This is the second part of a 6 part series on blogging that brings about lasting change. Read the introduction here.
Stage 1 – Rejection to Attention
The first task of the blogger wanting to have a lasting influence on readers is to get their attention.
In today’s world the average person is bombarded with thousands of competing messages daily. As a result most people have pretty good internal filtering systems (or crap detectors) to help sift out the junk and find the worthwhile. In a sense most of your potential readers will be in some state of rejection to your blog whether consciously or subconsciously. If you don’t work hard to make your post attention grabbing you will not earn the right to say anything that will bring about change.
Keep this in mind as you blog. Put yourself in your reader’s shoes – What would grab your attention when it comes to the topic you are writing about? What would make you want to read more?
Titles and first sentences are important attention grabbers. They act as mini advertisements for your post on the front page of your blog, in search engines and news aggregators. Keep them simple, punchy, informative and get to the point.
Don’t fall for the temptation to trick your readers just for the sake of getting their attention. A title like Sex Tips on a post about your pet rabbit might get attention of your readers but it will not keep it – in fact it is likely to deepen their sense of rejection to your blog.
Some other things to try to gain attention in your title or first sentence or two might be to:
- Be a little controversial (be careful with this – don’t just be controversial for the sake of it unless you are willing to deal with the consequences)
- say something puzzling (but don’t keep your reader in the dark too long or you’ll frustrate them)
- make a claim (tell your reader the answer to a question that they might have)
- talk in terms that your potential readers will relate to (don’t be arrogant – be personable – be relatable)
- use humour (if you make someone smile or laugh you are part way through their filtering system).
- ask a question that draws your reader into your post and makes them want to respond
- intrigue your reader – tempt them by dangling something that will somehow draw them into your world.
Lastly make your entry Scannable and easy to read. If your entry looks like hard work to read you are unlikely to get many readers attention.
Work hard at getting the attention of your reader and you’ll be one step closer to having some lasting impact upon them.
The steps in this process are: