Thursday, July 24, 2014

Engaging the Reader

Engaging the Reader
I recently read a book written in the first person in a way like a minister delivering a sermon to an audience. It is not what many readers would expect of a well-written work because of its unconventional writing style and the lack of smoothness or intrigue. Yet the book took the number two place on The New York Time's bestseller list.

The popularity of a book is obviously not about how well a writer writes, but about writing on the right topic and about content. Unless the writer is a celebrity or a famous someone, expecting high readership for what one writes may just be wishful thinking unless the writer has done his or her research to know what topics and content engage readers.

As an enthusiast of the social media, I have managed blogs and social network platforms long enough to understand how certain topics and content are well received while others fall short or fail badly. If the number of followers and comments are a guide to measure popularity and engagement, then analytics may be a good way to help make trending observations.

When I write on topics like healthcare, for example, the number of followers tends to fall far below expectation even with strong digital marketing engagement through campaigning, promotions, and the like. When I write on topics like career or faith, on the other hand, the number of followers increases exponentially even without campaigning.

Engaging readers or audiences in the real world requires knowing what's hot and what's not, what moves the heart or touches a chord, what reaches out and helps meet a need. In a nutshell, a writer needs to do research to know what readers really want before beginning to write.

No comments: