Forget what you learned about proper writing techniques in high school.
Blogging is different.
You still need to pay attention to basic grammar rules and writing flow but in the words of Seth Godin, your focus must be on the resource online that is so scarce: attention.
That means your writing has to be done in such a way as to CAPTURE and HOLD people’s attention.
Jakob Nielson’s web usability study showed that 79% of web users don’t read on the web.
The Internet has conditioned people to have short attention spans.
This means it changes the way you have to write. So let’s get into it.
1. Attention Grabbing Headline… And A Little Word That Can Triple Conversion Rates
People will decide whether to read your blog post after reading the headline.
So you must create a compelling headline for your posts.
Using the word “get” will have you focused on writing the benefits for your target market.
An example is Marketing Experiments’ work for Encyclopedia Britannica.
They replaced an empty question “Why Try Brittannica Online” to a headline that started with the word “get.”
The headline was “Get Unlimited Free Access To All 32 Volumes Of Encyclopedia Brittannica….”
Conversion rates increased 103%.
2. Wake People Up – The Power Of The Pattern Interrupt
Most of us sit at our computers in a hypnotic state and don’t even realise it.
You need to wake people up.
A really effective technique you can use is the pattern interrupt.
You need a way to let people want to continue reading the post after the headline.
It’s actually an old NLP technique that can be applied to disarm peoples’ kneejerk defense mechanisms and programmed responses and open them to considering a new product, solution, approach or idea.
Blogger David Risley wrote a post recently where he dived into the state of society: The Society of Mediocrity and Your Role as a Blogger. His intention was to get people thinking so he used some profanity in this post.
It was done for the purposes of a pattern interrupt. Since people are not used to bloggers using profanity, he wanted to wake the reader up from their trance and pay more attention to what he was saying.
Now I’m not suggesting you need to curse and swear to get attention. Using controversy and metaphors to current events or celebrities can be effective pattern interrupts in your blog writing.
3. Start The First Sentence With A Short One
Typographical researchers, Bruijn eta al., discovered that people prefer shorter line lengths when reading content online because it appears more organised and easier to understand.
Two other researchers, Dyson and Haselgrove, found that people comprehend shorter line lengths better than longer line lengths.
In other words, short sentences stand out.
The main goal of your website is to get people to read your first few sentences.
Make your introductory paragraph as short as possible. When it’s easy to read and understand, it’s usually a good sign to your reader that the rest of the post will be the same.
Sugarman said if the reader doesn’t read your very first sentence, then it’s highly unlikely that he or she won’t read your second sentence.
Some of his typical first sentences were:
- Losing weight is not easy
- It’s easy
- It had to happen
- Hats off to IBM