The human consideration span is steadily declining. Sadly this isn’t conjecture, it’s an indisputable fact. From the 12 months 2000 to the current day, our consideration spans have declined from 12 seconds to a measly 8.25 seconds. That is an alarming statistic, particularly for these creating written lengthy type content material. As a result of in case you’re seeking to seize and preserve your readers’ consideration till the top of your weblog posts, then it’s getting more durable to take action.
However entrepreneurs biting their nails can breathe a sigh of aid as a result of there’s nonetheless hope. Whereas it’s true that it’s getting progressively more durable to maintain your viewers studying till the top, there’s nonetheless loads you are able to do to maintain folks hooked and hanging on to each single phrase. It’s only a matter of creating the correct tweaks to your content material.
So whereas the common individual could spend simply 37 seconds studying via a weblog put up, there’s no purpose that statistic has to use to you. Let’s dive proper in and have a look at 10 issues you possibly can actively do whereas writing your subsequent weblog put up in order that your readers stay actively engaged and don’t wander away nearly a paragraph or two into your properly thought out put up.
- Introductions Are All the pieces
Earlier than you are concerned about retaining your readers’ consideration, it’s worthwhile to seize it. This implies it’s worthwhile to get them proper from the start and steadily construct on it. To do this you want a rock stable introduction.
Begin by presenting helpful info proper up entrance in a brief concise method. It is advisable to get them as shortly as attainable, you possibly can at all times go into element afterward as soon as they’re already hooked.
So hook them early. A technique of doing that is to inform them the worth you’re about to offer them. Merely state what they’re going to study by the top of the article. One other method is to make use of an alarming statistic or indisputable fact that they most likely didn’t know. It’s also possible to start with a relatable wrestle or ache that strikes your reader emotionally and makes them really feel empathy instantly.
An awesome instance of this may be discovered on this article by HealthyAmericans, an American mattress firm. Discover how they begin their intro with the relatable wrestle of again ache confronted by a overwhelming majority of Individuals. Rapidly adopted by pointing to the way it can doubtlessly have an effect on sleep high quality. Thus creating an incentive to maintain studying because the reader must know what can presumably resolve this widespread downside.
Lastly in case your article covers one thing that’s been written about extensively then be sure you spotlight what’s completely different about your content material proper firstly. This manner the reader is made conscious of what they’re going to study stepping into and feels compelled to remain for the worth your content material brings.
- Preserve Your Language Easy
In terms of writing, much less is extra. You is likely to be tempted to make use of sophisticated phrases, lengthy winding sentences and obscure phrases or expressions. However until you’re writing for educational functions or a really area of interest viewers, it’s at all times a foul thought to take action.
Your language must be so simple as attainable. You don’t need to alienate folks and also you gained’t ever lose readers for being simple to know. So keep away from jargon, clarify issues with examples and purpose to coach.
Preserve your tone conversational and focus extra on the feelings you need to convey out in your reader fairly than the vocabulary you employ. This ensures that you simply don’t lose your reader’s consideration at any level as a result of they’re at all times in a position to comply with alongside at each step of the best way.
- Formatting for Readability
When studying textual content on-line, most individuals skim via and solely decelerate to learn in the event that they discover one thing that catches their eye. In reality, from research it’s been observed that readers on common are inclined to undergo internet pages in an F formed sample.
This principally appears to be like like a horizontal scan, adopted by one other horizontal scan decrease down and a vertical scan down the left hand facet of the web page. Type of just like the letter F. Whereas this will appear insignificant at first it has a number of implications.
For starters you want the primary two paragraphs that make up the highest of the F to have an important, consideration grabbing info. Secondly it’s worthwhile to be sure that subheadings, bullet factors and headings all have essential, consideration grabbing phrases that hook your readers as a result of that’s what they’re prone to see whereas skimming via your article.
Additionally be sure you at all times break up your textual content into small paragraphs of some traces every. Nobody desires to be caught studying partitions of textual content with no white house. Use bullet factors and numbered lists wherever attainable for additional readability.
