How to Write Content to Get More Social Media Shares

As an online writer, you expect to write and publish your article and receive praise, accolades and lots of shares in a jiffy. However, this happens very rarely and you probably spiral into depression when you see that no one has read, shared or commented on your article? Does this mean that you are a bad writer? Is your grasp over language so poor that people are ignoring your articles? The answer to these questions is most probably no. It’s just that you need to structure your articles better.

Why is no one reading your article?

The truth is that people do not read on the Internet. Attention spans are shortening and people just do not want to spend the time and effort to read an article closely to get the information they are looking for. People crave instant gratification – they want to be able to glance through an article and pick out relevant and important information right away. Legendary web usability consultant Jakob Nielson proved this way back in 1997.

According to his initial study, more than 75% of people do not read but scan content on the Internet. This means that you do not have to dust off your old grammar books and spend hours perfecting your article. All you have to do is make it more scannable.

What is scannable content?

To make your articles more attractive to readers you need to make it more scannable. This means that your article needs to be structured in such a way as to allow people to glance through or read through the article quickly and be able to capture all the relevant points and information. The easiest ways to make content scannable and to get your message across to readers quickly is by breaking up paragraphs so as to explain only one idea per paragraph. You can also highlight important words or keywords and make use of bullet points whenever possible.

Most importantly, the length of web articles should be about half that of an article written on paper. You do not have to elaborate or use flowery language to get a point across in online articles.

More tips to make your articles more scannable

Firstly, instead of being offended, you need to accept the fact that people will scan and not read your online content. To reduce the length of your article, you can break it up into a series of articles and this trick is very helpful if you are tackling complex and highly informative topics in your article. This way you will also have a ready audience for your future articles. Here are a few more pointers that you can follow:

Use the inverted pyramid style of writing

We have been trained to start with problems statements and slowly build up to the conclusion whenever we are writing an article. However, this means that readers have to read a lot of unnecessary information before they can get to the result or conclusion of the article and this does not work well for online articles. The inverted pyramid style states that you start with the conclusion first and then elaborate on this and explain this with the help of supporting statements.

Break up the article with relevant subheads

Always structure your article well so that it progresses effortlessly and you can break up the article easily. Put relevant paragraphs under informative subheads so that readers know what is coming up next. Moreover, these subheads should act like summaries of the paragraphs that follow and readers should be able to get a gist of the article by reading only the subheads.

Don’t ignore numbered lists

Numbered lists have always been popular. Top 10, best 20, etc. are almost always the most popular and most read articles on websites. Such articles always have an element of suspense and users are intrigued to read through the article to reach the grand finale or highest ranked item in the list-based articles.

Format articles wisely

Instead of using colors to highlight important phrases and words, use formatting techniques like italics and bold. Using bold and italics to make certain phrases stand out also ensures that readers read these phrases differently in their heads. You can highlight important points, obvious statements, shocking facts and logical conclusions using bold and italics.

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