I recently read somewhere that people only read about 20% of your blog post. It actually surprised me it was that much since we all seem to have such short attention spans these days. Think about how you digest information. Do you read every little line or do you skim?
Personally, I skim. There is so much information coming at me day and night that it would be impossible to read every word of everything I come across.
Even though I’d like too.
As bloggers (writers in general), the goal is to get people to read what we write, and there’s a lot of competition out there.
To set your blog post apart it needs to sizzle and catch the eyes of the reader and compel them to keep reading.
How can you do that?
The title of your post needs to grab the reader. One of my best posts in terms of traffic was titled Green Bean Delivery has Sexy Rutabega (it’s no longer up for sponsor reasons). Now a vegetable isn’t sexy but it was intriguing enough to enough readers that they had to find out why I thought rutabaga was sexy.
I know that “sex sells” and thought it would be funny to use it with vegetables. Think about news headlines and movie trailers. The little snippets they let us read, hear, or see are all designed to get us to want the full story, not just a piece.
Look at the magazines next time you’re waiting to check out of the grocery store. Why do you think the Enquirer still sells after all these years? Because we want to see where Elvis has been spotted of course.
2. Pique the reader’s interest
Use an interesting fact or anecdote to interest the reader. One that’s related to your post in some way of course, but there are a lot of ways to relate a funny or interesting fact back to your post. Something memorable.
Most of us mom’s probably have an oatmeal recipe. Even if it’s the open packet of Quaker instant oatmeal and mix in boiling water variety.
But we don’t have the same story around our oatmeal. Is it a warm breakfast that reminds us of childhood?
Is it a warm breakfast that reminds us of childhood?
Is it something we make when we’re feeling sad?
Does it remind us of great grandma Sally?
People read blog posts to learn something AND to find out about YOU. The person behind the tip you’re giving. You want to connect with your reader.
And last but not least….
3. Be REAL
Let your personality shine through. I’m not a very funny person, but I do have my moments and I try to capture those in my writing. I also capture the not so funny life moments. Life isn’t all a bowl of cherries no matter what Erma Bombeck said about being in the pits (I loved her wit).
I want people to know me. To think of me as a friend. Don’t I look friendly?
I’ve been looking at some of my old blog posts to see if they have enough sizzle to make someone read more than 20%, and I must admit while some do there are more that don’t. I need to take some of my own advice and go back through them.
What about you?