What Is Reader Focused Writing?

Joe Bellavance
Joe Bellavance

We’ve all read content that makes our eyes glaze over. Our lack of interest drives us to boredom until we can’t comprehend what we read. As a business writer, you are usually expected to write reader-focused writing. After all, the whole premise of your job is to convey your business’s message to the business’s customers. How do you make your distraction-free writing reader-focused writing, though? How does it differ from writer-focused writing? This blog will cover what reader-focused writing is, how it compares to writer-focused writing, and how to successfully write for your reader.

Writer-centered vs Reader-centered Writing

As evident by the name of each, writer-centered writing focuses on the needs and desires of you, the writer, while reader-centered writing focuses on those of the reader. In writer-centered content, you create content with yourself as the audience. While others may read your content, you don’t focus on relating to the reader. For example, let’s say your business decides to launch a new product. You send out an email to your customers to let them know about it. In the email you discuss why your business is excited about it and how great it will be for the company. This type of content is writer-centered because it focuses on why the product matters to the business and not why it matters to your customers.

Reader-centered writing, on the other hand, has to be clearer than writer-centered writing. Your reader can’t read your mind, and you shouldn’t expect them to. You have to be direct with your messaging to them and make sure you explain why they should care about your subject matter. Discover who your audience might be, whether it is customers, employers, or board members, and write as though you are talking to them.

How Do You Write Reader Centered Writing?

Now that you know the difference between writer- and reader-centered writing, it’s time to look at writing for the reader. What practical steps can you take to actually do it? There are a few key steps to follow to help you with that. 

  1. Have a purpose. Like with any type of writing, business writing needs a focus to make sense. Without it, your content will sound like mere ramblings, and your audience won’t finish reading it because they can’t find the point. Make the reader understand why what you’re writing about matters.
  2. Respond to needs. Once you establish your purpose and start your writing process, you should make sure that you are addressing the needs of the reader. What might they be wondering about? How does your purpose affect them? Readers want to know why they should be reading what you’re writing. They want to feel that they are benefitting from reading it. Give them that reason to make it to the ending.
  3. Organize your writing. Let’s say that you have all your ideas down. Now it’s time to put your ideas in a clear order so that the reader understands your progression from one point to the next. This will make your content easier to read and your purpose easier to understand. It’s also important to break up long chunks of text in a clear way so that readers can read more quickly. Slice is a writing app that can help you with organization. It allows you to split your writing into sections that you can work on one piece at a time before you put them all together.
  4. Use appropriate tone and language. We aren’t just talking about using correct punctuation and spelling. We’re talking about using appropriate tone, too. Tone is the emotion you get across in your content through word choice and sentence structure. The tone of your writing is important because it allows you to connect with your reader. They will be more inclined to continue reading if it feels as though you are writing directly to them.
  5. Include a call to action. It makes the reader act upon what you write. It can be anything from encouraging them to check out your business’s website to giving them a way to reach out to your business with any questions they may have. If your reader has been truly engaged in your content, they’ll be more inclined to respond to your call to action.

All of these steps are about knowing who you are writing for. Why is it necessary to know your audience? Because your reader won’t care about your writing if they don’t feel that you are writing to them. For example, a CEO writing a letter about rebranding will frame it differently when writing to their employees than if they are writing to the customers. A letter to the employees might include more information about how the change will affect their daily work while the one to the customers might focus more on explaining how the change will rekindle their interest in the company. Know your audience to keep them engaged.

Slice: The Best Way to Write Your Reader-focused Content

Now that you know what reader-focused writing is and how to write it, it’s time to start doing it. Slice can help. Our platform was created for writers like you. It can be hard keeping all of your ideas straight while also tracking your sources. With Slice, you can accomplish distraction-free writing so that you can better focus on what you need to do as a business writer: write for your reader. 

Slice creates that space for you by giving you a place to keep your resources and writing together. No more shuffling through tabs to find a fact or a quote you want to include. Keep yourself focused and put that focus on writing for your audience. To sign up with Slice, click here.

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