If you have a blog or are a freelance writer, you’re probably always looking for ways to make your content irresistible to your readers. But, while most content creators want to learn how to create compelling articles, they completely ignore the “why.”
Applying writing tips without understanding them is like treating the symptoms of a condition instead of addressing the cause. Uncovering why that condition appeared in the first place and what factors led to it will help the doctor give an accurate diagnostic and prescribe the right treatment.
Writers are not doctors, but nevertheless, the situation is similar. Knowing why a trick works and what type of behavior it triggers, can help you create better content for your audience.
Here are five psychology tips to make your content irresistible.
- Forget What Your English Teacher Taught You
Back in college, our essays were meant to be read by teachers, people who appreciated the value of a text by the complexity of its structure and the number of metaphors you used.
Nowadays, your readers don’t have the time or the patience to follow a difficult sentence structure or to look for the meaning of a word in the dictionary.
Write like you talk, especially if your content requires using some technical words here and there. It will soften the blow.
Use technical lingo only if it improves the reading experience (for example, writing SEO instead of search engine optimization.) Otherwise, your readers might have a difficult time understanding you. That is if they can get past the coldness of the text and stay with you until the end.
- Use Trigger Words to Elicit Emotions
People usually forget what you say. But, they rarely forget how you make them feel. A copy writer using the right words will imprint the message in your readers’ minds by generating a spike in the limbic system.
Emotionally-charged words, such as “magical,” “forbidden,” or “insider” have the power to trigger an actual emotion, making it easier for people to remember your content and, thus, your message.
- Feed the Brain with Great Storytelling
In a 1944 experiment, 34 college students were asked to watch and describe an animated film of two triangles and a circle moving across the screen. All but one student described the movements through elaborate stories. Some said the triangles were fighting while others claimed that they were angry and frustrated.
The study highlights humans’ need to make sense of the world around them through storytelling. Our brains aren’t hardwired to retain logic and facts. They are designed to remember stories.
Find a way to match your content with your audience’s experiences to hook them and cement your message. Use words like “we,” “I,” and “you” to create a relation between you and your audience.
- Keep It Short
Writing is not an easy thing to do. You engage a lot of brainpower trying to find the words that will help you get your point across in a clearly and engaging way.
But, regardless of how hard you work on an article, the amount of effort a reader should invest in understanding your message should be minimum. Reading must be an enjoyable experience, not one that gives a headache to your audience.
Use simple and short words and sentences. Remember the golden rule of good writing: one idea per sentence. Avoid words like “generally” or “mostly” since they give the impression that you’re afraid to take a clear position and make you sound unsure.
- Visualize Your Reader
Great content should be molded to the needs of your audience. You can’t always ask your readers directly about their preferences and expectations, but you can imagine what they want to read.
Understanding their beliefs, desires, intentions, challenges and perspectives, will give you a clear view of their emotions and enable you to emphasize with them easily. Before starting to write, put yourself in your reader’s shoes and imagine living the challenges they have on a daily basis.
There’s good content, and then there is great content. With the wealth of writing tips available on the internet, anybody can get to a point where they can write good content. However, knowing how to create great content takes much more effort and dedication. You need to go beyond the obvious and explore the most obscure desires of your audience.