What makes Must-Read Content?
You know I’ve almost given up hope. As a piece of online web content, I know you’re only going to stay with me for the first few lines. And not just with me – I know it’s the same with most online articles. At least I can take reassurance in knowing I’m not alone.
But what if I told you I’m different? If you stick with me to the end, I’ll let you into a few secrets on how you can create must-read online content.
You know I've almost given up hope. As a piece of online web content, I know you're only going to stay with me for the first few lines. And not just with me – I know it's the same with most online articles. At least I can take reassurance in knowing I'm not alone.
But what if I told you I'm different? If you stick with me to the end, I'll let you into a few secrets on how you can create must-read online content.
Know your readers
You'll likely have heard that the majority of online readers don't actually read an article, they scan it instead. A typical reader's eyes will scout through the words in an article, looking for the intersting bits of info they need. If they don't see this info straight away, then they're probably already on another site.
F is for…
…the way your eyes track the page. Researchers have actually been abe to track readers' eye movements when they're scanning content online and almost everyone is the same. Your eyes will fly over content in an F-shape. You'll check out the heading first and then scout directly down the left-hand side of the article looking for gripping subheaders, which you'll read from time to time, and the odd word or phrase if it jumps out at you. Luckily, most readers stay to the end of the first paragraph – provided it's engaging. Here is what else you need to keep your readers engaged:
How to make a Must-Read Article:
- The introduction has to give the reader a sense of what they can expect from the article they're about to scan. Perhaps most importantly – it has to offer immediate satisfaction. Online readers don't like to scroll down the page to see if the information they want is there somewhere. Make sure your introduction gives your readers the information they want straight away.
- Short, clear paragraphs will keep your readers' attention much more successfully than longer ones. Each paragraph should only really deal with one idea and make sure the most important information comes first. Remember – it's about quality, not quantity here.Remember the F! Keep the most important words to the left of the article and at the start of the subheadings. Make sure your article is clearly formatted for easy reading.
- Remember the F! Keep the most important words to the left of the article and at the start of the subheadings. Make sure your article is clearly formatted for easy reading.
- Keep subheadings informative and relevant to the target audience. When it comes to subheadings, keep in mind the fact they should be clear, as this is what your readers will use to navigate to the best, most important points.
- Think about what's important and make a bold statement about it! Don't forget bullet points, too, which are nice and effective for overviews and summaries of the most important information.
- Get noticed. Remember that your articles are more likely to be read if they're published at a time when your readers are most likely to be online and when they've got the most time free for scanning exciting new posts.
And that is pretty much all it takes to keep your readers happy and informed. Sound too simple? Just try it out for yourself! And keep your eyes peeled for the next set of content-writing secrets in this series.