Whether your reader is in bed with you, engrossed in your novel, or hunched across the office desk looking over your website, you need to be considerate of their needs and desires. Here’s a few tips.
(This post is a response to the Cosmo headline challenge issue by Brian Clark at Copyblogger. That’s why it’s a bit over the top in places…. It’s all meant in good fun.)
1. Seduction at the start
Whatever you’re writing, be it a blog, novel or love letter, you need to tempt your reader in. Grab their attention and let them know there’s a good thing here, something hot, something they’re really going to get their teeth into.
2. Passion all the way
Write about things you care about. If you’re bored by the subject, it’ll come across.
Your writing needs to appeal to all the senses. Paint a picture they can see in their minds. Touch their feelings. Let them hear your words in their head, describe the scents and smells of the world you create.
4. Staying power
Great headlines and intro paragraphs are all well and good but you need to keep your reader hooked all the way to the end. No flagging.
Use as much humour in your writing as you can, depending of course on the subject and the audience.
You need to build excitement, and in longer forms of writing you need to pace it as well.
7. Sweet surrender
If you’re writing sales copy, you need to close the deal.
8. A well-toned middle
Cut the flab from the middle of your writing. So many novels, for example, start to stray after a powerful beginning.
9. A climax at the end
Whether you’re writing a novel or a sales letter, you need to build the excitement until it becomes unbearable and the reader is screaming for more. You need a fantastic ending. Now, if I could just think of one….
10. And a quick cuddle
Don’t forget, in all the excitement, to wrap up the loose ends. In a novel, the reader wants to know what happens to all the characters they have come to care about. And every sales letter needs a strong PS (or three). But don’t take too long about it. That just becomes an anti-climax.