3 Questions to Be a More Effective Writer – Jeff Goins

jeff goins effective writer

Howdy Blog Tribe! It’s time to up your communication skills today with the writer, podcaster, and creator-extraordinaire Jeff Goins.

I first saw Jeff on stage at his own conference in Nashville (Tribe. Highly recommended).

jeff goins at tribe conference
Jeff on stage–me in the back eating candy and taking photos 🙂

The conference was a blast–and it also reinforced my idea that if ANYBODY can help you be a more effective writer and blogger, it’s Jeff.

We chat about…

  • How to deal with critical/negative feedback
  • Why you should NOT build a business because you want freedom
  • 3 vital questions that’ll make you a better writer.

Below, we’ll briefly break out that last point

🙂

Listen to my episode with Jeff Goins

or listen on \\ iTunes \\ Stitcher \\ Google Play \\ Overcast \\ Spotify

Want to reach and connect with your own tribe more effectively?

Here’s the questions Jeff posed:

Use these 3 questions to be a more effective writer & communicator.

And by the way, I’ll also totally lump podcasters, YouTubers, and course creators here as well.

If you can’t effectively communicate your ideas, you won’t be able to grow. People on the internet have short attention spans.

#clickaway

Question 1 – Who am I trying to reach?

Anybody who has done the “avatar” exercises was trying to define the answer to this.

Who is your audience?

  • Male or female?
  • Pinterest user or Reddit user? (probably not both ?)
  • What are they interested in?
  • What reading level are they at? (really)

Before you can reach people in a meaningful way, you need to understand them and what they need from you.

Jeff’s Example:

You and I are strangers that just started having a conversation.

After a minute, I realize you are NOT from medieval England, but I insist on speaking in Old English, because “that’s the way I talk.”

(Or just the way I want to talk).

That’d be shortsighted. That’s obviously not the best way to communicate to you.

So what would a real human do? They’d adapt their language/speaking so you could understand as best you could.

The first step is knowing your audience.

How they speak, how they read, how they ingest your content.

I covered the topic of defining your reader avatar heavily in my ‘start a blog’ guide.

Question 2 – How do you reach them?

This can mean two different things:

  • where’s your audience?
  • what do you need to do to engage them there?

The first point is marketing 101. “Who is your audience and where do they hang out online?”

This goes back to understanding them; you’ll need to explicitly know where your target reader hangs out online. Probably Facebook & Instagram ?

The second point?

So you know roughly what social channels they’re on, what private Facebook groups they’re a part of–how do you reach them there?

How can you tailor your communications to ATTRACT the “right” kind of person, now that you know who they are and where they hang out online?

Question 3 – How do you say it?

Quite literally.

  • What words do you use? Big n’ fancy? Or plain n’ simple?
  • Do you need 1-2 sentence paragraphs and tons of images like Brian Dean’s audience on Backlinko?
  • Or intelligent prose and long paragraphs like Tanja from Our Next Life?
Know what your audience needs.
Tanja’s audience is different than Brian’s

What does your audience need?

How can you shape your content to better resonate with them?

Takeaway: Adopt this communication mindset.

These questions are less about “sitting down and figuring out the answer,” although you can certainly do some of that.

It’s more about adopting a mindset of constant analysis and adaptation.

  • Analyze what’s working with your audience.
  • Adapt future content to better suit them.

If you want to be a more effective writer, that’s how ya do it ?

Question? Concerns? Comments?

Drop me a message in the comments!

I sincerely enjoy getting little notifications (and a chance to interactive with y’all, of course).

6 Responses

  1. A LOT of bloggers do those short sentences and then give feedback to everyone that their paragraphs are too long if they’re more than 1-2 sentences. Happy to be validated that that’s not the only way to format! 🙂

    That’s a good point on the WHY you built a business, I think a lot of people fall for the idea that it could be their “easy way out” yet there’s nothing easy about it. PREACH, and stop the lies to the masses! ????

  2. Hey Pete – I loved the interview!

    Always appreciate your great tips – I’m still developing my writing style and your article provides great examples of how different styles can totally work. It can be confusing to listen to SO MANY “EXPERTS”….glad there’s you – who I trust since you’re always so helpful and transparent.

  3. “People always ask me…”
    hahahahha! Guilty.

    Great interview, Pete. Great questions and insights from Jeff I hadn’t heard him share before.

    I definitely have a lot to think about with the Entrepreneur vs Freelancer…

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