Does your written online content need a readership boost? Explore these tips for delivering content that will capture your audience’s attention and help keep readers engaged until the last word.
1. Consider your audience. Never forget who is reading your piece. Embrace their perspective before you begin to write.
2. Be brief. How much time will your audience devote to your writing? If we’re being honest, probably not a lot, so keep it short and simple.
3. Break it up. If you have a lot to say, create a series of written pieces and focus on one main topic in each piece. This way, people will be more likely to absorb your information.
4. Snap to attention. A clever, yet clear headline and lead sentence will set the stage for your piece. Leverage these valuable aspects to get the reader excited about what you are going to say.
5. Use subheads. Many readers will scan your writing to get the gist of your message. Using subheads and bolded text for occasional emphasis will help them get to the heart of your writing with ease.
6. Make a list. Bulleted or numbered lists are excellent tools to help readers consume your writing quickly.
7. Pull a quote. Weaving a couple of short, meaningful quotes and/or Scripture passages throughout your writing gives it a humanistic tone that will keep readers interested. Appeal to visual readers by featuring a quote in a sidebar, its own short paragraph or a slightly different font.
8. Cite a stat. An endless list of stats can turn off any reader. One or two powerful, well-placed stats will appeal to people who want to see that you are thinking deeply about your content and citing your sources.
9. Embed links. Rather than including every detail in each written piece, sometimes you are better off linking to information for further reading. This will keep your writing brief and help people discover more of your content!
10. Call to action. When readers reach the end of the piece, they should have an opportunity to do something in response. Include a call to action such as sign up to receive additional information or share the article with others.
Take a few minutes to think about these elements before publishing your next article, blog post, social media post or e-newsletter.
Laura Buchanan is senior creative content specialist at United Methodist Communications.