Too Long, Didn’t Read: How to Save Your Blog From Content Shock

Too Long, Didn’t Read: How to Save Your Blog From Content Shock

Written By Darren Seys - September 4, 2014

The following post was written by our summer intern, Janeicia Neely

If you’re reading this blog right now, you may be a bored reader, skimmer, or someone glancing at the article and skipping over it. These are some of the basic issues content marketers face in 2014 and in the years to come. These types of readers exist as a result of the noisiest, or most distracting, internet to date.

“Content shock,” the cause of the newly uninterested person, describes the idea that people are now so distracted by everything else available on the internet that they struggle to stay on one page for any length of time, let alone read a dense article. Content shock also describes a tendency to view an article and immediately feel intimidated by the length, leaving the article unread and useful information unentertained.

People are much more likely to be entertained or informed by a GIF or a visual than by a content heavy article. There has been a rise in visual content in recent Internet media, attracting these type of readers and skimmers. This trend will definitely hinder content heavy material or writers. As “Too Long; Didn’t Read: How To Save Your Blog From Content Shock” mentions, the best way to keep readers engaged is to make the content interesting and posed in a way where readers feel inclined to keep reading; the headline must cause a double take, the image has to make a viable, entertaining first impression. There are people out there that will still read an entire article; it’s the writers’ challenge to create a reason for them to reach the end of the article.

The writers who seem to achieve the impossible are often copywriters, who have learned how to compete with the rest of the noise that will forever exist. Studying copywriters’ methods is a great way to find new strategies to compel people pay attention. Through examining their schemes, you will find that there are many different angles they use to approach the topic they are writing about. Pop culture, sports and recent events are all interesting angles to associate another less interesting topic with. Of course, the topic must be relevant and not forced: readers can tell when a writer is trying too hard to be funny. However, using these different facets will surely differentiate your article from the next person writing about the same current event.

Great copywriters write as if they are telling a story, eliciting an emotional response be it a laugh or a “hmm.” Copywriters are often readers and fans of well composed dialogue and storytelling, employing some of the same techniques to make their story worthwhile and attention grabbing. They are tasked with using space and words effectively, style.

Style is something all copywriters must employ to keep the reader engaged. The writer’s voice must encourage readers to keep going. Depending on the article shorter or longer sentences, analogies, or visual language may do the trick. Copywriters always take into consideration their topic, their readers and their goal. Though there will always be skimmers and disinterested readers, content shock can be fought and managed by apt writers ready to engage their readers in the most interesting way.

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