5 Ways To Rob Readers of Their Precious Time

As a writer, you want people to read your words, sentences, paragraphs and eventually make it to the very end and say, “Wow, that was something.” But how does a writer do that? How does a writer hold the readers’ attention? In fact, how does a writer, any writer for that matter, even get hold […]
As a writer, you want people to read your words, sentences, paragraphs and eventually make it to the very end and say, “Wow, that was something.” But how does a writer do that? How does a writer hold the readers’ attention? In fact, how does a writer, any writer for that matter, even get hold of the reader with just the headline?
One of the master’s of writing copy was also considered one of the founding fathers of modern advertising, David Ogilvy.
David Ogilvy became famous for stating the following:
On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar. – David Ogilvy
 Lyghtly shares five ways you can increase your chances of having readers want to read your writing.
  1. SIMPLE PRESENTATION – keeping it simple is oftentimes the most efficient way to grab a readers attention. Readers instinctually know when you are trying to hard by using only attention getting headlines. Keep your headline simple but to the point. One of the greatest writers of American literature spent years writing simple and clear sentences through all of his great novels.
  2. STORYTELLING – “It was a dark and lonely night” by today’s standards may come off as cliche ridden, however, it is this kind of storytelling words that actually pull the reader into ‘see what happens.’
  3. CONVERSATION – Some writers may have a tendency to use big words in order to show off how clever they can be.  It’s the wrong approach. Although you may be extremely intelligent, you want to be able to hold a conversation with people that will actually be able to partake in what it is you are actually expressing in your writing. This does touch on the simple idea as mentioned above but taking it a step further, consider keeping your words more conversational in tone. There is something to be said about resonating more with readers when they actually feel like you are talking to them, rather than at them.
  4. AUDIENCE – This really is a question of what works for you. There are some writers who write for themselves, others for a muse and others for someone they have specifically in mind. The point being is that it is a good rule of thumb to know who your target audience is when writing. Your words will become more clearly defined and there will be a level of momentum and through the line of action at play throughout.
  5. ACTIVE – It is always more substantial when you don’t write passively. This bores the reader. When you are actively engaged, this instantly comes across to the reader and they will follow you wherever you wish to lead them.
 Most readers won’t consider reading past the headline if it doesn’t catch their attention and stimulate them to want to read the next sentence, let alone the very next word. It doesn’t matter how magnificent you think your article may be if your headline is terrible, no one will ever be interested in reading your wonderful work. It pays to invest time and care when it comes to having a strong headline. Happy writing!
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