So you’ve made it over that first marketing hurdle. You’re no longer the only one reading the content you’ve created. It took some time, but the persistence paid off and you’re starting to see some consistent traffic coming in. There’s only one problem — most of the people who are hitting your pages seem to be vanishing just as quickly as they appeared.
If there’s one undeniable effect that the Internet has had on the general population of the planet, it has given us all the attention span of…I forgot because I was doing something else. Seriously though, scientists estimate that the average person has an attention span of about 8 seconds.
So with such a small amount of time to hook your readers, how do you get them to actually stop and read the content you’ve worked so hard to create? It may not be as difficult as you’d first think. A lot of it has to do with how you write as opposed to what you write.
Here are 5 tips to help you create the kind of content that will make your visitors actually stop and consume what you’ve created.
Use More Line Breaks
You might have noticed that a lot of the content on the web is made up of extremely small paragraphs. Some sites even have a policy of only publishing articles with no more than 2 sentences per paragraph.
Adding more white space makes it easier for people to scan and find the information they are looking for. Your high school English teacher would kill you, but your readers will love it.
Use Compelling Subheadings
Just like I’m doing here, use subheadings to break up content, add more white space and make it easier for readers to pick out ideas and topics they’re most interested in. Well crafted subheadings allow a reader to scan and get the main points of your article so they can determine if it’s worth reading in detail.
Bulleted Lists Hit The Target
- They stand out and draw attention.
- They help to condense multiple points.
- They are easy to scan and understand quickly.
- They create more white space and break up surrounding text.
Use Image Captions
Content with images undoubtedly does better than content without. A side effect of images is that as people scan an article, they will naturally read the captions under images. Use them to make key points and draw the reader in.
Don’t be afraid to highlight relevant points in order to draw attention as someone scans through your articles. You might have a short, but important, point to make that doesn’t warrant its own subheading. If you highlight it with bold or italic text, or both, people will read it.
You might also notice that in the above paragraph, if someone scans quickly and just reads the highlights, they get “highlight relevant points, people will read it.” The reader will understand what the paragraph is about, even without absorbing all the details.