- Use Copywriting Formulae
Copywriting formulae are a good way to be sure you’re writing in a structured method. They make sure that you’re not ignoring elements of the copy which might be essential to driving residence essential factors along with your reader. That being mentioned, they gained’t assure that your reader will keep however they definitely assist.
There’s a number of copywriting formulae to select from nevertheless it’s extra essential to make sure you’re addressing the reader’s ache and issues earlier than you strive utilizing a formulae. So for this text we’ll follow the tried and examined ones.
Pioneered by Elmo Lewis within the 1900s, AIDA is likely one of the oldest formulae round. The thought behind it’s to Attract the eye of your viewers, create Interest and Desire and eventually encourage the reader to take Action. Most copywriting formulae that adopted after are simply rehashed variations of AIDA.
One other stable copywriting formulae that’s been round for some time is the PAS formulae. PAS stands for Problem – Agitate – Solution and it really works fantastically as a result of persons are extra prone to act with a view to keep away from ache than to acquire some sort of acquire. It’s fairly easy, start by speaking about the issue, then agitate by going into element and highlighting the feelings that happen on account of that downside. Lastly when your reader relates and feels a powerful affiliation with what you’re saying and their [personal pain, offer up a solution to save the day.
Apart from these two, there’s several other formulas that might work and it’s always worth experimenting until you find one that does the trick for you.
- Overcome Obstacles to Attention
No matter how captivating your blog post may be, there exist certain roadblocks that prevent your reader from finishing your article. These obstacles to holding your reader’s attention can be overcome, but only if you’re aware of them first.
- Information Overload: This one is tricky, while you want to deliver valuable information to your audience and provide value through your article, you certainly don’t want to overload them with information. This means you need to ensure that your blog post is structured to deliver information at a steady, comprehendible pace.
The last thing you want is to dump all the research and information you’ve collected on your reader, faster than he or she can make sense of it. Feeling overwhelmed can cause them to stop reading or take a break from your article and they may not return. Once you have their attention don’t risk losing it. Pace yourself and your writing so that your audience can follow along.
- The desire for Instant Gratification: While overloading your audience with info is one way to lose them, the opposite is also equally harmful. Your readers want to know what the headline promises them. Don’t beat around the bush.
When you can get straight to the point, do so and avoid any fluff. Your readers are more likely to stay glued to their screens if they don’t have to read any unnecessarily long introductions and paragraphs
- Distractions like notifications and pop ups: The majority of readers are reading your posts on their cellphones while online. This means you’re competing for their attention with several other apps, social media and message notifications that pop-up on their screens.
Notice this post by Lucky Magazine on “The Best Places To Buy Glasses Online”. To avoid the reader exiting the article to google related questions, the best place to buy for return policy, performance, unusual glasses, eco-friendly purchases and other categories have already been mentioned.
While there’s not much you might be able to do about this, you can certainly ensure that you don’t have any distractions on your own blog page. Make sure you disable any banners, pop ups or chat bots that might steal the attention of your readers. Try and ensure that there are no flashy ads either. Basically eliminate anything that’s competing with you for the attention of your audience. Make it as easy as possible for them to stay focused.
- Write for The Right Device – Desktop or Mobile
It’s crucial that you understand where exactly your audience is coming from. Are they reading from their mobile phones or from desktops? And what percentage of your audience is reading from each device?
Make sure that your site is mobile responsive. This will ensure that readers who are reading from mobile devices won’t get frustrated because they’re having trouble viewing your blog post. This is also great for your SEO. In fact, if you’re serious about understanding your audience and how you can improve technically then you can even explore some content marketing tools to make sure you’re optimizing your content as much as possible.
The format of your article should also be written to reflect where the majority of your readers are consuming your content from. Remember the F shaped format discussed above and utilize it to make sure you’re keeping your readers hooked.
- Use Internal Cliff Hangers
Cliffhangers are a great way to keep your audience interested. They usually rely on suspense and as a result they work like a charm. But cliffhangers don’t have to be major, they can also be used on a much smaller scale within the article you’re writing to entice the reader to keep going.
