But after your reader clicks through, does your post hold their interest?
If you can’t keep the reader’s attention, nothing else matters. And this brave new world demands your best techniques, because tempting distractions are always just a click or swipe away.
All writers and bloggers have their favorite tricks to glue reader attention to their content, so here are three of mine.
1. Use images (the right kind)
Some images create a strong emotional reaction in your reader, which creates a much more receptive mindset.
Strong images are strong because they inspire strong emotion. Whether that emotion is lust, tenderness, awe, sympathy, or just plain curiosity, a powerful image alters your reader’s consciousness for just a few moments. That split second of emotional transformation allows your message to sink in much more deeply.
2. Use questions
Smart bloggers (and conversationalists for that matter) use questions to get the reader’s train of thought moving in the right direction.
Ask questions that uncover pain points or explore insecurity.
Ask questions that enlarge your readers’ dreams, questions that get them to paint a mental picture of the fantastic benefits of your advice.
We humans are the most curious animal on the planet, and questions are irresistible to us. When we hear a question, we want to answer it. Keep your readers’ interest up by setting their curious minds in motion with questions about how they can solve their problems with your solutions.
3. Get nitty gritty
Ever read a psychology textbook in college? The theoretical discussions and clinical descriptions made for an excellent sleeping aid. But the case studies–real-life stories of crazy people and how being crazy affected their lives–woke you right up again.
Content with lots of specific details will hold reader attention much better than content that waffles on about general concepts. Vague, abstract generalities are hard to relate to. But when you get down to nitty-gritty specifics–exactly what goes into a technique, or the scary details about how you were almost homeless before you discovered this new business strategy–your reader wakes up again.
Use details and narrative to show the reader what really happened.
What are your favorite attention-holding techniques?