No one wants to read your words.

You and most other people write for fun. And when you write for fun, you can generally say whatever you want. Plus you can say it however you want.

I write for a living. That changes things. When a client hires me to write ad copy or digital content, he or she expects me to deliver that client’s message to a given audience and effect a specific reaction.

In every case, I must first attract the reader’s attention. No small task these days. So much to see. And read. And hear.

So, how does a writer (or anyone for that matter) create effective writing? Here’s how I start every project:

I assume that people do not want to read what I have to say.

It’s good advice. Plus it happens to be true. Sorry, but people do not want to read my words. Nor yours. But they certainly will if we attract and hold their attention. We must make people take notice. Make them want to get involved.

Take this article’s headline. In addition to being powerful and a bit startling, the headline is also interesting and honest. It’s a strong start.

Next time you write something that you want others to read, really examine your final words. Pretend you stumbled upon those words for the first time. Does the headline (or first line) hook you? Is the intro interesting? Would the content resonate with your reading audience — in other words, will people care?

If not, rewrite. Get tough. Make your words irresistible.

Need examples right now? Simply check out other blogs. See which posts draw you in — and keep you there. You’ll quickly discover which writers have it figured out — and which ones need a little help.

Author Joe Starin heads up Hit by a Brick, an independent copywriting resource.