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Holding Attention in a Distracted World

12th June 2013 Posted in Blog, Writing 0 Comments

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Maybe it’s the chlorine in the water or the mercury in the vaccines, but this world is more distracted than ever.  Some think the constant access to information is to blame, while others think the lack of family time and sleep are the culprits.

No matter the reason, your job as a writer is harder than ever.

You have five, maybe seven seconds, to grab the attention of your readers and keep them interested in what you have to say.  If you can’t capture their attention in that time, your writing will get passed over.  What can you do?

  • Keep it short – Don’t write essays, write articles and blog posts.  Keep everything to no more than a page, two pages at most.
  • Keep it simple – Writing isn’t about being smarter than the reader, or trying to sound smarter.  Your ideas can be smart, and you can explain them in a simple manner.  This way, you don’t leave anyone out of the conversation. 
  • Use pictures – Yes, pictures are good.  They help break up text and grab the reader’s attention immediately.
  • Make it useful – The writing you publish needs to have a point.  Or it needs to be clear about not having a point.

You’re not going to grab the attention of everyone, and you’re certainly not going to hold the attention of everyone.  But when you know what you’re up against, you can try harder and be louder than the distractions.

What are some tips you can offer for grabbing and keeping your readers’ attention? Please leave a comment.

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