In the age of instant information, most readers don’t typically finish a whole blog post. They scan it for information that’s relevant to them and move on. This is true for casual site visitors and loyal readers alike. And, unfortunately, it’s true whether the information in the blog is mediocre or remarkable.
So how can you get readers to slow down long enough to read the information you’re sharing? Is your tone boring people? Are your posts informative? Let’s assume you’ve got engaging and useful information (you’ve already made sure of that, right?). You’re still likely to lose readers unless you stick to the following blog writing tips for presenting your information.
1) Use Headlines With a Clear Value
Headlines are your tool for grabbing attention. But in order to keep the reader interested, you also need to be clear about what your article offers. The headline should be accurate and provide a quick and understandable answer to the question, “what’s in it for me?” Titles with “How to…” or “Top 10…” are popular because they get straight to the point.
2) Make Your Introduction Relevant and Engaging
Once readers continue past the headline, they’ll look to the introduction to be sure that the post fulfills the promise made in the headline. This is your chance to assure them that the article is tightly focused and to pique their curiosity with interesting questions on the topic. Keep it brief and always reiterate the value of the information you’re offering.
3) Numbered Headlines Work Better
Headlines with numbered lists perform better. This may be because, in scanning the headline, the reader wants to get a sense not only of the content but of how many ideas will be offered (and how long it will take to read the piece). For example, while the headline, “How to Promote Your Brand on Social Media” tells the reader what information to expect, “Five Ways to Promote Your Brand on Social Media” additionally gives a clear picture of how many concepts to expect.
4) Leverage the Power of Subheadings
In a world where people scan before they read, subheads carry the eye through the piece quickly and break up long blocks of text. You can be a little more playful with subheadings, but they should still have a clear relationship to the text that follows.
5) Get to The Point
Long chunks of text put readers off. The best writers aim for brevity and clarity. A good rule of thumb is to keep most paragraphs to two or three sentences, with a maximum of five. Watch for wordy sentence construction and unnecessary words. They’ll only weigh down your text.
6) A Picture is Worth…
Visual elements help carry the reader through the text and offer a quicker way to understand your ideas. Include photos, charts or infographics to enhance the text. Videos are also a good way to draw readers in and keep them engaged longer.