“Blood, sweat and tears.”
“I came, I saw, I conquered.”
What do these words have in common? Have you noticed how only three examples were used above? The three examples are classic examples of the principle in writing known as “The Rule of 3.”
What is “The Rule of 3” in Writing?
According to Wikipedia the principle of “The Rule of 3” suggests that “anything that comes in a set of three are naturally funnier, more agreeable or more effective than other numbers of things.” Wikipedia points out that a set of three is often used to create a progression that starts with creating tension, then building it up, and finally releasing it.
“The Rule of Three” in Business
In business and economics, “The Rule of 3” suggests that there are only three groups that exists in business and that they are three major players. The three groups are those building their own niche in the market, little businesses that are looking for a place in the market and those who totally fail in business.
Collectively, the three major players control 70 to 90% of the market. The remaining will be taken up by the last two groups and they are described to be in the ditch, considered to be the weakest in terms of financial performance.
The same concept is used in blogging by Ross Simmonds, a digital strategist and entrepreneur, in a post on his own blog site rosssimonds.com, where he said only three blogs will rule in each market and they control 70-90% of the traffic. The rest of the bloggers would be in the ditch. Simmonds say that those in the ditch can replace those in the top rank if they collaborate with each other. Guest blogging is an example of such collaboration.
Use “The Rule of Three” as a retention strategy
In guest blogging, Mike Sobol, the co-founder of Guest Blog Genius said that there are two things required to make it a successful content marketing strategy:
1. Effective outreach to build relationships
2. High-quality content that site owners want to publish
The first part is easy to achieve for as long as you are sincere with your intentions. It is the second requirement that is a bit tricky if you do not have the right resources. Writing is very rewarding for a writer because it allows her to impart knowledge to others. This is what high-quality content is all about. Being able to write something informative, something from which the readers can learn from. However, on top of the two requirements, it is important that your content is easily recalled, retained and recognized by your readers. This is where “The rule of 3” comes in.
In his blog entry simply titled “The Rule of Three” in blog.writeathome.com, Brian Wasko, the founder and president of writeathome.com shared the observation that writing in threes make it easy for readers to remember the point driven by the writer. It is because of this that writing with “The rule of 3” in mind makes for a good tool in creating an engaging content according to Brian Clark, the founder of Copyblogger and CEO of Copyblogger Media. He explained that people are proficient at pattern recognition and since three is the smallest number of elements required to create a pattern it makes a lot of sense to use three in your content. In fact, according to him even the US Marines adhere to “The rule of 3” when it comes to getting things done and in keeping their mission to keep people alive. He pointed out that the US Marines had experimented on a “rule of four” but found it to be ineffective due to some retention issues.
Let “The rule of 3” help you determine how to write content
“The rule of 3” can be a guide for you in writing your content, whether it is for guest blogging or content for your own blogsite. The rule is used by speech writers and can be seen in the speeches of eloquent speakers like Abraham Lincoln, Steve Jobs and even Barrack Obama and they were able to effectively drive the point in their speeches using this rule. Therefore, there is no reason why “The rule of 3” cannot be used in driving a point in blogs and content marketing.
To do this, you should apply what Andrew Dlugan, editor and founder of Six Minutes call the three-part outline. Here, you divide your content into three parts such as:
* Introduction, body, conclusion
* Past, present, future
* Pros, cons, recommendation
In writing your content, Heather Lloyd-Martin, an SEO Copywriting Certification developer says that you can use “The rule of 3” to make your content more exciting, more engaging and more memorable. You can do this by:
1. Using three benefit statements
2. Creating a “The rule of 3” tagline
3. Using three bullet points or numbers
As Ross Simmonds said in his blog site, if you are not one of the top three bloggers in your market then you must be one of those bloggers who are in the ditch. Use “The rule of 3” in writing your content and find yourself out of the ditch.
Thomas is an expert content marketer that specializes in guest blogging; he runs GuestBloggingTactics.net and can be hired for your content and guest blogging needs. Get in touch with me go to my Hire Me page on my blog.
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