Human attention span is decreasing steadily. This is not conjecture. It’s a fact. Our attention span has decreased from 12 seconds to 8.25 seconds between 2000 and the present. This is a worrying statistic for anyone who writes long-form content. It’s becoming harder and more difficult to keep your readers’ attention through the end of your blog posts.
Marketers can still breathe a sigh if they aren’t giving up. There is still hope. Although it is becoming harder to keep your audience engaged, there are still things you can do. Just make the right adjustments to your content.
The average person spends just 37 seconds reading a blog post. However, that doesn’t mean you have to follow the same pattern. Let’s get started and discuss 10 things you can do to keep your readers engaged while writing your next blog post.
- Introductions are everything
You must capture your reader’s attention before you can worry about keeping their attention. You must get your readers’ attention right away and build upon it. You need to give them a solid introduction.
You should start by giving useful information in a concise and clear manner. It is important to grab their attention as soon as possible. Once they are hooked, you can go into more detail later.
Hook them up early. You can do this by telling them what value you are about to offer them. Simply tell them what you’re going to teach them by the end. You can also use an alarming statistic, or a fact they didn’t know. A relatable struggle or pain can be used to start your story. This will make the reader feel more connected and empathic.
This article from HealthyAmericans, an American mattress manufacturer, is a great example. Notice how they begin their introduction with the common struggle of back pain that many Americans face. Then, they quickly followed up by explaining how it could affect your sleep quality. This creates an incentive for the reader to continue reading to learn more about this common problem.
If your article is covering a topic that has been covered extensively, make sure to highlight the differences in your content at the beginning. So the reader is aware of the information they will learn and feels compelled by your content to continue reading.
- Keep your language simple
Writing is all about reducing the number of words. It’s easy to be tempted by complicated words, long sentences, or difficult-to-understand phrases and expressions. It’s a bad idea to use complicated terms, long sentences, or difficult phrases and expressions unless you are writing for academic purposes.
It is important to keep your language as simple as possible. It is important not to alienate people. Also, it will never be a loss of readers if your language is easy to understand. Avoid jargon and explain with examples. Your goal is to educate.
Your tone should be casual and you should not overuse the vocabulary. This will ensure that your reader is able to follow the story at all stages.
- Formatting for Clarity
Most people read text online quickly and skim. They only slow down to focus on what they like. According to studies, web page readers tend to view websites in an F-shaped format.
It looks like a horizontal scan followed by a horizontal scan further down. Then, a second horizontal scan is taken down the left-hand side of the page. This is a bit like the letter F. Although it may seem small at first, it has many implications.
To grab attention, the important information must be in the top two paragraphs of the F. You should also ensure that your subheadings, bullets and headings contain important, attention-grabbing words that grab your readers. This is because they are likely to be reading your article while scrolling.
Make sure to break up your text into smaller paragraphs with a few lines each. Nobody wants to read text that is too long and has no white space. For greater clarity, use bullet points and numbered list wherever possible.
- Use Copywriting Formulae
Formulae for copywriting are a great way of ensuring that your writing is structured. These formulae ensure you don’t ignore important parts of your copy in order to drive home key points with your reader. They won’t make your reader stay, but they will help.
There are many copywriting strategies you can choose from, but it is more important to address the readers’ pain and concerns before using any formulae. We’ll stick with the proven and trusted formulas for this article.
AIDA was created by Elmo in the 1900s. It is one of the most well-known formulae. It works by A attracting attention to your audience, creating Interest as well as Desire. Finally, encouraging the reader to take Action. Many copywriting formulae following AIDA are rehashed versions.
The PAS formulae is another solid copywriting strategy that has been around for some time. The PAS acronym stands for P roblem- Agitate- Solution. This formula works well because people are more likely than others to avoid pain and take action to gain some sort of gain. The process is simple: first, talk about the problem and then go into detail, highlighting the emotions that result from that problem. When your reader can relate to what you are saying and is feeling their pain, then offer a solution.
These two are not the only possible formulas. It’s worth trying out other options until you find one that works.
- Take control of your obstacles
No matter how compelling your blog post is, there are certain roadblocks that will prevent your reader from reading your entire article. These roadblocks can be overcome if you are aware of them.
- Information overload: While you want to provide valuable information to your readers and give value through your article’s content, you don’t want them to be overwhelmed with information. You must ensure that your blog posts are structured so that they can be understood and delivered at a steady pace.
It is not a good idea to throw all your research and information on your reader faster than they can understand. They may stop reading your article if they feel overwhelmed. Don’t lose their attention once you have captured it. Your writing and yourself should be paced so your audience can follow your lead.
- The desire for InstantGratification: While overloading your audience is one way to lose them but it is equally dangerous. Your readers want to see the headline. Don’t be afraid to tell the truth.
Avoid unnecessary fluff and get to the point. If your readers don’t have too many introductions or paragraphs, they will be more inclined to stick to their screens.
- Distractions such as notifications and pop-ups: Most readers are reading your posts while on the internet via their smartphones. This means that you are competing for their attention by displaying messages notifications, social media apps and other apps on their screens.
Lucky Magazine has published a post titled “The Best Places to Buy Glasses Online”. The best place to buy glasses online has been listed to avoid readers leaving the article for google-related questions.
There isn’t much you can do to prevent distractions from your blog. You should disable all banners, pop-ups and chat bots that could distract your readers. Also, avoid flashy advertisements. Eliminate anything that is competing for your attention. It should be as simple as possible for them stay focused.
- For the right device, write – Desktop or mobile
It is crucial to understand exactly where your audience is coming form. Is your audience reading on their desktops or mobile phones? What percentage of your audience reads from both mobile phones and desktops?
Mobile responsive design is a must for your website. This will make sure that mobile users don’t become frustrated reading your blog posts. This is great for SEO. If you are serious about understanding your audience, and how you can improve technically, then you should look into content marketing tools. This will ensure that your content is optimized as best as possible.
Your article format should reflect the location where most of your readers consume your content. Keep in mind the F-shaped format and use it to keep your readers interested.
- Use internal cliff hangers
Cliffhangers can be a great way for your audience to stay engaged. Cliffhangers are based on suspense, which is why they work like charm. Cliffhangers do not have to be large. They can be used in a smaller article to encourage the reader to continue reading.
Small statements that spark emotion are often used to create internal cliffhangers. They can play with curiosity, doubts, amazement and humor, or simply make bold statements or challenge the reader to see if they will accept the claim.
To keep your reader interested, use internal cliffhangers in your writing. These are some common internal cliffhangers that you might have missed but may not have noticed:
- Take, for example.
- Let me explain
- Here’s what I mean
- Here are the reasons.
- Does that sound absurd? It is not.
- This is the case
You can see how these phrases invoke a sense curiosity or suspense. Because you are waiting for something to happen, and because you have human curiosity, it is more likely that you will keep reading until you discover exactly what it is.
- Respect your Readers
As in real life, you should be respectful when having a conversation. Imagine what it would feel like to have a conversation where someone is condescending and doesn’t respect your feelings. It’s the exact same for your readers.
It’s a rare skill to be able to communicate, educate, and inform without being condescending or oversimplifying. It’s not a good idea to treat your readers as if they were stupid. It’s important to explain the headline and help your readers understand the concept.
Talking down to your readers is not a good idea. They may not be on the same level. You don’t have to simplify things because it may seem condescending. Instead, link to a resource your reader can use to learn at their own pace. This is not something you should only remember when you start your blog. It is something you must always remind yourself of even after you have a successful blog. Respect your audience and they will continue to look up at you.
- Structure is important
Part of the structure of an article is determined by its sentence length, tone, and flow. Let’s look at each one in more detail.
1. Sentence length
When it comes to keeping your audience engaged, sentence length is a key factor. To avoid losing your readers, keep your sentences brief. Your readers will stop reading if your sentences are too long. A sentence should not exceed 25 words. The ideal length is 16 to 20 words per sentence.
Your article’s tone will create a picture for your reader. It is the voice they hear you speaking to them. It is the attitude of the writer toward the reader or subject of the message. It’s crucial to maintain a consistent tone with the type of article you are writing. You want to sound disciplined, strict and kurt if you are writing motivational material. The ideal tone for writing something educational is to be friendly and informative, just like a parent or teacher.
Vary the length of your sentences to ensure that there is a balance between long and short sentences. This will create a flow. It keeps the reader interested. Too many sentences can feel abrupt and unnatural to read. Too many sentences can make it difficult to follow. The best flow is achieved by using a mix of sentences lengths. This will ensure that you retain your attention.
- Make a killer call to action
You can be sure that your readers are excited about the information in the post if you keep them engaged until the end. This is because you have worked hard to create engaging content. Don’t let this go to waste.
If you want to increase brand awareness, sell, generate leads, or provide a clear path to your product, a call-to-action is a great option.
Use authoritative language and begin with an imperative like “click”, “join”, or “join”. You should adopt a low-risk, high-value approach that doesn’t pressure the reader. Your call to action should be persuasive without being too salesy. Make sure the CTA button is clear, visible and bright. It should be prominently displayed on your webpage.
Oh – So You’re Still Here? It’s great
The currency of the internet is attention. Every second of every day, everyone is fighting for the attention of the consumer. You don’t have to get lost in all the content. Take a few moments to think strategically about how you will capture and keep your audience’s interest.
There are many ways to do it, but you don’t necessarily have to use all of them. You can try different combinations to see which works best. And if you combine more than one you won’t go wrong. What are you waiting to do? Get started on your blog post. Double check to ensure that you are using at least some of the attention-retaining techniques you have just read.
Scoop.it Blog published the article 10 Ways to Keep Your Reader’s Eyes on Your Blog Posts.
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