Helen Keller wasn’t born blind and deaf. But losing two of her senses at 18 months of age made a huge difference in her ability to grow and thrive.
Without sight and sound, she didn’t develop language fluency. So as a toddler, she couldn’t communicate or learn, which left her closed off from the world, angry, and frustrated.
I think we have a similar reaction today when we run into badly written content.
Let’s face it, a lot of content lacks language fluency. It doesn’t communicate clearly—or if it does, it doesn’t engage our senses, so it bores us silly.
When young Helen was unhappy, she might run out of the room or throw a temper tantrum.
When your readers are unhappy, they exit the page. (Come to think of it, though, some really bad content might cause temper tantrums too.)
So what’s the solution? How do we get people to engage with our content and maybe even enjoy reading it?
The answer is locked in Hellen Keller’s story: sensory stimulation.
When Helen stopped receiving sight and sound input, for all practical purposes, she stopped developing.
When your readers are faced with dry, boring text, they shut down as well. It’s tiresome to read big words, complex sentences, and abstract ideas if those words don’t create images that help them process the information.
Great content doesn’t just educate and sell. It also entertains, inspires, and sparks new ideas.
Great content tells stories, paints pictures, and pushes its readers to do things they might not otherwise have done.
All too often, we create content for content’s sake. We don’t have anything important to say. We just need to meet a publishing deadline or we’re trying to raise our sales quota.
With this approach, content doesn’t stimulate the reader’s senses. And the only action it inspires is a quick exit.
Let’s make a commitment to do better this year. Instead of sharing facts, let’s tell stories. Instead of listing features, let’s paint pictures.
Whether you’re writing content or sales copy, by stimulating people’s senses, you’ll get them engaged with your brand and excited about your products.
You may also turn casual readers into fans and customers.
It’s not rocket science. But it does take a little thought and effort. It also helps to have a network of other writers who care about the challenges of writing engaging content.
The Writer’s Studio is the place to go if you want to learn more about writing engaging content.
But you can join the Writer’s Lounge for free. It’s a smart community of writers who want to use their writing for good, not for sensory deprivation.
Image source: Wikipedia