Asked to do something, I’ll probably oblige, but I want to know why. Just after our plane had landed in New York City, the flight attendant instructed us to please pull down all the window shades. No explanation accompanied her request. A worried thought first crossed my mind (What’s going on out there you don’t want us to see?), then a stab of resentment (Isn’t that your job? Did you go through the TSA scanning machine for me?)
On the return flight, I came across the answer to my first question in the USAirways Magazine:
“Once a plane arrives at a gate, its systems are often shut down to save on fuel, conserve energy, and keep the engines cool. This means that in the summer months, it can get pretty warm in the cabin when the plane is parked at the gate. Lowering your window shades helps keep the cabin several degrees cooler. And when the plane’s cooling system is restarted before departure, it doesn’t have to work as hard or consume as much fuel to bring the cabin temperature to comfortable levels.”
Recalling that little travel episode, it occurs to me that, as freelance blog content writers, we’re often the ones doing the asking. Even when we’re careful to keep in mind that blog posts aren’t sales pieces or advertisements, more like advertorials, in the Calls to Action we incorporate in SEO marketing blogs, we need to avoid sparking reader resentment or puzzlement. In other words, we need to address all those” why-should-I” thoughts before they have a chance to develop.
Let’s face it – in the effort to convert searchers to buyers, the sort of “because-I-said-so” tactics we all recall from childhood simply just won’t cut it. And whether we’re asking readers to click through to a client’s shopping cart, download a white paper, participate in a survey, or like us on Facebook, our blog content had better answer readers’ “What’s-in-it-for-me?” questions before they’re even thought of!