Decoding Reader’s Psychology

How to decode reader's psychology

Tomes have been written by scores of literary critics on how to understand the psychology of the reader. Authors across the ages have debated and discussed the issue. Their aim was to evolve a method on knowing what the reader wants to read or what they are going to enjoy reading. The Internet has trashed all their findings. Reading a printed paper, like a book or a document, is very different from reading on a computer screen, tablet or the mobile phone. A reader browsing through web content on the computer will have a different approach as opposed to someone reading the same content on a paper or book.

As a web content writer you have to know what your reader wants to see on the computer screen before he decides to read what you have written. The first point that you must keep in your mind is that an Internet reader has plenty of options to choose from. There are dozens of websites catering to the same domain and are equipped to provide the same information to your reader. Why must he then read web pages that you write? The answer is that you have to grab the reader’s attention very early and very fast. The headline or the very first line of your copy must be able to achieve that attention.

The second point is to keep the reader interested throughout the copy that you write. Distractions are always popping around when someone is reading on the Internet. The chat window may buzz up or there may be an email coming in or other diversions that wean away a reader from your web page. Unless you have written your copy in a gripping narrative, you will lose out on the reader’s focus. Use snazzy lines and bullet points generously. Another technique to keep the reader interested is to use a conversational style. No one likes to read lines that imitate a textbook.

The trickiest point of all is to convince the reader into what you are trying to convey through the web content. Other than the fact that there are other websites trying to do the same, marketing copies written exclusively to sell products or services usually ring false with an online reader. You have to draw a line that balances your commercial side of the web page with the aesthetic quality of your writing. One must not outdo the other. A brilliantly written web page with little sales thrust will leave the reader happy but your business will suffer. Similarly, too much of a sales thrust will repel the reader, and make your web page look like your business is on an ego trip.

Web content writers must always keep in mind that online readers do not like being led on a labyrinthine chase to unearth the message you are trying to convey. Readers like relevant points stated in a straightforward manner. Stick to the basics of lucid writing and you will do just fine!