A columnist must connect with the audience
Got a problem you can’t solve? Have no where to turn? Don’t suffer in silence. Ask Miss Nancy and she’ll give you advice, or at least a few suggestions on what to do. You can reach out to her with or without your name by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This week, Miss Nancy explains that a good columnist must be a good listener, someone who shows empathy and a person who connects with the audience.
A lot of people ask me “Miss Nancy, how are you so good at what you do?” I always tell them the same thing: To be a good columnist, you need to connect with your audience and put yourself in their shoes.
Empathy is an absolute must when it comes to this type of work. You need to think what you would do in this type of situation. How do you think Dr. Phil and Oprah are so successful? They are able to reach out to their audience.
As an advice columnist, you need to write about situations which are associated with the age group you are targeting.
Writing about house payments or rent may be good for an adult-oriented column, but most teens do not want to read that. In a teenage column, the most common questions are about how to maintain a healthy relationship, how to keep grades up, and other sorts of crisis in teen lives.
If you want to be a good columnist, you need to be sensitive and be a good listener. Listening is an important skill when it comes to this type of writing. By connecting with my audience and picturing myself in their situation, I come up with logical solutions for their problems.
It all comes down to one simple formula. Good listening + empathy + connection with audience = good advice column. This is how I have managed to be at the top of my game for so long.
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Previous Miss Nancy columns
>>Suggestions on dealing with college-application stress
>>Inaugural Miss Nancy column