Blogging for the Short Attention Span

By Deborah Baudoin

A zillion years ago, I had the idea that I was gonna be the next Lois Lane. I was going to go out and get the hard news, get my byline, and live a life of adventure and glamour.

blogging for short attention spansYeah, okay, that didn’t happen. But if I learned nothing else in journalism, I learned this one, profound truism:

“People are lazy.”

Well, that may be a bit harsh. What people are, in fact, is busy. Very busy. And, as a journalist, you know that your words are fighting a losing battle against the clogged avenues of time and space for attention.

The truth is, most people just don’t have a lot of extra time to spend reading, learning, and exploring. And what little time they have is going to be parceled out in favor of (a) what’s relevant, (b) what’s convenient, and (c) what’s easy to read.

What this boils down to is, if you want your words to be read, you must tailor your blogging for the short attention span.

There are a few tricks to keeping your blog posts relevant, convenient, and easy to read.

  • Get to the point. In journalism, it’s called the lede. That first sentence or paragraph that grabs the readers’ interest and pulls them in to the story. In blogging, it’s making sure your reader knows that this article is going to be important enough to them to read the rest of the post.
  • Know your audience. The key to getting that lede right is knowing who is going to read your post and what they want to read. If your audience falls under the heading of “busy CEO,” you’re not going to want to bury the bottom line at the end of a bunch of fluff. If your target audience tends to be creative, you definitely don’t want to burden them down with statistics.
  • Love the white space. If you want your message read, you need to accept the fact that most people don’t read every word of a post. Consolidate the important facts into concise, easy-to-digest paragraphs (or bullet points), leaving plenty of eye-friendly white space in between.
  • Fear not the dreaded delete key! Read through your post and remove all sentences that do not support the message you want. This post, for instance, started off with a rather clever anecdote about a tree, six bags of Jelly Bellies, and a whooping crane. Obviously, it did not further the cause of brevity, so I chopped it out! (Not really, but you get the picture.)

The easiest way to grab your audiences’ attention with a blog post is…well…to let the professionals do it. You can contact us, let us know the message you want to convey, and we can get it out there for your readers.

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