Whether you’ve just graduated from college or you’ve a life-long journalistic career behind you, the one thing you haven’t probably practiced is the idea of writing for an audience.
I’ve been writing for an audience for so long that I hadn’t realised that many people don’t. It became apparent only when I hired writers for emdash and I realised that they often write to inform, while I’ve practiced to write to persuade.
Well, naturally. A journalist’s job often is to inform people. State facts, present evidence, be clear. This is what most journalism schools teach. However, a content writer’s job is to persuade — behind all the educating and informing, there is an implicit goal of making the audience buy a product.
Think of a professional blog you regularly read — a tech company, an online educator, an influencer and so on. Haven’t you noticed that between their useful words, there is a plug for their own product?
Some may be immediate calls to sale, some may be what we marketers call long-term nurturing. But, this is the way of the Internet — content is a sales tool.
So, if you’re a content writer, it is important to realise that you’re
Writing to sell
To a specific audience
Who is persuaded by specific features
That give them specific benefits
Your content is a means to this end. Your content needs to make your client’s product the right answer to a customer’s problem. So, the next time you write content for a business, think about an audience persona, identify their particular problems, map those problems to the solution your client is offering, and build a story around that. It’s more likely to produce results.