Editorial Style Increases Blog Readership

Posted: January 14, 2013 in Wordpress

St. Augustine writing, revising, and re-writin...

Use photo captions to tell your entire story if you want to attract a male readership.

You can increase readership of your blog if you follow a few simple rules. These rules were created by people, like yourself, who wanted to increase readership of their writing. A blog is nothing more than an editorial.  It is your opinion about a topic.

We tend to think from the general to the specific. We might start with a question, build a supportive argument and then conclude with the answer.  Most readers won’t be willing to read your impressive arguments. They want to know what you are talking about quickly.

The first rule then is to reveal what your opinion is in the opening paragraph.  The first paragraph is the executive summary of the rest of your blog. This increases your readership because it communicates your idea quickly to those who prefer to scan rather than read. If the first paragraph expresses your opinion adequately, you might entice a few “scanners” to continue reading. If not, at least they received the main point of your writing: they know your opinion, and that is primarily what you wanted to accomplish.

The second rule is to create and follow an outline. The typical editorial outline follows:

  1. State your opinion in the opening paragraph.
  2. Provide support for your opinion. (3 arguments.)
  3. Anticipate and answer the probable rebuttal.
  4. Restate your opinion.
  5. Call for action.

Use the correct headline. The headline should be honest. It should relate to the topic of the writing. If your writing isn’t strong enough to hold a reader’s attention, a splendid, (but misleading), headline isn’t going to help you.

A picture says a thousand words, so add one or two to reinforce your message. If your blog editor permits, change the caption of the photo to reveal a major point conveyed in your writing. Men like to read captions.  Use photo captions to tell your entire story if you want to attract a male readership.

“Be brief, be bright, be done,” is a motto I used for many years in editorial writing. Your writing is competing with every other distraction that keep readers from giving you the attention you want.  Over the years I have broken that rule more than any other.

Use words people understand. Audiences vary. You can use technical jargon if your audience is familiar with that vocabulary.  Just remember to use language that your target audience uses. Also, try to use correct grammar.

Listen to your editor. Of course, you don’t have an editor so you have to listen to that other voice in your head that is telling you that your writing is too long, too disorganized, too wordy or incorrect. We all have that voice in our head. Learn to listen to the wisdom of your second voice.

Use Paragraphs and Sub-headlines

What reaction do you seek from the audience? Ask for that reaction. Why share your opinion if you do not want others to take an action? “Write your Congressman,” “sign our petition,” “meditate each morning.” Remember to ask people to do what you think they should be doing.

Review some of your older writing. Where in the writing does your main point appear? Is it buried in the body of the writing? Is it plainly stated in the first paragraph?

When you review your older writings, do you grimace at the quality of your work? Do you get the impression that your could have said as much using fewer words? Are you proud of your work? Good!

You can increase readership by following a few rules.  If you are new to writing, follow the advise of others until you gain some experience and confidence.  Seasoned writers will set their own rules, as they should, as their writing skill develops. In time you can become a better writer; even a famous writer, but all writers start as beginners. Learn the rules of good writing as you develop your skills.

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