How Internet Marketers “Shoot Themselves In the Foot”
Today more and more people are using social networking sites and personal blogs to get their message out to potential clients and customers.
Unfortunately, many of them are “shooting themselves in the foot” with the way their messages are presented.
If you’re using these methods to reach and expand your audience, stop and think about how you present your message – you need to pay attention to both the words and the visual appeal.
The headline is important, of course. Without a good headline, no one will click the link to read the message. But that’s not all that matters.
The message has to immediately tell your reader that he or she will get some value from reading. In other words, that first sentence and first paragraph has to be about them and their concerns – not about you.
Never, ever begin your message with “I” or “We.”
Next, Looks Do Count!
So stop and think about how your message looks.
Back in school you learned that you need to start a new paragraph when you start a new thought. But when you’re writing for customers, especially on the Internet, you need to break it down a bit more than that.
If your thought goes on for ten or twenty lines, it’s way too much. It turns into a “wall of words” that simply looks like too much work. As a result, many of the people who might benefit from your message won’t bother to read it.
So find breaking points and split that message up. Make reading it easy for your audience.
Do remember to add a blank line between the paragraphs, and use bold or underlines in some spots for emphasis. And do vary the length. Ten paragraphs all with the same number of lines looks boring – so strive for variety.
In fact, try putting some of your most important points in one-line paragraphs for emphasis.
Add some sub-heads
The other point to consider is that everyone today seems to be in a hurry. They want to quickly see if your message is worth reading, so they skim. Have you ever tried to skim when there are no breaks in the message?
So in addition to breaking up the copy, try to add some sub-heads. They make it easier for your readers to see what your message is about.
If you have several sub-points to your message that will lend themselves to being in a list, use bullet points as well.
Make it easy.
The bottom line is that no matter how important your message is, if you make it difficult to read, it won’t reach your audience.