How To Keep Your Readers’ AttentionJuly 5th 2011 Sally Ormond blogging for business, content marketing, link building, Website copywriting
Getting someone to find your website is one thing. Encouraging them to read your content while they are there is something entirely different.
If you market your business online you probably spend hours producing content that is designed to promote you and your business and build links.
To target your audience you would have done a mountain of research to come up with a list of topics for your blog posts, articles and website copy.
Once you’ve uploaded your fantastic value-laden information and hit publish…
…absolutely nothing happens.
No matter how often you check there are no tweets (not even a re-tweet), no comments, no nothing.
Your immediate reaction is probably “Argh! My writing must really suck.”
But don’t despair – your style of writing is probably fine. It is more likely that the structure of your articles and blogs is leaving your readers bemused.
When writing for the web the best thing you can do is forget everything your dear old English teacher taught you.
You need to spend less time writing and more time thinking about how you structure your work.
When reading from the web people tend to scan read rather than read every word.That’s because they are searching for information and if they can’t find it quickly, they’ll move on to another website.
So if you want to keep them engaged you have to rethink your writing style.
The length of your writing should be just long enough to cover what you want to say without waffling.
If you’re writing about a very complex issue it may be worth breaking it down into several posts. Not only will that make it much easier for your reader to follow, it will also encourage them to come again for your subsequent posts.
Plus start at the end – with your conclusion. That might sound odd by that way you are immediately giving your readers what they want. The all you have to do is provide supporting evidence point by point.
2. White space
If your text is in one long wall of text or several long paragraphs it won’t look very inviting.
Lighten it by increasing the amount of white space on your page. Break it down into small paragraphs (no more than 3 or 4 sentences each). Or you could go really mad and use a single sentence paragraph.
3. Sub headings
Inserting informative sub headings between your paragraphs will help your reader get the gist of your post while they are scanning the page.
- Using bullet points creates interest
- Highlights important points
- Are instantly scan-able
- Draw the reader’s eye as they break up the rest of the text
By all means link to your own website through your posts but don’t forget external information sources too. This will show your reader that your information is well considered (and it may also generate a link from your source too).
Use bold text to pick out important concepts within your post. These, coupled with the sub headings, should help your reader fully understand the topic you are covering and whether it will be of interest to them.
Some people have said that the days of the numbered posts—such as “8 Top Tips to Improve Your Copywriting” are gone. But reader’s still love them.
8. Check and check again
Before publishing read through your work to make sure it makes sense, This will also check for rhythm, typos and other errors.
Writing informative posts is one thing but if you want people to read them they must be presented in a way that:
- Gets your concept over immediately
- Looks attractive and readable
- Gets to the point