Anais Nin said,
The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say.
Ann Handley says this in her book title: Everybody Writes. This is true because we all:
- Write emails.
- Post status updates on social media.
- Write down things we want to remember.
The problem is we don’t do it effectively.
Everyone has a platform. Anyone can create a blog, a Facebook account, or a YouTube channel. This doesn’t guarantee you’ll be interesting.
To be effective, your messages need a dependable structure.
Part One: Have One Main Idea
Have you ever read a blog post that resembled an encyclopedia article?
If you’re too young to remember encyclopedias, imagine a Wikipedia page instead.
Encyclopedias are great when you need a lot of information in one place. Blog posts aren’t meant for that.
When you research, find as much information as you can. When you write, focus on one big idea.
Limit your big idea to one sentence. If you try to do more, you’ll dilute your message with every additional idea. That’s like pouring hot tea over a tall glass of ice. The drink will taste a little like tea and a lot like water.
Focus on one main idea and your writing will be strong.
Part Two: Use Three Supports
It’s not enough to share your main idea.
- You must prove it.
- You must answer reader’s questions.
- You must show others are thinking the same thing.
Support can come in many forms. Here are three you can use.
Data. There is an infinite amount of research available. Show with verifiable data that your point is true, and people will believe you. Why? Because science appears objective.
Stories. Shop at Amazon for books and you’ll find at least 90 stories in the top 100.
- We share stories with our children.
- Great speakers use stories to illustrate their big ideas.
- When you hear a good story, you see yourself in it.
Social proof. Trends begin when someone does something another person copies.
We often make decisions based on what other people are doing. After all, 50,000,000 Elvis fans can’t be wrong, can they? The bigger the crowd, the more likely we will follow.
Part Three: Repeat Your Main Idea
Your main idea is the golden thread that holds everything together.
- State it at the beginning.
- Restate it at the end.
- Be sure you refer to it throughout your post.
Use this formula and people will read your posts. Then you can call them to action. When your suggestions bring them success, they’ll come back for more.
Thanks to Dr. Gary Goodman for inventing this formula. You can hear more in his program Crystal Clear Communication.
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