Monday, August 9, 2010

Four Ways to Personalize Your Content and Capture the Reader's Attention

Your writing success has a lot to do with how people react to content that you produce.  People like to read what speaks to them directly because it's the kind of writing they can relate to. This is why many writers take great pains to ensure that their content is personalized so that readers will feel that it was written with their interests and needs specifically in mind.

Being able to personalize your content means that what you will produce is unique – a testament to your skills and talent. If you want to personalize your content, here are 4 ways you can use your one-of-a-kind style to write content that truly stands out:

Know who you are

Psychologists, writers and marketers from Hippocrates to Brian Tracy have created labels to categorize each person's personality. That's why you get words such as Sanguine, Choleric, Melancholic and Phlegmatic and the more recent Driver, Analytical, Amiable and Expressive. What about you? Are you upbeat? Assertive? Aggressive? Optimistic? Laid Back?

Find out which personality type you are if it's still unclear to you. Taking tests or asking close friends for their opinions will help. You could also check your writings in the past so you can compare how you have progressed over time.

Be who you are

One common mistake among writers is that they try to be something they are not, thinking that readers will appreciate the effort. Wrong. Readers can be quite clever at spotting fakes so the tone and manner of your writing will tell them whether you're bluffing or not.

Instead of pretending to be someone else, use your own quirks and personal ways of expression to write your content. You'll find that it will be easier to write and the flow of the content will be looser and more effortless.

Speak to your readers through your writing

Writing is a means of expression, so it has the same function as speech – to communicate and reach out. Instead of agonizing over how to personalize your content, try to speak to your readers through your writing but use the tone and style that you would use if you were speaking. 

Try using the first and second person when writing. If you want to personalize your content when writing about organic vegetable planting, for example, avoid using third person nouns such as 'the gardener', 'they' or 'them'.  Use 'I', 'my', 'you' or 'your' to make it sound as if you're talking directly to the person.

Imagine that you and your reader are engaged in a real discussion. How would you talk? How would you present your ideas? What words would you use?  By writing an article that sounds as if you were speaking to the reader directly, you will be able to produce a highly personalized content. The flow of ideas will be much more natural and easy to relate to.

Personalize your content but be useful

There is a point in a writer's work where he or she must compromise. After all, the end user of a work is not the writer but his readers. If your readers cannot relate to or understand what you have to say, then all your efforts would be in vain.

Try to write content that your readers will find interesting and useful, something that will allow your personality to shine through at the same time. Personalize your content by making sure that readers equate you to quality works and information that they can truly make use of and value.


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