You want your audience to know, like, and trust you.
You know consistency is the key, so you’ve decided to craft a weekly email, or LinkedIn post, or blog.
If the last time you put any serious effort into writing was for your university thesis, know this: most online audiences have the attention spans of a two-year old.
You need to work to earn and keep their interest.
Unlike tenured professors, your audience isn’t obligated to read anything you write. Furthermore, they are inundated with information all day long.
In 2021, spitting out a stream of consciousness and hitting send doesn’t cut it.
Expecting someone to read a giant block of text in one sitting is like expecting someone to eat a giant head of broccoli in one bite.
You must spoon-feed your audience information in digestible chunks.
1. Shorten your paragraphs.
Give their eyes a break by keeping your paragraphs to a maximum of three lines. Keep in mind, many readers will access your content on their phones where three lines can easily become six or more.
2. Use subheads.
Most audiences scan web pages and emails rather than read every word. You may even be scanning this one now. (Busted!) Great subheads give the reader the entire story without the body copy.
Help your readers find what they need by placing your subheads in boldface, all caps or a larger font.
3. Cut the irrelevant.
Before sending, review every sentence, asking “Does this information help my audience?”
With personal stories, start where the action starts. With case studies, start with the problem or results. With how-to pieces, start with the reason why they should care.
You can spend hours crafting the perfect piece but if no one reads it, all that work is for nothing. Help your readers – and your business – by making your content clear and your layout spacious and easy to read.