This is the second of three guest posts brought to you by Marc Pieniazek of Welsh Scribe.
This is the second post in a 3-part series. The previous post looked at writing headlines that attract attention and enticed readers to continue reading. In this post we’ll take a look at some of the best ways to maximise that attention once you have it.
Hopefully by now you’ve realised the importance of a great headline, the power it has to draw potential readers in and get them to read your copy. But the battle is far from over.
When structuring a blog post bear in mind that many readers have a short attention span. It’s no-one’s fault, it’s in our nature to filter the information that we’re bombarded with. Still, the last thing we want is to have someone click away from your blog post without reading it.
At the very least you want to give them the opportunity to skim through and take what they can. We can do this by breaking up the text.
Bitesize Chunks Are Easier to Swallow. Start with an excerpt or an introduction, something that gives the reader a quick overview of what to expect from the post. Keep them short, 3 or 4 sentences at most. Consider making them visually distinct from your copy as well by using italics.
Paragraphs need to be shorter than usual. Grammar sticklers forgive me; when it comes to blogging – one sentence does make a paragraph.
Headings and subheadings need to convey what’s coming up next or be intriguing enough to get the reader to slow down if only for a moment. If you can do both then you are onto a winner.
Take the previous post in this series as an example. One of the subheadings was to “Steal From Others”. Quite a provocative statement and one that hopefully had it’s desired effect.
Write lists. They are short and let you get your points across quickly with little effort required on the reader’s part. Lists should contain your most salient points, the ones you want your reader to take away with them even if they ignore every other word you’ve written.
Use bold to make parts of your copy stand out. The trick is to use it sparingly however. Like lists, highlight only the salient points.
Closure. There is one more thing to do with your post content to make it truly effective. Ending it properly. It’s no good leaving your readers hanging wondering what next.
That however is the topic of the next post in the series. 😉
So now you have a variety of ways to make your blog posts easier to digest. Remember, don’t stop at the title, once you have the reader’s attention don’t let it slip through your fingers.
Marc is a freelance writer and SEO specialist who helps freelancers build a profitable business. Grab his RSS feed today