Get Anyone to Read Every Word You Write With These 7 Steps

Get Anyone to Read Every Word You Write With These 7 Steps

Reader Comments (62)

  1. I love getting your emails but never told you so until now.

    Excellent writing. Ditto on the advice. I’m printing this one!

    Thanks for all your work.


  2. Excellent post, Brian. As always. Some people confuse being “brief” with being “concise.”

    At the beginning of Everything’s Eventual (another example from Stephen King), he demonstrates how the story of Hansel and Gretel could have been told in a single paragraph, and while the meaning would have been clear, it would have been a pretty crappy story indeed.

    Brevity is focused on word count; being conside, on the other hand, is focused on clarity.

    I like your “smoke and fire” analogy.

    Thanks again, Brian.

  3. Damn ! That one trumped mine … again.

    Bad habit you got there BC.

    ” In the real world, people want as much information as they can get before making a buying decision. ”

    ” If people are interested in what you’re saying, they’ll keep reading as long as you’re imparting new and valuable information. ”

    THAT’S exactly what I tried to say in my post, but as usual, you said it better.

  4. You make it look too easy brian! ALl of your posts are great, but when I attempt to create some for myself I simply don’t put in the needed effort. I will use these steps and hopefully they will allow me to create something as useful and entertaining as your writing.

  5. Great article. Sometimes we need to hear it more than a few times for it to stick.

    Love the “unknown” quote! And I almost didn’t read it….

  6. I’m fully on your side, but just had an opposing thought: maybe readers (on the web) will always skip some of the text, no matter how concise it is. So: give them lines to skip. Or put another way: make your message clear even if parts of it will not be read.

  7. Great post, I think that says it well. A big part for me is knowing your reader, *really* knowing your reader. What might seem unnecessary to the author might be essential to a less knowledgeable reader, what the author thought was clarification might come over as patronising clutter. We always have to muzzle our egos and instead talk to the audience 🙂

  8. While those 5 words sum it up (perfectly), some people don’t (really) get what concise writing is (all about). Some think that communicating less (information) and having a low word count is (the mark of) great writing.

    That’s not it (at all).

    You (simply) must take out the bad parts, (by taking out) the words that aren’t necessary.

    (-; Great article, Brian.

  9. Brian,

    Your 7 steps are an excellent start to great writing. I now have printed out at least 4 of your articles to review when writing a new blog post.

    Mike, I liked your comment with the parenthetical words. You should post a second one with them removed just for comparison.

    Thanks again Brian for the article,

    – Mason

  10. I have to say I dislike the headline of this post as it hurts the copywriting principle of being believable a tad bit.

    The combination of “everyone” and “every word” makes me feel like “yeah right”. Reminds me of this book Ive seen on Amazon before “Get anyone to do anything” which I think isn’t a very credible title..maybe I associate both headlines with one another and thats the reason? I really think its a bit overdone and either everyone or every word would have been enough.

    That being said Im not trying hard to be a critique..your blog is one of the 3 blogs I check daily 😉

  11. On the subject of smooth transitions, Joe Sugarman encouraged writers to put readers on a slippery slide. Make every element so compelling that readers find themselves falling down a slippery slide, unable to stop until they reach the end.

    Thanks for posting these tips. It’s easy to get out of the habit of good writing. I will keep your list close.

  12. Brian,

    I am hooked, your website is on my must read list.

    It always amazes me when I get to a website with No Focus and the smoke is so thick it burns my eyes.

    Keep up the good work.

  13. Great advice Brian…

    Personally, I strive to follow those steps with every sales letter I write for myself or my clients.

    I like the headline by the way…it makes people think twice about NOT reading it.

  14. I have to say I dislike the headline of this post as it hurts the copywriting principle of being believable a tad bit.

    The combination of “everyone” and “every word” makes me feel like “yeah right”.

    Patrick, check again. I didn’t say “everyone,” I said “anyone.” And the way to get “anyone” to read something is to write something of interest to them.

    See step one.

  15. I just skimmed over most of this article. ;P

    Just kidding. Brian, you have a very fluid style of writing that makes reading enjoyable. I’m not sure it’s something that can be taught.

  16. I’m a pro songwriter, and your 7 steps embody what’s right about a great lyric. And I’m going to share this page with other writers.


  17. Perfect! The 7 steps at the end are the most helpful because the links back to your other articles explain more about each point.

    Can’t wait to read about psychological connectors.

    I’m curious how long you’ve been writing. You are so amazing at this that I would be jealous if you casually said “only a couple years.” Best of all, you practice what you preach and I’ve never come across a blog that is easier to read.

  18. What a post! Thanks a bunch for the tip, Brian.

    Brevity is focused on word count; being conside [sic], on the other hand, is focused on clarity.

    I didn’t know that. Worthy of remembrance.

    Also to Mike Maranhas: awesome demonstration. I’d love to see more examples of this way of getting rid of needless words.

    Thanks to all. 🙂

  19. Hi! I find the tips you gave here very useful. Yes, it’s really important to note the words a writer uses, because that is how a message can be conveyed. Using the right word means getting your message across. Many thanks for the helpful pointers! =)

  20. Excellent post again, Brian :o)
    I tend to ‘waffle’ on a bit, but that’s usually, because I don’t want to leave info out.

    I love the 7 steps you’ve lined up, they sum up what should be common sense to anyone writting for an audience, but as with all common sense things – it’s usually not that easy to come up with.

    Whenever I write for my blog, I try and put myself in the audience’s shoes. And i keep asking myself – if I was the one reading this stuff, would I keep reading, or would I say – “who cares!” – that’s usually a good gauge…

  21. As someone who is trying everyday it seems to engage an audience with good content…it is just hard I guess.

    With clients I cut through the gruff easily, but with my own work i find I am lazy or that it is a lot harder b/c I am trying to edit myself editing myself.

    Weird huh?

    Your post helped me see, once again, that their is indeed a certain map that needs to be followed in order to make even a single post stand out from the rest of the blogsphere.

  22. I appreciate your posts, but it bothers me to find typos in an article about better writing. It always helps to have as many eyes review text as possible. I found at least 3 in this article.

  23. Great information and something I will keep in mind as I begin a new blogging adventure

    Thanks for the advice

  24. Argh! Just submitted some copy to my publisher and then read this.

    Excellent stuff. Thinking (very) carefully of what I need, and not to write.

    Do you have a list of “bad” words? For instance:

  25. Going off the comment Karen first made, I think you should get a nice “print this post” icon on each of your posts. These articles are so good that they should be taped onto my desktop!

    Ask your designer about it. There’s a great one called “WP-Print.”

  26. Thanks for the tidbits. At times I can be overly non-terse with many words.. (See what I mean?) and the points you make help me lighten up my posts to mean more with less space.. and then that means I can post much many more posts!!!

    Thank you.

  27. Really found this post useful. I read through it almost every time I post. Was wondering, did you ever do that article on psychological connectors? Sounds interesting…

  28. Excellent article, Brian. I know I’m a bit late to comment, but you apparently removed a few too many words in one spot.

    After commenting on the Nike “Just Do It” phrase and campaign, you said, “Something tells me that approach is out for you. “

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