You’ve Got To Give A Crap

In writing content, there is an oft-overlooked point about it all: you actually have to care.

What does this mean? It means you have to care about who you’re talking to–more than simply caring about the money or the attention that your potential audience might provide.

This doesn’t mean you have to go all altruistic and everything, and care only for them, and not at all for yourself. But you have to know about those people out there, what they’re about, what their lives are like–and yes, in order to do that, you have to care about them.

It’s all well and good that you’re in a particular game to make money–many of us are. But too often, especially when a business starts to do well, the principals tend to forget about the individuals actually paying hard-earned cash for that product or service, and only focus on elements that they think will cause people to buy or inspire them to buy more. The joke is, though, is that you’re not going to inspire anybody if you don’t really care about them.

People can actually sense whether you care or not, or whether or not your caring is genuine. How many times has some salesperson just lathered on the phony kindness in order to get you to buy a car, or an appliance, or something else? How did that make you feel? Maybe a little violated? Maybe a little slimy? Maybe like not buying a dang thing from him or her?

On the other hand, you’ve probably had one or two in your life who have cared, both about you and the product they were selling, and were able to demonstrate ways the product might actually help you. You probably bought from them, didn’t you? 

 The same applies to creating content. I bet you could randomly sample a few web sites and, applying this principal, tell instantly if the writer really cared at all about the people they were writing to. Too much of the time, they care only about making themselves or their company look fantastic, in an effort to draw interest. But sadly, their lack of caring for the reader can come across in spades.

As an afterthought, you also have to give a crap about what you’re selling or promoting. That shows in your writing or your sales pitch as well. If you don’t, or you’re just pretending, you might want to consider a different line of business. Just sayin’.

Reaching the Heart of the Reader

Today’s mantra for high visibility on the web is “content, content, content!” Anyone creating a web site is highly advised to fill their site with meaningful and relevant content, and regularly add to it so that visitors are engaged, and more likely to return, and most importantly more likely to purchase your product or service, or more of it.

The above will go a long way to rate a site high in the search engine rankings. But the next key question becomes, “Will potential qualified prospects read it?” Will the messages hit home? Will they be more motivated to buy, or buy more?

To satisfy those questions, there is only one answer: you must learn as much as you can about your potential audience–their needs, wants, desires, hopes, dreams and anything else that might be remotely relevant to what you are communicating. There is something on the order of a natural law in the statement that the better you know your readers, the more relevant your content will be to them. 

For a simple exercise, take a look at people you already know well–for example, members of your own family. You would probably have a pretty good idea of something you could write that would interest them, that they would probably read. Why? Because you know them intimately, know their interests, know what they might respond to.

Now take a look at your web site’s potential audience. While you can’t be expected to know them as well as you know your own family, you should certainly know them at least as well as you know your acquaintances, if not your friends.

The above is mandatory whether or not you are writing your own content. In fact, as a freelance writer, the first thing I want to know about any company that hires me is, “What can you tell me about your audience?” I want to know as much as possible. If my client doesn’t know, no amount of intensely clever wordsmithing on my part is going to cause that audience to read the content, or reach for a product or service.

Of course, that knowledge will also go a long way with your sales staff and anyone else who deals with the public from your company. It is truly pure gold.

Now, how can you get to know that audience? Very crucial question, and that will be the subject of another post in the near future.


5 Reasons You Need a Professional Writer

Here are 5 important reasons to hire a professional freelance writer:

  1. A professional writer can often turn out a spectacular written communication in a fraction of the time it would take a non-professional.
  2. A professional writer has extensive experience communicating with the written word. Your message will come across exactly the way you want it to.
  3. Because you only pay for each product, in the end it costs you far less than it would a salaried employee. You only pay for what you need.
  4. With professionally written marketing communications, web messaging, blogs, press releases, articles and other essential elements, your company maintains a highly professional image.
  5. A professional writer will always work with you, amending anything as necessary to make it exactly what you need. You are treated as a client, not an art critic.