Your precious words. You know they’ve got to be right to attract the audience you want.
You’ve slaved over them, carefully crafting each phrase. You finally hit “publish,” and what happens?
Nobody reads them. No comments, no tweets, no sharing on Facebook.
It’s enough to send a writer into deep depression and wipe out motivation to keep producing great content.
Think you need to spend another 10,000 hours perfecting your writing skills? Probably not.
Actually, the solution may be a lot easier than you expect. Writing less and styling your text so it’s easy to read could be all you need to do to attract and hold attention.
1. Embrace the line break
There are few easier ways to make your content more readable. Even complex content can be made much more reader-friendly with the simple introduction of lots of white space.
Feature one idea per paragraph, and keep them short — three or four sentences at most.
And try writing some paragraphs with one sentence only.
2. Break up your content with compelling subheads
One technique taught here at Copyblogger is to write your headline and subheads first.
A strong headline (and therefore a strong premise) is vital to getting readers to check you out in the first place. And solid subheads keep readers engaged, acting as “mini headlines” to keep them moving through the rest of your content.
Make your subheads intriguing as well as informative. Web readers have well-honed BS meters, so don’t exaggerate or you’ll lose credibility. “Compelling” is not the same as “hypey.”
Once you’ve written your subheads, review them to see what readers/scanners will understand if they only read that part of your article. Is there a compelling story? Will they get the gist of your information?
3. Create bulleted lists
They create fascinations your readers can’t resist.
They’re an easily scannable way to present multiple points.
They look different from the rest of your text, so they provide a visual break for your reader.
4. Use “deep captions”
Studies have shown that image captions are consistently some of the most-read copy on a page. Try pairing a strong image with a “deep caption.”
Deep captions are two to three sentences long. That’s long enough to intrigue your reader to dig into your whole article.
5. Add relevant and helpful links
Internal links back to your own cornerstone content will keep people on your site and reading your best material.
External links demonstrate that you’ve researched the topic and want to highlight other experts. Good content uses both to expand your reader’s understanding and add value.
Another advantage of internal links is they make it less frustrating when some dirtbag scrapes your content (cuts and pastes it to their own site without attribution).
6. Highlight content strategically
Add emphasis to your content by bolding important concepts.You reader will be able to scan through and pick out the most important information at a glance.
Don’t highlight everything (which would have the same effect as highlighting nothing). Instead, emphasize the key points so the scanner can quickly pick them out.