For a mobile audience it is critical to think clearly, fill your offering with value and structure it so that it is easy to find, scan and digest by an audience that is on the move.
What will people value in my offering?
You are an expert. No doubt you have something of value to offer people online. The trick is to package that offering in a way that helps your audience to resolve everyday predicaments and to significantly optimize their quality of life, while they are on the move. These are the Stellar Ideas.
It helps to imagine that you are lobbing an expert idea into someone’s predicament:—They have got their phone (check); They are having the sort of trouble that your can help with (check); They have your offering (KAPOW problem solved!).
How grateful will they be? How will they feel about further engagement with you?
How do I package my content to be valuable for a mobile audience?
Focus on a single valuable idea. Don’t be tempted to cram too much into your offering.
It always helps to start with writing a post article. Whatever form your offering eventually takes (lesson, video, podcast, audio, infographic, image, animation, powerpoint, etc) being able to clearly convey your idea in writing will help you to think clearly about what you have to offer.
Quite often the article is the offering. But where you are adding rich multimedia content and placing it behind a paywall, the article becomes a way to publicize and promote the offering.
How do I structure the article?
Start with your conclusion!
In journalism this method of starting with your conclusion is called the Inverted Pyramid style.
Here are some principles for structuring your article to really help people when they are using mobile devices:
- Start with your conclusion (in your title)
- Provide a summary (take away) at the top of the page
- Provide an image or multimedia to illustrate the key concept
- Provide a call to action at the end
- Organize everything in between in order of importance
- Phrase headings as questions
- Front load paragraphs (first sentence most important)
- Limit to 300-500 words (5-10 minutes reading time)
How does this help people?
- Your audience can scan
- Your audience can stop reading at any point in time and still come away with the main point
- Starting with your conclusion boosts Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
What is the process for writing or making such an article?
When you start writing an article, it is difficult to think in the above order (e.g. what is the main point; what is my conclusion; what are my main headings; what will my audience really want?). These things do not tend to become apparent until after the article is written. This is because you think while you write.
Step 1: Write a rapid draft first, not worrying too much about the order of things. Just get your thoughts on the topic down on paper.
Step 2: Review your draft. Ask yourself:— What is this piece essentially about? Why it is value to my audience? Are the ideas organized logically and in order of importance? Have I covered the topic well?
Step 3: Drop your text into the “Anatomy of a Topic” template. This will help you to clearly see where the gaps, repetitions and/or overlaps are. This step will certainly involve re-writing your article to make sense from the reader’s point of view.
Step 4: Spend time crunching the word count right down. If in the end you still have more than 500 words, then you are probably dealing with a topic that needs to be split into separate related topics. The only time you would allow your article to be longer is for the convenience of your reader (not yourself); but then you risk having them reject the offering because they are put off by the number of words.
8 tips for writing (thinking) clearly
Focus on a single valuable idea in your offering. Unpack what your want to say and leave things out that cannot be expressed in 300-500 words. (These can become separate, related offerings.)
- Choose a nice place to write
- Pick a time when your brain is fresh
- Plan what you are going to write before you start
- Think of questions your audience might ask
- Work in 25 minute spurts (with mini rests in between)
- Use: http://www.hemingwayapp.com/
- Give your brain a night’s sleep before you publish
- Get a buddy to proof read it
Having built a bond with my audience, what can I offer them next?
If someone reads to the bottom of your article, they have invested 5-10 minutes of their time and may be ready to invest more. Examples of a “call to action” are:
- Link to my related offering
- Go to next lesson
- Register for my newsletter
- Pay for something
- Download a resource