This makes people open your emails, blogs, and articles. (And read them. And come back for more.)

What makes people open your emails and read what you write?

The answer is sweet and simple:

Great content.

“But… that can’t be all! There’s headlines and subject lines and email formats and graphics and so many other important things to think about!”

Sure. There’s that, too.

And it STILL boils down to delivering great content.

Let’s go over some of the things that might increase the number of people who open and read your emails.

And see why your content still trumps those.

(PLUS: I’ll share how to come up with great content at the end.)

#1 Subject lines. They matter.

Of course they do. If a subject line triggers your curiosity you want to know what’s inside.

A good subject line is like a good cliffhanger: you want to know what happens next.

BUT.

If you open an email because of its juicy title, it STILL has to deliver good content.

If it doesn’t, your readers will feel slightly disappointed. Which is not how you want them to feel.

 

#2 The length of the article. And how well you write.

Blogs and newsletters should be between 300 – 500 words, some say.

I say: bullshit.

People will keep on reading as long as they’re interested.

When’s the last time you decided to NOT read a book because there are over 300 words in it?

The ONLY reason people stop reading is when they no longer give a shit about what you have to say.

Which happens when you don’t keep your readers engaged and, guess what: when you deliver crap content.

AND:

As long as your content is great it doesn’t matter how well (or bad) you write.

I’ve been reading someone’s articles and books for YEARS despite the fact he’s a pretty lousy writer. Because I like his content.

 

#3 Graphics. Newsletter formats. Fonts. Colors.

Everything that makes your articles and newsletters easy on the eyes, helps.

BUT.

It’s NOT the reason people read what you write or buy what you sell.

It may tempt them once. But it won’t keep them coming back for more.

Only great content does that.

 

So now all we’re left with is one crucial question: how do you come up with great content?

 

#1: Own the value of your knowledge, experience and expertise.

That IS the great content you have to offer.

It doesn’t have to feel new or great to YOU. It never will. Because you write about topics and subjects you live and breathe.

General rule of thumb:

Feel like you’re not sharing anything new? Have a feeling that everybody surely knows all this already?

Great! You’re connecting to your audience and meet them at THEIR level of knowledge.

Feel like you wrote something genius and shared tons of stuff NO one has ever heard of?

Start over. You’ll probably lose or confuse your readers.

 

#2: Give it your own twist.

Infuse your writing with your personality and perspective. Combine your expertise with your hobbies and interests.

‘What entrepreneurs can learn from Star Trek’ or ‘Business lessons from Masterchef Australia’ for example.

Be creative. Play with it.

(That Star Trek article? I actually wrote a couple of years back. The Masterchef article will be ready soon.)

 

#3: Don’t hold back.

Share your opinions and beliefs on your area of expertise. Don’t hide who you truly are or what you stand for.

What is it YOU bring to the table that others don’t, won’t or can’t?

That’s what people come to YOU for. And why they value your content.

 

© 2015 Brigitte van Tuijl

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