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Irresistible Articles: 4 Tips For Attracting (And Keeping!) A Reader’s Attention
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Attract attentionYou know those commercials they sometimes have at the beginning of YouTube videos? Before you can watch the video you really want to see, the commercial starts playing, and a message pops up saying that in 4 seconds (or whatever) you can skip away from the commercial to the video that you want to watch.

Probably like everyone else, I always skip away from the commercial at the soonest possible moment. I don’t want to watch an advertisement or have somebody try to sell me something. The only thing I’m willing to pay attention to is content that really interests me.

Content You Can’t Turn Away From…

But something interesting happened the other day. I found a video on YouTube that I wanted to watch, and at the beginning of the video there was a commercial. I prepared myself to click the “skip ad” button as soon as it appeared, but the “commercial” actually caught my attention. The reason why was that it didn’t come off as a commercial at all. It came across as a “how to” video.

The video I wanted to watch was actually a cooking demonstration, and the pre-video commercial did something similar–it was demonstrating how to make a different recipe, but one that I found interesting as well. As a result, for the first time in my life I watch the whole pre-video commercial with rapt attention.

Afterwards I thought, “That’s exactly what we do with article marketing!”

Teach People What They’re Already Interested In Learning

Instead of using the article as a “commercial” for our businesses, we write content that teaches people how to do practical things that they’re already interested in learning. That is how we gain the attention of our readers.

If the reader senses that our article is just a commercial, he will click away at the first possible moment. But if you offer him something that he’s actually interested in learning about, he will willingly stick around and favor you with his attention.

The big question is, how can you create an article that produces the same effect in your readers as that irresistible pre-video “non-commercial” did for me?

How can you create content that readers aren’t just willing to stick around and read, but that actually makes a reader unable to turn away?

1 – Teach your reader how to do something practical.

Create a piece of content that teaches something specific on the same general topic that your reader is interested in. For example, if your website is about parenting, then create articles that teach readers very specific things associated with parenting. The thing you teach should be something that readers in your niche need to learn and can put to practical use in their lives.

2 – Keep it simple.

There is a place for more involved articles that teach complicated topics, but as much as possible try to simplify the thing you’re going to teach. Get really focused with this. Ideally, the reader will be able to skim your article and come away knowing how to do something new.

3 – Stay on target.

In your writing, keep things straightforward and to the point. Remember, the purpose of your content is to quickly teach your reader how to do something. Try to keep the points in your article on subject and avoid “rabbit hole” trains of thought. Imagine yourself being a ninja on a mission–your job is to get in, do what you need to do, and then get out. Your readers will appreciate your direct approach.

4 – Use a word count goal.

You’re aiming for succinctness, but at the same time you need to provide enough content that a publisher will want to republish your article. The lowest word count that we allow at is 400 words, but you can definitely beef up your content and go for a higher word count. What you’re trying to avoid is an excessively long or short article. Here’s a resource that may be helpful to you:

How To Write A Short & Snappy Article

Your Homework:

This week, experiment with using these tips to write at least one “how to” article designed to irresistibly attract a reader’s attention.

What do you think–do you have any other tips for creating content that readers can’t turn away from?

NOTE: Please be aware this content may now be outdated. For the latest quality content on how to build massive publicity for your website, please go to The vWriter Blog - Helping Businesses Grow Traffic, Build Engagement, and "Be Everywhere"

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