As writers, our goal is always to keep our readers engaged in our writing. Regardless of the content, we as writers always strive to use the best, most crisp, and most engaging sentences to guide our readers from the beginning of our carefully crafted works of art to the end. But the question that has existed since the start of the writing profession remains: what is the best way to keep our readers engaged? What is the best way to ensure that our readers will devour every word we place on the page, and then search for our next article because they can’t get enough of our writing style? Below are a few ways to keep your readers engaged. Consider using them when you are about to write your next masterpiece!
Create an original title
Perhaps half the fight in getting your work read is getting readers to find you. In order to do that, you have to stand out from the competition. What is the best way to ensure your reader will finish reading your blog post? Make the title as eye-catching as possible. The title should reflect the topic you are writing about, but make it as original (or quirky) as possible. Chances are your reader has read several different things about your writing topic, so use your title as a way of showing your reader that you have something new to add to the conversation. Writing about how to take care of cats? Perhaps a title such as “How to serve your furry master.” Make it original!
Your first sentence is your best friend
Did you know that 90% of readers finish articles based on what they read in the article’s first sentence? That hasn’t actually been verified, but take note of how much that sentence gauged your interest! Your title is important, but try to use your first sentence to hook in your reader with surprising or little-known information (but this time, make sure its factual). Consider starting your article with a little-known statistic. Or perhaps add a small picture that will catch your reader’s eye. The more original or surprising your first sentence is, the more your reader will remain engaged. A note: anecdotes can be a great way to hook your reader in, but try to keep it short. We don’t want to weigh down our readers with impressive imagery or details until they are more invested in our article.
Add additional information throughout your article
Some writers like to begin their article explaining what they are about to tell the reader, and then spend the rest of the article backing up their claims. The problem with this method is the reader already knows everything that you have in store for them. Instead, keep your reader guessing by adding new information up until the end of your article. If you are writing an article about preparing your child for going back to school, don’t start the article with every single way you can prepare your child for school. Instead, list one way and then describe other methods later on in the article. Readers only want a guide to what your article is going to be about. They don’t need a list of all the stop points along the way. Use this as a way to keep your reader engaged in your article.
- Your conclusion is not an ending, it is just the beginning
Now your reader has almost read the entirety of your article. It has all been very engaging, and now they have reached your conclusion. As a writer, what should you do? Should you reiterate everything you have already discussed? No! Instead, keep the conversation open. Guide your reader to more information. Leave them with something to think about after they have read your article. If your article is about how to get a good night’s sleep, perhaps conclude by asking your reader to reflect on when they have had a good night’s sleep and what factors (based on your article) they think played into that. A point of reflection is a great way to keep the conversation going. If you are not sure how to conclude your article, just think about what you would need as a reader to finish a particularly long article. Does your article provide that? Is there anything else your article could do to give the reader something to think about at the end of your piece? That may not be an easy thing to answer, but it will surely aid your reader to get to the end of your page!