There are undoubtedly more than seven sins writers commit that keep their articles, books or posts from being read.
And many of those writers have GREAT content.
We’ve already talked about one of the biggest deterents to success and that’s procrastination. Putting off what you want to say… keeping all your knowledge and information to yourself… preventing others from benefiting from what you can teach or share.
The next is a “sin of omission.” Something I am sometimes guilty of, as you may be also.
Sin #2: LAZINESS
Writing a good article is more than putting words on a page.
The words must have meaning. They must reach out and touch the audience.
That means knowing the audience, and what their needs are. Generally not just their expressed needs, but their underlying needs as well.
In other words, “I want a big house.” may be the expressed need, but the underlying need could be that they have 7 children for whom they need room. Or it could be they want a big house for more prestige, or because they have a home-based business that requires more space, or specific qualities for entertaining guests.
All of this means doing research, and finding those underlying reasons that evoke the emotional response that creates a call to action. Unless you’re writing strictly to entertain, your mission (should you decide to accept it) is to create the opportunity for growth and/or change in some area.
Whatever your topic, can you determine what’s at stake? Is it important enough to incite change; whatever that change may be. The writer who can create a strong”visual” to reach a large .. or specific… target audience will do RESEARCH before beginning an article.
As you know, there are lots of ways to do research.
Internet access has changed the scope and depth of readily available material on millions (trillions?) of topics, as well as statistical computations on specific areas of interests to identify the strongest underlying desires within topic areas. In addition, a great way to do REAL research is to ask. Send out questionnaires, ask your family, friends, neighbors and acquaintances.
For example, if I decided to write an article on avocados, (one of my own favorites foods) I could start my research by looking at the frequency of “Google” queries on avocados compared to other vegetables, and what particular area showed the most interest.
Hmmm… guacamole or other recipes? Health value? Difference between regular and organic? Tree, nutrition, salad? Then, once I found out where the greatest interest was, by expanding my research into that area, I could find three to five main points, focus on them, and develop my article.
Why would the reader be interested in what I had to say? What value would it be to them? Why would they want to use the information? Convert the “I want a big house” to “I want a GREAT avocado?” Well, what does a GREAT avocado mean to them?
It could an avocado not sprayed with pesticides. It could be they want the best value for an avocado. Perhaps they want to know the number of calories, or fat content differentiation between types or sizes of avocados. Does the article answer any or all of those questions?
When you’re doing your research, don’t be lazy! Put yourself in the reader’s mind as much as possible, and then put your curiosity and intellect to work to answer their questions… asked and unasked.
And, if you’re feeling a little down on energy, take an avocado break before you start writing again.