How to Give Your Readers What They Want

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When is casual writing okay?

Giving your readers what they want comes down to asking two simple questions:

  • Did you answer the question or address the topic right away?
  • Did you anticipate follow-up questions?

If you can answer “yes” to both questions, you’re well on your way to delivering content that meets your readers’ expectations.

Did you answer the question or address the topic right away?

Some writers and other content creators ease into the topic with needless banter, tangibly-related facts, or tertiary information rather than simply answering the question or directly addressing the topic. Aim to answer the question within the first 100 words or your readers might leave.

If your content is answering a question, I suggest forgoing a lengthy introduction and simply answering the question. For example, imagine your topic is: Can I sue the other driver in a no-fault state?

You don’t need to start your content with, “One thousand people are injured in accidents each year…” Instead, you can simply say, “Yes, depending on the circumstances, you can sue the other driver after an accident in a no-fault state.”

Answering the question first and putting the most important information at the top of your content is called the inverted pyramid. Once you answer the question or address the topic, you can then start addressing additional questions that readers might have, in descending order of importance or relevancy to the topic.

Pro-tip: Sleep on your content. Go back to it the next day with fresh eyes. Did you put the most important information at the top? If not, try rearranging your content.

Did you anticipate follow-up questions?

To make your content more valuable, anticipate follow-up questions. If you clicked on your content, what answers would you want?

Consider our example from above about suing the other driver in a no-fault state. Think for a minute about some related questions you might have. You might be wondering:

  • In what situations can I sue the other driver?
  • What is the serious injury threshold? (In most cases, you need to prove you suffered a serious injury to be able to sue.)
  • What can I expect from the lawsuit process?
  • How long do I have to sue an at-fault driver?
  • Do I need a lawyer to sue the other driver?
  • Can I afford a lawyer?
  • Where can I get in touch with a lawyer in [my city]?

If you anticipate a few questions your readers might have, you can make your content unique and much more valuable to your readers.

Pro-tip: If you’ve answered a related question on another page on your site, give a short answer and link to that page where readers can get a more detailed answer. It’ll give your readers the answers they want and keep them on your site longer. 

Remember to always proofread your content after every major change. For help with content writing, call us: 888-521-3880.