Are you leaving your readers out of the conversation?

Brian Clark, the always excellent Copyblogger, today talks about one of my pet subjects, writing with your intended reader in mind.

Although his post, Are You Leaving Your Readers Out of the Conversation?, is about blogging, it’s also relevant to newsletter content. He says:

When the conversation is not one that is of interest to your actual
readers, however, you’ve got a problem. Here are a few of examples.

  • Do the prospective customers of a Realtor want to read endless
    debate about Zillow and other threats to the traditional role of the
    real estate agent, or do they want actionable tips on buying and
    selling a home?
  • Does a small business person care about you hashing out the
    vagaries of the social media press release with your industry
    colleagues, or might they benefit more from a few practical publicity
    tips that demonstrate that you are a savvy and confident PR
  • Does the average car accident victim care about the novel
    procedural ruling that just came out of the Federal District Court, or
    do they care about information that demonstrates that you’re an
    attorney who will take care of them and fight the insurance company?

So as I keep saying, don’t “talk shop” in your newsletter. Instead, help readers with information they want and need.