The Fastest Way to Plummet Your Sales: Dry, Boring Content

Lots of people are telling you all the great stuff you'll need in your site to make it great, compelling, and thought-provoking for the reader. There are plenty of gurus out there telling you what you should be doing. Sometimes, though, you need to know what you'd better not be doing instead.

Your site needs compelling content. Yep, that's been established thanks to the thousands of gurus out there who've told you as much. What is rarely discussed is what, exactly, compelling content is and what it isn't.

First, compelling content is about pulling the reader into your site, engaging them, getting them interested and feeling like the site was made for them and them alone. Easy to say, but how do you do that? The most effective way is through good writing using the second person.

Yes, I know, your English teacher went on about this stuff in middle school and you didn't pay much attention. It's boring. Well, don't worry about it. It's boring because it's simple. The second person merely means you use reference to the reader more often than to yourself or a generic 'it' or 'they.'

Boring, academic writing utilizes a lot of 'they' and 'it' in the sentences. This is great for programmers and bureaucrats, but it does nothing for your sales. Personal writing for diaries, blogs, and the like uses a lot of first person perspective ('I,' 'we,' 'me') and is suited for writing that is not meant to be published as anything but a memoir.

Second person, though, that's where it's at. Writing your web content utilizing 'you' and 'your' will pull your readers into what you've written. It personalizes the writing and makes the content seem to have been crafted for the reader.

Take a look around the Web and visit some of the sales, promotional, and other sites that you've found compelling to read that were not meant as academic fare. You'll see a lot of second person writing. You've probably never noticed it before, which is the second bit of trickery you can use to pull visitors into your site: subtlety.

You see, getting someone interested in your content and ultimately your product or services is about being subtle, not flashy and in-your-face. Blaring content that flashes at the reader like a neon sign isn't screaming 'BUY ME,' it's screaming 'I WANT TO RIP YOU OFF.' Look at any get-rich-quick scheme and you'll see this all over the page. Most of us can look at a website and tell, in three seconds or less, whether its' a get-rich-quick scam or not. Their flashy, pushy writing is what gives them away.

Good website copy will compel you to stick around, look at what's on the site, read more, and learn what you can about what the site says. Why? Because it's personal to you, makes you feel like it's got what you're looking for, and it doesn't scare you off by being too brash.

Good content means good writing. Good writing means utilizing the subtle attractions of information and personalization. Give the visitor what they want and they'll come back to you for more.

author: Aaron Turpen

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