You don’t have to have a household name to ensure that your article will be read from top to bottom.
The internet has created impatient speed readers out of us.
Regardless of the value of the content, it seems skimming the article before delving in for details is the approach.
Blog reading is different from newspaper reading, book reading, letter reading, and essay reading. Therefore, blog writing and formatting needs to be different as well.
The approach to reading online is more akin to reading magazines and cooking recipes.
A tasty headline.
A compelling picture.
Clear, accentuated points.
Brief enough to follow, detailed enough to enlighten.
Magazines have changed their own formatting over the last few years and in turn have experienced huge growth in readership and subscription. The one page, bite-sized, snack of an article is now king. The days of the New Yorker’s 15 page articles are gone. Oprah, GQ, WIRED, Men’s Journal, Elle, FHM, Cosmo…. They all just want your attention for a couple of minutes.
They know you will pick it up again if the commitment is short and sweet.
The Cooking Recipe (click image above) is the classic example of well organized, must follow information.
An image, a short story, bullet points, tips and overview. The goal is to not only seem easy to follow, but be easy to follow.
After a quick scan of the site, a ‘once-over’ if you will, the content will be judged as ‘worth reading more closely’ or ‘off to the next thing’. Not all exiting traffic fails to return, but I would bet that your odds of developing a subscriber are better when you consistently engage your reader to slow down for a few minutes.
Of course, there are examples of real estate blog writing that are widely read and wildly successful that do not follow these guidelines.
The above is not meant as a rule, but rather a suggestion for those looking to grab their readers’ attention quickly.
My experience is that, no matter how well written the content and how compelling the message may be, one loses interest when the article looks like a reading assignment.