Internal cliffhangers typically rely on tiny statements that stir up emotion in the reader. Some of the emotions they play around with are curiosity, doubt, amazement, humor or even simply just making a bold statement or laying down a challenge to see if the reader will stick around to see if you meet the claim.
Use internal cliffhangers through your writing to keep the reader excited. Some common internal cliffhangers you may have read but never noticed are:
- For example
- Let me explain
- Here’s what I mean
- Here’s why
- Sounds silly? It’s not
- Case in point
Notice how all of these phrases evoke a sense of curiosity or suspense. You’re waiting for something to happen and because of human curiosity, you’re more likely to keep reading until you find out exactly what’s supposed to happen.
- Respect Your Readers
Just like in real life, when you’re having a conversation with someone you want to be respectful. Think of what it feels like to have a conversation with someone who’s condescending and clearly doesn’t respect you. Well it’s the same for your readers.
Being able to educate, inform and offer value without oversimplifying and appearing condescending is a skill that’s underrated. You don’t want to treat your readers like they’re stupid. At the same time it’s imperative that you actually explain what the headline promises and make them understand the concept they’re trying to learn.
Don’t talk down to your readers and understand that they may not all be on the same level. If you’re hesitant to oversimplify something because you feel it might come off as condescending then just link to a resource that your reader can use to educate themselves at their own pace. This isn’t something that’s only important when you’re starting your blog, this is something that you need to continually remind yourself about even after you’re a well established blogger. Treat your audience with respect and they’ll continue to look up to you.
- Structure Matters
The structure of your article is determined in part by sentence length, tone and flow of your writing. Let’s take a look at these in detail.
1. Sentence length
Sentence length is one of the most crucial factors when it comes to keeping your audience interested. Since readers online usually skim through articles, you should keep your sentences short to avoid losing them. If your sentence is too long then they’re likely to stop reading. Under 25 words a sentence is a good target to shoot for with an ideal length of 16 – 20 words per sentence.
The tone of your article will paint a picture in the minds of your reader. It’s the voice in which they imagine you’re addressing them. It’s the attitude of the writer towards the reader and subject of the message. This is why it’s important to adopt a tone that’s consistent with the kind of article you’re writing. If you’re writing something motivational you want to sound strict, kurt and disciplined. If you’re writing something that aims to educate then the ideal tone would be kind and informative like a teacher or parent.
Vary the length of your sentences so that it’s a good mix of both short and long sentences. This creates a nice flow. More importantly it keeps the reader engaged. Too many short sentences and it feels abrupt and unpleasant to read. Too many long sentences and it becomes difficult and boring to follow along. A nice mix of sentence length creates the best flow to retain attention.
- Have a Killer Call To Action
If you’ve successfully retained your reader until the very end then chances are they’re excited about what they’ve learned from the post. You want to channel this because you’ve worked hard to create engaging content so don’t let it go to waste.
So if you’re trying to build brand awareness, make a sale, generate leads or create a clear path to a product then using a call to action is a great way to capitalize on the excitement you’ve built up in your reader.
You want to use authoritative language here and start with an imperative such as “click”, “join”, etc. Adopt a low risk but high value approach but not pressurizing the reader. Be as persuasive as possible without being salesy and try to create a sense of urgency or FOMO when you write your call to action. Finally make the CTA button clear, bright and easily visible. It needs to stand out on your page.
Oh – So You’re Still Here? Great
Attention is the currency of the internet. Everyone’s fighting for the consumer’s attention every second of the day. But you don’t need to get lost in the sea of content. Simply take a moment to strategically plan out how you intend to capture and retain your audience’s attention.
You don’t have to use every single method mentioned here but try combinations and see what works best and if you use more than one, you certainly can’t go wrong. Now what are you waiting for? Start working on that blog post and don’t forget to double check, to make sure that you’re doing at least a few of the tried and tested attention retaining tactics you just read.