By: Marilyn L. Davis
Why They Skip to the End of Your Post
“I loathe people who say, ‘I always read the ending of the book first.’ That really irritates me; it’s like someone coming to dinner, just opening the fridge and eating pudding while you’re standing there still working on the starter. It’s not on.” ~J. K. Rowling
Rowling is right; most readers today spend between 15 seconds and 1-minute reading an online post, so writers have to capture the reader’s attention to get them to the conclusion. With all the choices out there, they clicked on your blog post, so why don’t most people read the entire post?
- Already know the subject?
- They’ve read that before?
- Vague directions?
- Boring title?
- Outdated information
- Poor grammar and writing?
You Knew All That. What’s New?
Okay, so you knew all those possible reasons and were about to go elsewhere for directions on how to keep people reading. There’s no need to do that if I give you the basics in this post, now is there?
Posts and blogs are how a lot of individuals got started in their writing careers. In my case, it came after writing a 400,000-word recovery curriculum. So words are not my problem.
However, writing catchy, interesting, informative posts requires a different skill set to get and maintain readers, and I’ve had to revamp my approach. I can’t assign this article for you to read and discuss later in the week as I did with the curriculum, so how can I get you to continue reading this?
Through trial and error, I’ve learned that specific essential components attract a reader but, more importantly, keep the reader ’til the end.
Data: Boring or Informative?
Newspapers, both print, and online manage to grab a reader’s attention in a few well-chosen words. It’s about using the most powerful nouns and verbs you can when you give readers the 5 W’s and 1 H.
That’s not fair to your readers; they don’t appreciate getting trapped by a title that doesn’t deliver.
How can you deliver on your title? With excellent content that satisfies the reader’s interest. How can you do that?
- Did you give readers the correct, easily understood directions? If you find that your content is vague, then revise it, make it more precise, and reinforce the point of your article in your conclusion.
- Did you add a new perspective on an old subject so that readers take away more information about the topic?
- Did you write it well? Good writing is going to separate your articles from all the rest, even with the same topics. Readers don’t want typos, poor grammar, and amateurish writing. If you set yourself up as an authority, write like you are one.
- And don’t leave that killer sentence for the last. Make sure that you’ve been entertaining, informative, and thought-provoking throughout your article.
Writing about writing sounds redundant, yet, that’s what Two Drops of Ink readers expect. All of the team and monthly contributors have committed to offering tips on becoming a better writer, teach our readers about grammar pitfalls, alert them to literary agents looking for clients, spotlight books, introduce new poets and writers, and provide a friendly and encouraging literary community.
However, if we don’t provide a different approach to the subjects, we will all sound too familiar, and that will bore readers, and they won’t finish our posts.
Make It Yours
So, how do you make the same subject different or unique? You put your spin on the subject, from your unique perspective.
Something in the way you present information resonates with your readers, so don’t worry that your perspective or the topic is repetitive if you submit a guest post. No two writers will use the same reference points. So reflect on how a topic related to you and make the topic personal. It may be as simple as deciding if you’re aneducator, entertainer, or enchanter,and each of those is a distinct approach to any subject.
Not sure that your words are enough to keep a reader? Wonder if the writing is good enough? Sometimes, adding an image to reinforce the topic bolsters the message of your post. Just write it as well as you possibly can, and don’t be irritated by the old adage that,“A picture is worth a thousand words.”
However, your images don’t always have to reinforce the point. Adding a counter-point or opposite perspective gives readers another tangent to think about and explore.
While writing is a serious business, we can’t take ourselves too seriously. Don’t be afraid to shake up the reader or entertain them with images. Have some fun. Sometimes, people need a break from directions and even the informative how-to.
However, if your writing and subject are poignant about a social issue, let us see the emotion in both your writing and your images. Mad about the topic? Reinforce that with an image. Sad, then show the tears, frustrations, and longings.
Conclusions: Not too Abrupt
Many posts end too abruptly. Wrapping up an article has to be more than just no more words. It’s important to circle back, reference your content and titles, and give the reader a sense of satisfaction when they’ve made it to the end.
Back to the Beginning
Here’s a simple checklist to help your next post be successful.
- Before you quit writing, ask yourself if you satisfy the 5-W’s and 1-H.
- Let your work sit for a day or two, while still mindful of deadlines. It’s amazing how the words rearrange themselves in our absence, and what made sense yesterday doesn’t flow today. If that’s the case, then rework it, revise it, edit it, and read it aloud.
- Use appropriate keywords for SEO purposes. Be sure you make it easy for your readers to find your articles, not just by your name or website, but by subject matter.
- Let images help focus the post, entertain your readers, and add value.
Now, you can sit back and see if your views, comments, shares, and subscribers don’t increase when you take the time to produce your best posts.
If you’re still with me, thank you and congratulations.
You have exceeded the average attention span and finished the post; now share it with your friends.
Two Drops of Ink: The Literary Home for Collaborative Writing
After you’ve written your best post, consider writing for another platform. Within your bio, we’ll link to your web site, thus increasing your exposure.