Katy Lee here. It’s Sunday, and the hills are alive…well, not really but here’s a little music to a writer’s ears:
“I couldn’t put your book down.”
Ah, the greatest compliment a reader can give a writer. It means you did your job right. You gave them just enough information on page one to keep them interested, and willing to stay with you, until page three hundred. You took the reader on a satisfying journey, unfolding the story little by little, bit by bit. You were careful not to overload them with too much information up front.
But If there’s anything I’ve learned since I joined my fellow Scribes, it is that being a writer does not make me a blogger. In fact, I have had to learn a whole new style of writing from what I was used to. It turns out that writing for the web takes on an opposite approach to writing fiction. But take heart, because it’s still all about satisfying your reader. Just in a different way.
Most traffic to your blog will come from search engines, like Google. People who are looking for an answer to some question or information on a certain topic. They’ve typed in a keyword that your blog contains, and Bingo, they’re on your page. They’re not here for entertainment and you probably have ten seconds or less to keep them reading. Talk about pressure!
So how do you do it?
Well, just like fiction, you give them a hook, but you can’t stop there. And this is where the change comes in, because you then have to follow it up with your best stuff right up front. It is no time to tease. Give them the answer they came looking for. Give them the same satisfaction in the first paragraph that your book readers have when they read your last page.
The Unlocked Secret: Take more of a journalistic approach when writing for the web. Feature your most important information first, followed up by more good and necessary content to support your idea. By doing it this way, you earn the reader’s trust right up front, and they’ll continue reading to the very end. But wait, I think I hear music playing. If you earn their trust, they won’t hesitate to come back again and again.
And that is the greatest compliment a blogger can get.
Do you have questions about what it entails to start a blog? Or if you have a blog, what kinds of things have you learned from it?