But somewhere along the way something awful happens…
You reader has lost interest in your blog post and is now barely scanning through, wishing to reach the end as soon as possible.
No reason to panic. There is a way out of this.
Regain your reader’s attention with subheads
The key to holding a reader’s attention is, of course, engaging content. However, large blocks of text are inherently unfriendly to one’s attention span.
With subheads, you’re actually “selling” the reader on continuing to read by using a mini-headline.
Use subheads to list “benefits”
With each sentence and element of our writing, there’s one main goal—to get the next sentence read and keep the reader engaged. At all times readers must feel like they are gaining continued benefit from investing their time in your writing.
So, don’t think in terms of subheads, think sub-benefits.
Simply identify all of your main points, and at the transition point between each, write a headline highlighting the benefit of reading the next section.
Use These 3 Subhead Techniques for Better Results
- 1. Express a benefit.
- As long as you think of your subheads as what they actually are (sub headlines), you should do well.
- 2. Advocate action.
- In the case of articles and blog posts, your overall flow will improve if your subheads all start with the same part of speech (parallelism), and that part of speech is a verb.
- 3. Try writing your subheads first
- Just as it can be helpful to write your headline first to properly define the overall compelling benefit the piece has to offer, you can also clearly delineate the sections of your blog post by then writing your subheads next before any body text.
If it helps, think of everything you write as a list. How many points (benefits) are you trying to make in order to properly communicate your topic or pitch? Write them down, and if you find that one or more of those points doesn’t really “fit” or provide a benefit to the reader, get rid of it.
The fact that people ruthlessly scan content, both online and off, is just a side-effect of technology and the availability and ease of access of information. It’s better to accept reality and do your best to fix this, doing your best to keep people engaged.