Really? You might asking me. This came into mind while watching a Sunday entertainment show. In one segment, before the singer begin...

The 4mat Approach: How to Develop a Content that Connects like Courting a Reader

Love is in the Air
Really? You might asking me.

This came into mind while watching a Sunday entertainment show.

In one segment, before the singer begin to sing -- at that time a love song, she asked the audience few obvious (and mushy) questions about when people are in love. The purpose is to add context so the audience can feel and connect better to the song.

Until this line got me :
"When you're in love, there are lots of questions, there's the Why's, the What's, the How's and the What If's".
So true. But on my funny side, at that time, I said to myself, "This applies in writing content, too".

This leads me to write this post.

In writing perspective, that line reminds me of a simple strategy for writing content that I'd learn. The technique is to answer those four questions in proper order when you're writing content. This strategy is called the 4MAT Methodology, which is use by teachers to create effective educational materials. This is helpful especially if the subject matter you want to communicate is too complex or novel.

In blogging, this is best to apply every time you create tutorial content or a blog series, which helps you attract more blog visitors and subscribers.

Back to courting

Similar to education, this approach applies when a man courts a woman. It's human behavior, if we're deeply in love to someone, we want that person to know, like and trust us. The best way to make that happen is to answer in right sequence all her questions, uncertainties and doubts. Through that, she'll understand you better and probably, she might fall in love to you.

Likewise, in developing informative content, you need to win those barriers in order your reader understand you better.

So, from here let's learn how this strategy works and how to apply in developing content, as if you're courting your reader and make her fall in love, at least in your content :

#1. Make her understand "Why"

This is the most important and critical part because it serves as the foundation of your content.

In order to communicate and prove your point effectively, it's essential to immediately deliver the reason why a browsing visitor should read your content. "What's in it for me", she's asking. What benefits she can get in exchange for her time?

That's why, in order to grab her attention, one of the best practices in writing headlines is to clearly express the practical benefit in it. Then, immediately support it in the opening paragraph. One good example is to tell a short and tantalizing story.

While in courting, this is your first impression. Why should someone you admire allow you to court her?
Sincerely propose to her and prove to her how much serious you are. Passionately tell her you are worthy of her attention and time.

#2. Tell your "What"

At this point, you already make your reader understand "why" she should learn your subject matter. Now, it's time to give her the "meat" of your content. These are the features and other supporting data of your product, service or idea. Here, you're engaging to her logical thinking. Give her weightily material to think about to show that you're trustworthy and have authority. So, even you're not expert, through your research, you show her that you're qualified to write about the topic.

On the other hand, in courting, this is the stage where you confidently present yourself to her with her family. Here you sell "who you are". These are the things you can offer and give to her if you'll get her "Yes". Show her you can be trusted and have background, status or skills that she'll be proud of.

#3. Explain "How"

Now, here's the fun part. You're going to let your reader learn --by doing. In your content, explain her by giving examples and illustrations of how your "what" works in the real world. This is perfect for those who prefers learning by practical application instead of analytics and theories.
In courting, the "how" is by giving her your time, patience and effort to prove how much you truly love her. It may sounds clichè but it's so true that actions always speak louder than words.

#4. Answer her "What If"

Lastly, in this part, not all the time your reader may practice this but she might dig deeper to better understand your topic.

She'll asks you few interesting questions in the comment section. "What if this or that. . ." plays in her mind. She's requesting for clarification or offer her own understanding about the subject matter. This is where real conversation comes in. So, take this opportunity to interact with her and express your point boldly.

Listen when she shares her thoughts in the comment section or email then encourage her to write her own take about the topic.

When applied in courting, answering her "what if's" is really significant especially if you already cleared the three above. You may already made her fall to you but she's hesitating. There are doubts that scares her. Just like how a memorable quote in the movie "Letters to Juliet" define this:
"What and If are two words as non-threatening as words can be, but put them together side-by-side and they have the power to haunt you for the rest of your life".
Clear this doubts to her and she'll treasure you for the rest of her life.

Win your Readers' hearts, minds and actions Today!

Implementing this strategy in your content that covers all the learning bases of your reader's mind will make you a better information teacher. Moreover, by using effective elements of persuasive writing, you'll definitely capture her heart. So, asking her to bookmark your post, buy from you and other call to actions become effortless.

Do you have "what ifs" in your mind?

Did I win your heart, mind and action in this post?
Express it in the comments. . .

photo by: linh.nga

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