Keep ‘Em Coming Back for More

By: Marilyn L. Davis

“I had discovered that learning something, no matter how complex, wasn’t hard when I had a reason to want to know it.” ― Homer Hickam, Rocket Boys

chisled writing

Writers can get discouraged when they realize that we’ve been writing chronicles for over 4000 years. Although this statistic reinforces how long we’ve been writing, it also confirms that we are still interested in the same topics. We still need to know what we want and need to know. That’s why people are still searching for information. Any search is going to produce thousands of articles on a given subject, which means there’s still an attraction to the topic, a necessity for information, or another how-to.

Today, people have the luxury of instant knowledge. All we have to do is search and research a topic and we are bombarded with information. Too many writers are afraid of being repetitive when they realize how many people are writing about their chosen topics or niches, so they don’t write about the same issue as others. That is unfortunate because how you say something, in either your choice of words, phrases or style is going to be different than anyone else.

That’s what makes your writing individual.

Whether you write from the perspective of breadth or depth will also set your articles apart. There is the generalist approach, or the in-depth analysis of a particular facet of the topic. You can write distinctively with words and style that piques interest and curiosity. If you keep this in mind, you can bring new and valuable insight on the same subject. When you create great sentence structure, combined with creativity, your articles go from ho-hum to hits.  All it takes is planning, and writing that taps into the natural curiosity of people.

Curiosity and the Hot Stove

Studies on curiosity show that there is both good and bad curiosity.  I do not remember a time when I have not been curious.  I take that back, for some reason, I do remember my mother telling me not to touch the hot stove as it would burn me.  I was not curious about that advice. However, there have been multiple times that I didn’t take someone’s advice and metaphorically got burned by not heeding their advice.  So, how can you satisfy curiosity and attract readers?

Know what readers need and want. All searches are inquiries to satisfy someone’s curiosity.

knowledge sharing 2

Readers might need information on how to fix something.  Readers may want the most current stats on their favorite sports team. They may want to wow their families at a holiday dinner. Or they may simply be interested in a particular topic.

With all of the available information online, it’s up to you as the writer to take their curiosity and give them a compelling read, and start building your following.

Of course, you knew that. Although obvious, it’s important to know the three general categories to see how best to position your title and contents.  So, how do people search?

  1. They want to buy something.
  2. They want information about something or someone.
  3. They want to learn how to do something or fix something.

Google is the place we go when we don’t want to ask our friends, or we think our friends don’t know enough to be helpful. We want expert opinions.  We want to know all the details. We want images. Plus, it’s convenient. So what do we normally search for on Google? 

  • Famous people
  • Good food, good books, good movies
  • What is the market doing?
  • Why does the economy suck?
  • Why is the moon in Jupiter?
  • Why does my faucet leak?
  • Where is the best?
  • Where is the cheapest?
  • Who is most reliable?
  • How can I write better?

The list is only the beginning. There are sites that compile our search habits, and reviewing them for keywords or search results can help you frame a title or see which topics are saturated or overdone.

However, as a writer, you know that you can capture a reader’s curiosities with a catchy title, great summary and then new and original content, regardless of the overall topic. If you remember, in the beginning of this article, I referenced how long we’ve been writing. So the original content that you’ll create should offer a slightly different perspective than what is typically offered. It’s often the point-counter-point that draws attention.

But before we can get our readers interested in our article or blog, we have to get their attention with a title. What are some words that would kindle curiosity and interest in a reader?

attention grabbing words 5Each of the above words qualifies the subject and will kindle interest and curiosity, but you have to deliver on these words with your content.

weird light pole 2

However, if you say something is amazing or weird, don’t make it commonplace.

How you write about the same topics as the other 1,999,999 bloggers will be different if you choose a slightly unusual perspective. Try not to be afraid of being repetitive in your choice of topics.

You’re a writer, and it’s your choice of words, style, phrasing and voice that make your work exciting, interesting and meaningful to readers.

When you think creatively and then write exceptionally, your readers and you are satisfied with the end product. 

So, grab that coffee, think about your subject from multiple perspectives and see if you don’t experience an increase in followers, more comments and satisfaction.

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