One at a Time, Please

Oct 25, 2011 | Better Blogging

“How many ‘friends’ do you think will read that?”

Ed’s soft voice cut into my writing concentration. “Well?” he demanded.

Ed was my first real writing mentor, my boss on a job where I was writing direct response letters. I didn’t get the point and I knew the best course was to ask Ed what he meant, so I did.

“You just wrote ‘Dear Friends’ as a salutation.” Ed said. “How many personal letters have you ever gotten that started with a plural greeting?”

Suddenly, I got it. Only one person reads your copy at a time, whether it’s in a letter or in a blog post or on a web page. So write as if you were writing or talking to one person.

Forget “Hello everybody” and “Dear Friends” and write for a single person, your reader. That person is reading your copy all alone. Write like you understand that.

Bottom Line

If you want to write effectively, write to a single person.