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How to get people to remember your content.

painting of person brain

How do you get people to remember your content?


There are three ways we remember:


  1. Immediate memory (senses)

  2. Short-term memory (working)

  3. Long-term memory (unlimited storage)


Now that I'm 50, the second is slipping and the third is hazy so I think calling it unlimited is a bit generous, but whatever.


Our mind is remembering things in the moment so we don't do things like forget to open the door or walk off of the hiking path. It's helping us retain information so we can finish the task. And it's helping us remember long ago so we have context to link what's happening now to what it might mean.


We also remember in different ways. We remember what something is, how it is done, how it looks—there's the saying that people will remember you by the way you made them feel when they were around you (so stop being a jerk).


You might think none of this matters if you're just trying to get traffic to your website and that's probably true, but if you're a decent human being writing useful stuff, you want people to remember it in some form (especially where they found that information).


I have remembered books by the color of their cover or where they are at on my bookshelves. This is not useful beyond the front door of my home, when it comes time to tell someone about a book they should read.


So, do people remember what you've written?


They're either doing it based on it's location or story association (i.e. "it has a blue cover and is on the second shelf") or by emotional association.


See that word association?


We remember things better not because of what they are, but because of who or what they are associated with. This is why stories work so well with content, and why you can be the most professional business writer and speaker ever but if you can't master storytelling it's no good.


If you're a fiction writer, you probably have the storytelling thing down. But what if you're a freelancer writing articles and blog posts for clients? Do you still need that story ability?


Yep.


Think of how many products are sold because of the story. Think of the commercials that tell a story around the use of the product instead of the qualities of the product itself. People are buying the story almost as much as they buy the product. They want to associate with whatever the story is.


I'm not a great storyteller, by the way.


But I understand why I should be.


Stories and anecdotes hook readers, help readers understand, and help readers remember. You're basically using everything a word can do to get readers to be customers eventually.


So how do you help readers remember your content, remember your website, remember you?


Stories, yes.


But let's not forget repetition, which is good news for anyone struggling to come up with something to write about for their blog. Who says you can only talk about a topic once? You can talk about the most important topics over and over, just in different ways that ultimately serve as repetition to your reader as what your content is all about.


People remember by association, by story, and by repetition.


Unless you don't want anyone to remember you and your content, which I fully understand.

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