6 Ways to Lose Readers – 5 Painless Ways to Keep Them

“First know a thing; then write it as truly as you can.”
Paraphrasing Hemingway

Introduction

Did you ever wonder why some article writers are so meticulous with their work? They are, you know. Not because they tend to have analytical personalities, but because they know that to be less than meticulous is to risk losing their credibility with the reader. Writers who give away their creditability also give away their opportunity to move the reader toward action (the ultimate objective in article marketing).

Credibility Lost

How might a writer lose his credibility? Here’s my take on a list, in order of negative impact on the reader.

1.  Give the reader the impression you’re trying to “scam” him in some way, or that all you’re really want is for him to skip down to the link at the bottom of the page and click it.

2.  Tell an obvious lie or stretch the truth to make a point.  Those sentences will leap off the page at half your readers.

3.  Make an error of fact.  If you don’t catch it, the reader will.

4.  Fail to meet the reader’s informational needs.  That is, fail to pay off your title and topic sentence.  The reader not only goes away, he goes away mad because you’ve wasted his time.

5.  Fail to use normally accepted style, grammar, spelling and language.  E.E. Cummings could get away with it.  You can’t.

6.  Fail to catch a typo or correct a misspelling or misuse.  Newspapers, e-mail and, worst of all, texting, are causing readers to be more forgiving of obvious typos, but spotting one still causes the reader to come out of your article for a second.  Every time that happens, you’ll lose as many readers as you keep.

Five ways to avoid losing readers

1.  Make a personal commitment to adhere to the highest ethical standards in your writing.  Embrace the fact that you’re a writer who makes his living by providing information to people who want it, not a salesman promoting a product.

2.  Vow always to reward the reader with the information he wants.  Pay off your title as if it were a debt.

3.  Research your topic.  The amount of research you should do depends on the length of the article you plan to write.  The longer the article, the more deeply you will be able to explore your subject and the more information you will need to provide.  Remember this:  Even if you know your subject, research it anyway.  At least one person out there knows more than you do.  See Step 4.

4.  If you can find them, interview people who know more than you do about your article subject, or find their writings, and quote them.  If you can find an original source-the inventor, or the founder, a guy who’s been there since day one, somebody you can quote-interview that person and take good notes.

5.  Edit your writing.  Proofread your articles.  Let your articles sleep in your computer over night, read them one more time the next morning, fix any errors you find (and you will find at least one) and then send them off.

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