Mistake 11 of 29: Boring Your Audience.

People have short attention spans. On the basis that they are reading your piece because of your subject line or header, you don’t need to give them that much more than they expect.

But you should provide an intelligent and interesting response to the header that initially attracted them. Your article must then be well-written and add value to the reader - and never be boring!

Don’t forget – you are not giving this to them – they are paying with their time in reading it, so get to your point quickly. Some estate agents’ newsletters are incredibly lengthy. While a lot of work might have gone into them, they just won’t be read in their entirety.

It's better to have one snappy piece that expands on the subject header, than numerous topics within one newsletter/blog/advertorial.

Your articles should be 250-350 words in length (about three-quarters of a side of A4). This is long enough to be interesting and to explore relevant issues, yet short enough to be read to the end, where you should have an engaging call to action. (See Mistake No.10 “Forgetting to Close”).

However, when you start to write don’t be constricted by length.

Go with the flow, and write what you know.

Then do a word count and edit down from there. You’ll find this forces you to be economical with words and you’ll begin to articulate yourself more succinctly. You should be able to shrink your piece by about 30% without losing any of its meaning.

Additionally, because people tend to scan a page rather than decide to read it from start to finish, it’s worth breaking your page up into snappy chunks.

  • So use lots of white space!

See how giving even just a thought, a phrase or a sentence or two its own paragraph appeals to the scanners? Even better when you make some of these a sub-header or bullet point in their own right, as I have above. Now you’re on your way to becoming a great writer (ok, not Hemmingway, but you know what I mean).

Have a great day.


Key point for today:

Make it snappy! Focus on a single topic as a vehicle for your informed opinion and advice, rather than trying to fill a newsletter with “stuff".

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