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How to Write for Humans, Not Computers

How to Write for Humans, Not Computers
Carly Knecht
How to Write for Humans, Not Computers

How to Write for Humans

Attracting people to your website can be easy when you’re simply putting out content that was written with the algorithm of search engines in mind. But how does that translate to ROI?

Sure, you might have a high number of website sessions and visitors, but are they converting?

If you don’t write for humans, then you miss out on the chance of nurturing those visitors and turning them into customers. So, let’s talk about how you can create content with humans at the forefront.

Writing for Humans

1. Write About Topics That Your Target Persona Wants to Learn About

How understanding your target person affects your bottom lineWhen it comes to developing your content topics, you need to begin by looking at your target persona. Who are they? What do you know about them? What do you have to offer them?

It’s important that you have an in-depth understanding of who you are trying to reach, so that you’re able to get their attention. You can put the content in front of them over and over, but if it’s not of interest to them, why would they read it?

Here are some questions you can ask yourself to make sure you’re writing for your ideal customer:

  • What persuades them to make decisions?

  • What motivates them?

  • What are they looking to accomplish?

  • How are you able to help them achieve their desired outcome?

When you keep questions like this in mind during your content planning, you will be able to develop pieces that directly speak to the person you want to attract. If you’re not helping them recognize a problem, encouraging them, or providing them with something to solve a problem or reach a goal, then they are less likely to see your content as useful or entertaining to them.

2. Keep It Interesting

In addition to making sure you’re relating to the reader, you need to ensure that you’re keeping things interesting.

Anyone can search for a topic and land on an article with some sort of answer, but how do you make them keep reading? You intrigue them.

If your ideal customers like humor or references to pop culture, then include that in the content you’re putting out. If your customer prefers something more cut and dry, then get to the point and create content that is short and sweet.

When you know who you’re talking to, you can add personality to your content that will make them feel as though they are speaking with you directly, and not just reading another article.

Create offerings that relate to your target persona and deliver them in a way that they find interesting and entertaining. If you make it a more enjoyable experience, rather than making it feel like a chore, you’re likely to keep their attention and resonate with them on a more personal level.

3. Provide Value

Now that you know who you’re talking to and how to keep their attention, you need to determine what value you provide. Consumers are driven by rewards. What do I get out of this? What’s in it for me? The same goes for content.

Think to yourself – why would they want to read this? What can they take away from what I’m creating? Is this really worth their time?

If you can’t answer those questions and incorporate a value add, then you should step back and think about how you can give them something that makes it worth their attention.

When creating content for your ideal customer, you want to provide something so insightful that they want to share it with others. They are likely connected to similar consumers, and a recommendation or testimony from a real person can go a long way.

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4. Promote What You've Written

When you create content that has value, you can’t just post it and hope that it reaches the right people. You have to promote it to the right people. Don’t set it and forget it.

After you’ve published, it’s time to promote! Post your content across personal and professional profiles on a variety of platforms. Even if you have an overlapping audience, there is a chance that they could miss your post on one platform. Make sure you’re not missing an opportunity to get it front of your target customer.

Another helpful avenue for promotion is email. As a business, or even just a professional, you have an email database of people that you connect with regularly. Whether that’s customers, prospects, colleagues, industry professionals, or subscribers, you have a group of people that you can directly deliver your content to. Don’t wait for them to come across your new offer organically, make it easy for them and invite them to enjoy it yourself.

If you’re thinking that you don’t want to constantly be posting about every new thing you create, then promote your content in passive ways. You can do this by simply adding your latest links to your email signature, or putting a call to action in your bios on social media. This is an easy way to inform others of what you have to offer without pushing it out directly.

Writing for Computers

If you’re solely writing for computers, then you won’t see measurable results that actively contribute to meeting your goals. For example, when you only write for robots, you might see success in an increase of website sessions and blog views, but that won’t equate to leads and customers.

Writing solely for the algorithm can be boring, repetitive, and bland. So, are you in it for the right reasons? By not adding value and personality to your writing, you can stand in the way of converting visitors to leads to customers, and ultimately promoters of your brand.

When you write for computers, you lose relatability and take away the chance for readers to get to know your brand for what it actually stands for. Don’t do a disservice to your brand and products or services but only writing for the robots. Identify your ideal customer, find out what they want, and speak to them. By adopting that approach, you’re more likely to see ROI that relates back to the content process itself.

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*Editor's Note: This blog was originally written in 2014 and has since been updated.

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Carly Knecht

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