Three Great Writing Techniques I Found While Watching Television

Three Great Writing Techniques I Found While Watching Television

Reader Comments (21)

  1. I think i might have to agree with Dan on this one, I mean , sure in theory these strategies sound Good, but are they really applicable for all bloggers? I think not. especially to new blogs or blog with a narrow audience.

  2. I think this post is, for the most part, insightful and makes a really valid point. There is one thing however, that stuck out, which is a bit incongruent with the subject matter. You stated

    “Writers of daytime soaps do, however, write to their audience: mothers, wives, and others who stay home during the day. ”

    It may be useful to consider who you’re really addressing in this post. Many mothers and “wives” work during the day. Worse, the usage of “wives” implies that this post was written only for a male audience (unless perhaps you live in an area that permits same-sex marriages).

    I doubt that meaning was the desired intention for this passage, nevertheless, it really illustrates the importance of what you state in the very first sentence of your post, step outside yourself, into the minds of your audience.

  3. Dan, Ryan will be so pleased to know he’s an A list blogger. 🙂

    As creative writing techniques, I think these things can be applied by anyone. At one point, Copyblogger was a completely unknown blog, but I used the very advice I give on the blog to become better known. I don’t see why this is any different, but then again, I didn’t write this article. 🙂

    Josh, I don’t think Ryan meant to offend or to imply that he’s writing to an all male audience here. I think what he’s saying is that even though many males now stay home during the day while women work, soap operas still tend to attract a female demographic due to the subject matter (I’m sure there’s data out there that would answer this for sure). So, soap writers would naturally write for that demographic, even though males are at home during the day too.

    Worse, the usage of “wives” implies that this post was written only for a male audience…

    I don’t see that implication at all. The implication is that soap writers write for women (whether that’s true or not, I don’t know).

  4. Brian, I agree with you in the sense that I don’t think it was intended to offend. The thing is, the implication is that soap writers write for wives, not for women (as you noted, which may have solved the issue) so it sounds like the perspective of the audience this article was written for, is the male perspective.

  5. Here’s another take on Josh’s comment…I want to know why Ryan felt it necessary to quantify the female audience by labeling them as wives and mothers in the first place? If the audience is women, then he should have just said women. If he was discussing ESPN, would he have said husbands and fathers or would he have simply said male?

  6. I also noticed the wives, mothers sentence as indicating a narrow point of view.
    Unfortunately I also noticed two errors in the use of singular/plural in a sentence. I found it hard to read on, after that.
    Editors are worth consulting.

  7. I wondered if that comment about soap-watchers might draw some fire. And I guess it did.

    If it helps, I wrote and rewrote that line a few times. I didn’t intend to imply anything derogatory, nor was I intending to aim for an all-male audience with this post. I’m really not a sexist person, so it’s interesting to be defending myself this way.

    Brian did a good job of summarizing my stance above, but basically I tried to honestly mention those who watch daytime soaps, largely influenced by the target audience soaps go after. I could have simply said “women”, you’re right, but even that would have attracted fire (trust me, it would have). Soaps are certainly peculiar — I’m not sure I could think of an equivalent for the male species where I would use “fathers” and “husbands”. Maybe football on Thanksgiving day?

    I don’t want to spend too much time defending this point. I hope everyone took something away from this post, and if not, hopefully you will next time.

  8. The Oprah Winfrey Show—People buy from those they like

    Consumers WANT to trust people–and brands–they like. The more likeable, the more consumers are willing to suspend their disbelief in favor of that person or brand. To butcher a Howard Luck Gossage quote, consumers do business with people they like, and sometimes it’s a company.


    Give your copy a great personality. Copy with brand personality supports the brand, while vanilla copy diminishes and dilutes the brand. Creating likeable copy is part and parcel of creating persuasive copy. (Just remember that it’s not the ONLY aspect of creating persuasive copy.)

  9. Thanks for sharing your insight.

    Any website or blog that’s in it for success has to be written with it’s target market’s personality in mind.

    In fact, those blogs and sites that are heralded by many followers win attention by continuously delivering targeted and appetizing content for their readers.

    You hit the nail on it’s head when you said:

    “When it comes to its target audience, daytime soaps are written perfectly—and by perfect I mean it was written for the intended viewer.”

  10. I believe that it’s important to write according to your personality and don’t write something that isn’t you.

    Afterall, people read what you write and you get fans/people who are like minded to be attracted to you 🙂

    Great tips

  11. I agree that these tips do work- although, unless you are starting with solid content that you know that your audience will eat up, proceed with caution.

    These techniques work because they are delivering something very valuable to the reader

    That’s all I would watch out for, is trying these tips with content that is not top-notch and being surprised when it does not work.

  12. Ryan,

    What was offensive to me wasn’t that you said soaps were directed at women. They are and always have been – that’s just plain fact. The offense was taken when you said they were badly written and then basically: “oh well” cuz they’re just for stay-at-home moms and stuff. And that’s perfect how?

    What you are essentially saying is that women aren’t very discriminating about what they watch and, to take it a step further, that perhaps women can’t even recognize crappy writing when they “see” it. What is that saying about women?

    The key to soaps – and you made the point yourself – is that they are escapist. The women in the 18-34 demographic at which soaps are targeted are not addicted (and it is an addiction) because of award-winning writing or acting. Although, to be fair, some soaps have been very ground-breaking when it comes to social issues like AIDS and interracial relationships. But the target audience here is looking for drama and a break.

    As for zafer’s comment about only some women responding to soaps…I’m not sure I understand your point. I know plenty of women who work at home and DON’T watch soaps and probably even more who work outside their homes and Tivo their soaps or catch them on Soapnet. Basically, it isn’t about what a woman does for a living, it is about personal preference. What you said would be like me saying: “I believe that only some men like to watch golf.”

    This post was seriously disappointing. Not all of the people who read this blog are in the straight, white 18-34 male demographic. Ryan, you really ought to take your own advice and step outside of yourself and consider YOUR audience. A lot of your ideas in this post are very interesting and original, you maybe just need to be more aware of the reach of this blog and the power that your words can hold.


    P.S. No. I do not watch soaps. But I actually hosted a radio show about them when I was in college. Soap Talk. =)

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