Everybody is blogging, writing and posting these days and quite naturally, as writers, all of us want people to like our content and keep reading whatever our mind churns out. How to ensure people stay with your content and keep coming back for more is the question to be answered then.
I was attending a workshop recently with a retired publisher, who nowadays conducts workshops to revive the habit of reading among youth.
One of the factors he held responsible for the decrease in reading habits was the decline in attention span of people. The other he said was increased distractions in our community / way of living. I was convinced, that it holds true for online writing.
Now for somebody who is writing for the web, the challenge is greater in scope.
The very first challenge results from the fact that the reader is reading your article / write-up online (greater chances of distraction). Add some links here and there and you perfectly ensure that a common reader reaches somewhere else within seconds.
Personally, I have now arrived upon three factors that I keep in mind always while writing (you can choose to agree / disagree with me or add more to the list). They are:
- Increased distractions
- Decreased attention span
- Instant gratification
Here is a brief about how you can take care of each one of these to ensure people stay with your content and keep coming back.
The World Wide Web offers plenty of scope for your reader to go haywire. There is an abundance of information that distracts the common man more than doing good.
Many of us commit a mistake of placing too many hyperlinks in our writing that takes the reader away from the page. While it is a good thought to place some links that keep him within your site. Similarly using terminologies / jargon that he finds no explanation for in your webpage is a big no, for it compels him to search for it elsewhere.
Flashy ads similarly annoy many and lead many others away from our page.
Decreased attention span
21st century human being is characterised by a decreased attention span; no wonder courses on listening are most sought after.
Your reader may not be interested in reading long winding paragraphs or sentences. He likes it brief and to the point and something he can digest / use easily.
In fact most of the well read blogs these days are very simple to read and follow with small sentences. The trick is simple Keep It Short and Simple!
The 21st century man wants things like anything and the worse is that he wants them now!
If he comes to your page searching for the information, he skims fast. There are plenty of resources to read or deadlines to meet. He just doesn’t have enough time for your crap. ‘Cut it short’, he yells!
If your article writes about some research data, be sure where to use it. Some numbers in the beginning, a support example, some numbers in the body and perhaps closing with more numbers if any.
You figure out what works with you the best, keeping in mind your target audience and do share how you ensure people stay with your content and keep coming back for more.