How To Write A Unique Open Letter
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Swoon

To Anyone Who Wants To Write An Open Letter, Here's Everything You Need To Know

Not all open letters are created equal.

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To Anyone Who Wants To Write An Open Letter, Here's Everything You Need To Know

Chances are if you're here, you're probably interested in writing an open letter. Yay! We're excited to have you.

Of course, not all open letters are created equal. In fact, there's a recipe to writing one for Odyssey that'll get featured on one of our many verticals. When it comes to Swoon specifically (for those new around here, that's our dating and relationships vertical), we receive dozens of open letters each month, many of which are all very similar.

So, if you're interested in writing an open letter that's unique and not like the rest, here are seven tips for making that open letter worthy of a feature on an Odyssey vertical.

1. Identify your "why?"

Before you start writing, decide why you are writing the letter. Is it to thank them? Is it to share a lesson you learned? Is it to tell them something you hadn't told them? Decide what your reason for writing the letter is and make sure it's clear by the time you close the letter.

2. Find something that makes your letter unique and stand out and include it in the headline

So you have a significant other and you're writing a letter to them, that's romantic and we love to see it! However, in order for it to get the number of views it deserves and to actually stand out from the other letters just like it on Swoon, you'll want to find something that makes your specific letter unique. Is the unique part who the person you are addressing the letter is? Or is the unique part what they have done for or taught you?

TIP: Be as specific as possible in headlines so it can reach a specific audience.

3. Write the headline using this structure: "To [Insert Person/Thing Letter Is Addressed To], [Insert Your Why]"

Omit the "An Open Letter To" part in the headline and cut straight to the point. It's best to say "To [Insert Recipient]" and add a distinguisher that makes your letter unique from every other letter that's addressed "To My Boyfriend."

4. Make it as relatable as possible (even if only for a small group)

Yes, your letter is specifically written to one person, but you want to keep in mind how many other people will also be reading the letter (hopefully a lot — I mean, you put a lot of effort into writing it, you deserve all the page views). Because of this, the more others can relate to the article as well, the more likely it'll be for them to share it.

5. Write from your point of view

While it's great to keep in mind that others will be reading this and might be able to relate, it's also important to speak from the heart (that is the most relatable thing) and from your point of view. Use "I," "me," and "you" to keep the letter intimate between you and the person you're writing to (and/or whoever is reading it).

6. Break up lengthy paragraphs by separating strong sentences that can stand alone in bold text

Seeing an essay-style format can be a turnoff for some readers. To make it more visually appealing, consider breaking your long paragraphs up with strong sentences or key phrases that can stand alone.

Format Example:

LONG PARAGRAPH LONG PARAGRAPH LONG PARAGRAPH LONG PARAGRAPH LONG
PARAGRAPH LONG PARAGRAPH LONG PARAGRAPH LONG PARAGRAPH LONG PARAGRAPH.

Strong sentence that can stand alone, written in bold.

LONG PARAGRAPH LONG PARAGRAPH LONG PARAGRAPH LONG PARAGRAPH LONG
PARAGRAPH LONG PARAGRAPH LONG PARAGRAPH LONG PARAGRAPH LONG PARAGRAPH.

7. Use a personal photo if possible

As with any other Odyssey article, using a personal photo is always preferred. That said, depending on who the letter is addressed to, you may not be able to use a personal photo (if you're writing to your ex, for instance, let's maybe not include their pic).

Tip: If you can't use a personal photo, try using a photo from a relevant movie or television show scene or finding a stock photo that looks like it could potentially be a personal photo.

Examples of Strong Open Letters:

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