3 questions readers want to know about your article


Everyone who sees your article, video, podcast, report, or other piece of content asks themselves 3 questions to determine if that content is worth their time consuming:

  1. What is the subject?
  2. What will I get out of reading it?
  3. How long will it take me to read this?

First, they read your headline or title, to learn the subject of your article. They can’t read everything and will choose subjects that are relevant, important or interesting.

Second, they ask what they (might) get out of reading the article. They consider the subject and what they know about you. Have they gotten value out of your previous content? Do they see you as an authority on the subject? Do they like reading what you write?  

Third, they decide how long it will take for them to read your article, based on the length and complexity of the information. This helps them decide to read it immediately or save it for later when they have more time. 

And they make those decisions quickly. 

Therefore, do your best to 

  • Know your audience. What do they need and want to know? What problems do they want to solve? What information do they want you to provide?
  • Focus on crafting a title or headline that conveys the benefits of reading the article  
  • Make your content easy to read (short sentences and paragraphs, simple language (mostly)
  • Consider where your readers see your content, i.e., on your blog, social media, Medium, or in their email
  • Consider a mix of brief articles that can be skimmed, and longer, comprehensive articles

Finally, writing often is more important than writing brilliantly. Your job is to keep your name in front of your audience and remind them what you do and how you can help them. Do that regularly and when they need your help, or know someone who does, they’ll see you as the best choice.