Writing needs to be able have some bang to it, otherwise people will just look elsewhere--and there are thousands of other alternatives online for them to choose from! Instead of letting your article writing fizzle out and completely forget about it, learn the ropes of both writing and grasping your audience's attention so they take the time to read it, be wowed, and even share your article with others or engage with your call to action. In fact, there are six free ways you can use right now to make your articles have some bite!
1. Super Enticing Headlines
It's all about those headlines, since it's going to be that initial interaction a reader is going to have with your article. For example, "Six Ways You're Killing Your ROI" versus "Fix Your ROI With These Helpful Tips" is going to see a lot higher click-through rate because the headline is enticing and presses on an issue that many people face. Look into pain points first when it comes to your target audience, what kinds of common issues are they facing and how can you reel them in with that snappy title?
2. Short Writing
You've more than likely noticed online article writing is much different than physical articles in a newspaper or magazine. Paper articles are longer, with larger blocks of paragraphs and flowery prose, while the common online article deals with shorter, to-the-point sentences with lots of lists and bullet points. This is because most people have a shorter attention span when it comes to reading online, and want to figure out a solution fast. Use shorter writing, with the content writing broken up with lists, bullet points, and even images and videos, to grasp those readers.
3. Include Multimedia
Nobody wants to read a long article with no pictures, videos, or any other multimedia aids. Article writing is just as much about the rest of the new media that can be found online, especially pictures. When you want people to read your article, remember to say what to expect inside: "Marketing Tips For Beginners [With Video]" is one of the ways to do this, it just all depends on how you want to present the incentive.
4. Less Focus On Keywords
This doesn't mean that you should forget keywords altogether, but instead not make them the entire focus of the article. While hitting that top spot on the first Google page is indeed an achievement, your article still needs to be interesting and readable. Put less focus on trying to write for the web crawler and more on the human readers who are going to land on your article!
5. Great Lead-in
Most editors and other writing professionals will tell you that a very concise and clear opening paragraph is the best. Explain what the reader will expect from the article and all of that, but sometimes that's taken too literally and the lead-in is dry as a bone. There's no energy, no passion, absolutely nothing to convince the reader they need to read that article right now. If you're passionate about your business and brand, let it show in the article opening.
6. Free Stuff Incentive
Maybe this is considered cheating and not exactly on the writing side, but give the reader something literally. Whether that is an infographic, how-to SlideShare presentation, free ebook, or something similar, have some free stuff included with the article and always advertise that there is an incentive for readers if they do click on the article. Everybody likes free stuff!
All of this can be implemented together or used seperately, it all depends on how much you want to ramp up your article writing efforts. And there are countless other free ways you can use to get those reader's attention. What are some ways you can think of to grasp the audience's attention?
image 1: http://www.crttbuzzbin.com/headline-writing-drives-traffic/
image 2: http://gigaom.com/2012/03/07/how-twitter-is-doing-its-part-to-democratize-big-data/