Consider the Reader

“#2: You gotta keep in mind what’s interesting to you as an audience, not what’s fun to do as a writer. They can be v. different.” – Emma Coats’ 22 Rules Of Storytelling

One of the biggest challenges of being a writer or creator of any kind is to have to be concerned about the reader.

Actually, all communication is startlingly complex when you really think about it. Here’s just one of many images that attempt to represent it:

communication

To get your message across, you first have to know what your message is. You have to figure out how to express it precisely, and then you have to communicate it to your audience.

This requires more than just understanding your idea well– it also requires understanding your reader’s context well.

There’s no point if you have perfectly encoded your message (according to you) if your reader simply can’t decode it. That would be a failure to communicate:

“I know you think you understand what you thought I said, but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.” – Alan Greenspan

It follows, then, that one of the best ways to improve your content marketing is to develop a more nuanced understanding of your reader’s context. You need to learn their language, not just your own.

“If you’re trying to persuade people to do something, or buy something, it seems to me you should use their language, the language they use every day, the language in which they think. We try to write in the vernacular.” – David Ogilvy

 

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