C is for concentration
What is concentration in content?
Reader concentration must be won. Content creators often take their audience’s patience for granted. They should not. Your reader has made the choice to click a link or linger on your page and you must repay that gift.
So how do you persuade readers to concentrate on your content?
Think about those evenings when you flick aimlessly through television channels. You’re most likely to actually stick with something that surprises or shocks, speaks to your interests or addresses something on your mind.
The same applies here. Unless your content provides something original you can’t expect an audience to look to it for information or entertainment. They can pick another channel.
Subject is key of course. If your topic is necessarily mundane, then starting with an element of subversion or even a comic anecdote may get the reader onside.
You need to keep them there, too. So always put the most important points or defining themes right at the start. Similarly, start your paragraphs with the key sentences and most vivid words. Set any bullet points out in order of priority. Basically, get to the point fast, and stay there.
Gauge what level of understanding or prior knowledge your readers have before you begin. Then work in a suitable volume of detail. Remember, as soon as your reader has to look up a word or search for information, you may have lost them for good.
Our key piece of advice? Think carefully about where the content will be placed. Will your audience race to the key piece or information or will they take time to read through it all? Make sure that your work is structured to suit the expected outcome.
FURTHER READING: An ABC of Content