar police won’t come after you if you make a mistake (and if they do, admit your mistake, thank them politely and correct it.)
It’s the same with typos. Do proofread for any errors.
In my personal opinion it’s far more important to be of value than to appear professional. What do you think?
So there you have it.
Which one of these 7 Cs of effective communication do you need to incorporate in your writing right now? If you’ve got any tips, head to the comments section below – we’d love to hear them!