It worked. You clicked on the link to my article. A catchy headline like the one above promises insightfulness and knowledge devised in a easily read article that maybe includes a quick tip or takeaway. As long as you can skim the article and see the tips numbered or highlighted in some way. Don’t want to waste too much time actually reading.
In a world full of noise, how do you get people to actually read??
1. Catchy headline
So, because you didn’t read that first paragraph and your eye went directly to the number 1 (We want answers!), here’s the first tip I’ve gleaned from scanning articles from actual experts on this topic. Write a catchy headline with a promise. Here’s a headline formula I found:
Number (or trigger word like “how”)+Adjective+keyword+Promise
I wait until I’m done writing my article to decide on a headline. It’s got to answer the question. “Would I want to read that article?” And, be honest. In other words, “My day at work.” is not something anyone other than your mom would want to read.
2. First sentence
Just because you have a catchy headline, and you got me to your blog, that doesn’t mean, I’m going to actually read what you wrote. I came here for a reason and mostly like I’m going to skim this page until I find what I’m looking for. This is why the first sentence is super important. Your first sentence should answer the question, “Do I want continue reading?” It should contain just the right amount of information to keep your reader interested without spilling all the candy in the lobby.
3. Short sentences and baby words
Long sentences are the worst! Nothing will stop me from reading quicker than having to read a sentence more than once. Same goes for wording. Save your big boy words for impressing your Ivy League buddies on Trivial Pursuit night. If I don’t know what the word means, I’m not going to keep reading. Keep it simple, stupid.
Well, there you have it. Three easy tips to get people to your blog and reading. I’m no expert but these are the things that keep ME reading others blogs. Don’t get me wrong, there are so many more reasons I read blog posts: content and exceptional writing both have a lot to do with that. These are just 3 tiny things anyone can try right now.