High Performance Web Writing–Towards Elegant Pitches

Under the Hood Writing Skills: Write for audience sensibility and gain more traction.

Your writing may not be the prettiest piece of prose when properly crafted for a specific audience, but sometimes the goal is making readers ACT! and if you’re anything like me the initial epiphany can be a bit of a downer.

First, reinvent yourself: Web Hack Becomes High Performance Writerrace car

Much of the web content I produce is targeted to a college-age audience. Stupid me thought that meant scholarly writing, really puffing up my prose with SAT inspired vocab. Truth? based on some student comments I’ve followed on a blog I’ve realized my task is much more grassroots, much more fundamental. They ask really dumb questions, honestly, the kind taht make me think they need very basic instructions. My focus has been all wrong–I assumed they already knew how to access information, where to go for basic answers to general questions, but not so much. If I want to get through to my audience, get into their heads and inspire them to act, then I need to lead them to it. I must write less up in the clouds blah, blah, blah and more “do this, then that, go here and click that.” But I want to also do it better than anyone else. I want to be in the lead.

Writing that cuts deeply into a specific audience demographic and arouses authentic action is much more difficult to produce than it sounds.

**Consider this: you assume everyone knows how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, but what if you suddenly met someone who didn’t? How would you tell them to make one, or better yet how would you describe what they would be missing without a PB&J made the right way? Your goal as a talented writer would not necessarily be crafting the description of a PB&J sandwich–if your reader has little experience of peanut butter or has no idea how easy and affordable it is you provided little stimulus for action. Aaah, the real nut of the problem, your real goal would be inspiring the reader to want what the PB&J experience offers and convincing him or her that life would not be the same without it. “Let me show you right now, in three baby steps, how you get the perfect PB&J sandwich made easily and affordably….” That’s a foolish example, and hardly illustrates the beauty you must twist into it to make it anything that stands out.

Believe it or not, if you must create writing like this you know it drains you. This is like stringing puzzle pieces together, the more elegantly you can do it the more you set yourself apart from the low-brow guerrilla marketers with few writing skills. This is high performance writing and everyday you bear down and try to push the envelope that much further, make yourself that much better a professional. Tell them why, tell them what exactly to do, if i’s easy, they want to know, if it’s free or low cost or energy efficient or orgasmically delicious, tell them, make them want this thing you have.

My goal as a writer: a little bit of Thomas Wolfe blended with a generous dollop of Ernest Hemingway. Stir and mmmmmm.

, , , , ,


Subscribe to our RSS feed and social profiles to receive updates.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: