WordClerks

How do you grab your reader's attention?



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How do you grab your reader's attention?

There is so much on line now that how anyone gets read enough to gain notice is beyond me.  How can a writer who has never been published rise above the clamoring horde that chokes the internet daily?  Each day new articles, stories, forums, blogs and e books flood into the stream, causing a huge ocean of reading material. 

I recently read that the first sentence to any article, book or story is the most important part of the whole thing in terms of getting read.  If you can't engage readers in that first line what are the chances that they will continue to read the rest?  But how do you find that really snappy, intriguing set of words, or that one idea that stands out from the crowd and really gets noticed?  

Are there other things besides an outstanding first sentence or shocking headline that will make readers stop and take notice of what you have written?  Something must make people choose one piece of writing over another especially in these days of abundance in terms of the written word.  The best writers in the world will stay anonymous unless there is something that makes people stop and read what they have to say.  

So then, just what does grab a reader's attention and pull them to your post, book or blog rather than what someone else wrote on the same subject?

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Barida

The best method that I've found out is using the curiosity title. How I always do that is by creating a suspense with a title that makes everyone that comes across my writings want to read them. An example is "Sleeping can definitely kill you", and in as much as many know that it is impossible, they will like to read in order to see the points I'm trying to make with it.



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ColdFlameChris

This is the best way to grab any reader's attention. I often fall into a trap like this where they put an intriguing title and I can't help but check on it. It's much worse if they put a nice picture and then found out that it's irrelevant on its content. That's what you called, "Clickbait."



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peachpurple

I call this Killer Title, it kills the reader's curiosity once and for all, that is how I got tricked into reading the article



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JoeMilford

Barida,
I think this is a really good point. I teach English, and many times when students turn in an essay, they will title it something like "Assignment #1". It drives me nuts. I explain to them that the title is the audience's first impression of their composition, and they really need to grab the audience somehow and compel them to keep reading. I ask the students if they would be interested in reading more after a bland or boring title, and they all respond "no", so then I say, "Well, your audience feels the same darn way, of course". The title is essential for the success of any piece of writing--it is the reader's first impression o the piece.



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Baburra

I personally don't do this because it won't work with the type of content I write, but I can't argue that it does work very well. A lot of people are disliking this type of method because it comes off as clickbait, although I would say that it is a lot more acceptable with written blogs and more just despised among the video community on Youtube. For blogs, I think this type of strategy is a bit more acceptable.



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anahbello1206

Aside from catching the attention of reader through titles and first sentences, I think it is also important to use simple word, less jargon and the essay or article should be easy to follow. It should be logically arranged and the thoughts are very well organized.



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Martinsx1

I completely agree with you on this, interesting title, confusing title, controversial title, would get you the attention you need without any doubt. If you happen to listen to most med stations, they tend to blow stories out of proportion with the story heading/headlines and it's mainly for the purpose of grabbing the public attention.



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Steve5

Yes, it can be both funny and frustrating. It's just sad that many writers nowadays use this to trick readers. The content has to be relevant and just as interesting as title itself. If not, then what's the point?



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Corzhens

I agree with the title because in the olden times, the title of a movie is worth $100. That clearly means that the title is very important when it comes to attraction. Unfortunately, that is my weakness. When I was writing blogs as a guest blogger, the blogger would always point out the title with a request to change it or make it more attractive. He said that a weak title makes for a weak blog.



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TheInsaneSakif

Yes, curiosity can be a great way to grab the reader's attention. Other than that, giving an interesting story at the start can also work wonders. The story can be of something that you've already experienced. Something that you really want to share with your readers.



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wiseagent

Arousing the curiosity of readers is always the best way. Creative titles, differentiated book covers, a writing that will force the reader to imagine what is being read and so many other forms.

I think when the reader is wondering what can happen from something visual (at first sight) and then, when reading the written part after a few chapters... It's impossible not to catch them.



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Martinsx1

The saying "Curiosity kills the cat" wasn't just coined for ordinary sake. It's because once ones curiosity is plagued on, such person would never rest until he or she is satisfied. So therefore, making use of curious titles and creative ones as well is definitely going to get people pick interest in your articles.



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Tronia

I remember when I first started writing I did struggle with grabbing the reader's attention but over time, I have learned the small tricks.

The most important things that you need to consider if you want to grab the people's attention are:
- a catchy title,
- pictures and videos along with text,
- use some humor if possible,
- don't use words that nobody understands.

I apply those things to all my articles and it really works.



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wiseagent

"- a catchy title,
- pictures and videos along with text,
- use some humor if possible,
- don't use words that nobody understands."


That is a great mini-tutoral, very useful. How do you grab your reader

Even if not everyone admits this, I think human beings have a part of their motivation (when it comes to reading) driven by curiosity.



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DarthHazard

Humour is definitely a great idea, obviously it won't be perfect for certain niches but for most a little bit of humour in your posts won't hurt. People love jokes and it won't hurt to have a few jokes that are related to your niche/post content. Catchy titles are also quite important because its the first thing that your reader will see and will help them decide whether or not to read your post.



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JoeMilford

I think that a good sense of humor might be one of the things that truly keeps me coming back to blogs or other sites on the web. It's just not that humor lightens things up a bit, but it is also entertaining, and if someone makes you laugh or amuses you once, then you want to keep reading to try to see if he or she can give you that feeling yet again. You also talk about the choice of vocabulary here, but I think that the word choice depends upon the audience and the content you are discussing, so the words can be as complicated as the subject, right?



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JoeMilford

I have noticed, recently, that the more I use images and videos to supplement my written content and to compliment it that my traffic has gone up--maybe my regular readers are returning to see the videos that I posted to the content--I am not quite sure yet because i have not taken time to track and diagnose the data on that. However, I have noticed a bit of a surge since I am changing things around and adding more more media to my sites!



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treecko142

In order to get readers to open your article, you need a catchy title. In order to keep them reading, your introduction or even just the opening statement has to be interesting enough. To prevent them from being bored or overwhelmed by text, add relevant photos to the article. Humor is optional depending on the type of content, and your writing style and how you flesh out your article will decide if they're gonna read more from you again.



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fishbate

I totally agree, having all of this in your content is a great way to convince your audience. However i also think that the genre of your audience itself is one of the most important factor. When you are a blogger or a writing on a certain site, usually there's a certain topic or subject that attracts the audience. This is also a great way to determine what subject or topic will gain trend for your content.



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romyter013

I agree by adding pictures along the text really works. Theres this one time, I just want to post a topic on my feed then I included a picture about it then all of a sudden they all started like it, then reacted on the picture and on that way they get interested to read my topic. Yeah maybe because I made it all simple and natural that everyone can understand my thoughts on it.



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JoeMilford

I agree with the curiosity affect/angle. If the reader is intrigued at the onset of your piece of writing, then he or she is more likely to want more of it and to return to your site. Irony works too, and a bit of the tragic or comic can appeal to the individual sensibilities of certain readers. I always tell my students, when they are writing their essays, that the title is the first impression their audience has of their composition, so it must have a hook or originality to it as well! These qualities of writing are not at all easy, but they are what we strive for as writers.



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wiseagent

I really enjoy using irony in my texts (when the subject allows me this freedom in writing), but unfortunately, some people don't know how to read these types of approaches and end up misunderstanding the things.



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JoeMilford

Once again, we come to the concern and question of knowing one's audience, right? I would write differently, for example, to an audience of sci-fi readers than I would to an audience of critics specializing in the modern novel or the postmodern poem, etc. However, there is always a Venn diagram or crossover in these audiences--perhaps members of both groups could enjoy either genres, but maybe not all of them? In this sense, it can be a bit hit or miss, but I try to produce different content for different consumers, appropriately, as long as I can still believe in it and be passionate about it.



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wiseagent

Yes, we have to consider (and mainly respect) what our audience wants and likes to read. Even if it's not what we really want to write, we have to go the way the doors are opening, so that in a very - I hope not too far How do you grab your reader - near future, we can choose our own doors.



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Corzhens

I have learned that it is called "hook" when the reader cannot put down the book because of that element which is very interesting or intriguing. There are writers who are good in this style of hooking the reader's attention that readers would continue reading until they find the part that can make them rest. There is also the planting like mentioning a scar on the nape of the hero and later the sub story of the scar will be revealed.



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DarthHazard

In terms of articles on a blog then you need to have a title that is exciting and interesting for the reader. You also need to make sure that there is some sort of image associated with that post because it just makes that post look a lot more interesting. But in terms of books then you need to make sure that you have an interesting cover and a blurb. Most people decide if they will buy the book or not from the blurb. If it's not good enough then they will just buy something else.



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JoeMilford

I am really working on my titles these days, and I have come to realize how important they are--not just in terms of SEO, but also in a way to set up a sort of continuity or narrative for my "brand" (which, I am not sure even exists yet, so bear with me). I have always been able to get really great blurbs from really great sources because of my content, I guess, but I am still working on putting together the "whole package", so to speak.



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keen2write

A catchy title, a title with a question or tells a little of a story. So they just want to click to find out more about it. I also say content on your site, the title maybe great but when they click they want to find out the details and more information. If it is well set out with also images this will strengthen the blog or website.



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treecko142

Having a good title is the best way of grabbing someone's attention, but you have to make sure that you sustain it with a content that does justice to your title; otherwise, you get tagged as just another clickbait website.



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mildredtabitha

A short catchy title can grab a readers attention. The colors of the blog and how the blog is displayed can also attract readers. Short clear paragraphs and informative points are better than a long post full of repetitive words.

Also, starting a paragraph with a short brief story can make a reader to read the whole content.



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DenisP

Unfortunately it would seem the standard practice for grabbing attention these days are clickbaity titles. For those who are unaware with today's internet lingo, clickbait is something that has a controversial or compelling title so that it grabs your attention and baits you to click on it, hence the name clickbait. This usually means that the title is something over exaggerated or downright false, and the content typically ends up being lackluster in comparison.

For example, someone might post something with the title "Oh my God, you'll never guess what happened!" and when you read the article it turns out to be something incredibly mundane.

As annoying as the trend is, it is sadly an effective one. There are even people who use it ironically.



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JoeMilford

I get that this is an effective way to grab attention, and I understand people using it ironically, but still, I can't stand clickbaiting. I am not sure why, exactly, but it really gets on my last nerve. I would not resort to this kind of false advertising or trick in order to lull in an audience because it would make me appear to be untrustworthy, immature, or unreliable, I think, to my target audiences. That's just me, I know, but i am trying to build real and long term relationships with people online, and I do not think that clickbaiting is a way to go about it.



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DenisP

It definitely isn't just you, and I wholeheartedly agree with everything you just said.

The statement which stands out for me most is "...but i am trying to build real and long term relationships with people online, and I do not think that clickbaiting is a way to go about it." Clickbaiting definitely isn't the way to establish a long term relationship with readers.

I think what clickbaiting ends up doing is you attract certain people with your titles, they stay for a little, and then leave once they've realized you're being dishonest about your content. Then a new batch of "suckers" arrives, and the cycle continues.

This definitely isn't a means of establishing neither a consistent nor a very mature or educated fan base.



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iamawriter

An attractive title will surely attract a reader's title but what next? If the contents are hogwash that reader will never come again. Not only should the title be attractive so should the contents be. Readers are looking for information that is useful to them unless one is only looking for views.



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DarthHazard

That is true. That's also one of the annoying things with a lot of sites using clickbait titles nowadays. Just because the post has an attractive site does not mean that the readers will enjoy the content. You need to make sure that all aspects of your blog post are good enough to keep the reader entertained and happy. If you don't do this then you risk losing a lot of readers.



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iamawriter

But sites where one is paid for views attractive titles come in handy. When a page is opened advertisers count that for paying sites. It is time such kind of system is not encouraged as there are fraudulent ways to get views on blogs and articles.



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DenisP

Yeah this is something that I addressed in my own comment here. Posting an article with a title that sounds tempting while the content itself is trash, is known as clickbait. Clickbait is a plague on many blogs, news sites, and YouTube videos as well. People post controversial headlines for articles and videos to tempt you to click on them, just so they increase their view counter.

Using clickbait is a guaranteed way for me to never return to your site/channel, as well as lose all respect for your content. I think there are plenty of people who would agree with me, so it really isn't a smart practice.



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TheInsaneSakif

Yes, I've come across many articles that have an eye-catching title, but the content is just not up to the mark. What's the point of having a good title if the content is not good enough? You will have more views, but your reputation will be damaged.



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tiffiecute

I try to write sincerely and put some interesting points to what I'm trying to portray. I also use simple words so I could easily share my work content to all levels of undertanding and thought. I try to be straightforward as much as possible and to really love what I'm doing.



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wiseagent

It all depends very much on the type of audience you are going to write to, but I also find it particularly interesting to use simpler words and approaches so that I can create more empathy with my readers.

Some people that a simpler writing is a weakness (because it would demonstrate little mastery over writing), but I swim against the tide because I think writing in a simpler way is something that requires a lot of work.



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treecko142

When you write something sincerely and especially on a topic you really know by heart and care about, it just naturally comes off as very interesting and you can feel the writer's passion flowing through the article, so it really helps when you love what you're doing because it will reflect on your outputs.



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Judas2018

I try to make the article engaging, and sound exciting. Wordplay is the key. The reader has to enjoy your writing style, and become fond of the way you tell a story or tell stories - or relay information in an article. Readers hate boring articles that drone on, and on. They also don't care for pretentious or preachy. Simple, fun and informative is how you grab and - KEEP a readers attention.



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Baburra

I don't have any specific tactics but I just try to get to the point as quickly as possible as I dislike reading articles that drone on for too long. Also, I try and structure my articles as well as I could by separating them into paragraphs and just thinking about the reader in general. I always try to picture myself reading my article and since I get bored very easily, I can always tell when my article has a tendency to lose people.



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czarian21

Enable for the bloggers or writers to get the attention of their readers they have to start with their title. It should be catchy and sounds intriguing. Because most of the readers start constructing an ideas once they read the title. Then it follows the body or the article should be precise and meaningful and direct to the point, so that you will avoid boredom. Always put yourselves as a reader so you will know what will catch their attention and will be interested starting to read your article up to the end.



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BMPros

It is every writer's responsibility to start with a catchy attention- grabbing title. Your target reader's attention is as important as the writer himself. As reader myself, I have almost always read articles with an intriguing title and a thesis statement. In most cases, a modern day quote or a soundbite from a popular celebrity who are contemporary would always catch my attention. Above all these, it is always the over all content of the article that matters as I go through it. The primary goal of the writer is to provide information, provide insights that are well-researched , first -hand information derived from reliable sources. At some point, I would often look for materials that can stir- up emotions or can give me a good laugh.



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Krisleen

Catching the reader's attention starts with a very catchy title. As a reader, I personally decide to try reading an article if I find the title very interesting. Substance is also important. It keeps the interest of the reader. I remember a forum post mentioning about the importance of substance and I totally agree with it. Correct grammar, spelling, and sentence construction alone won't be good enough to make the content interesting. The reader will actually find it very boring. Technicalities alone gives a feeling that your write up is communicating with robots. It is also important to support facts with a little testimony or story. This gives a balance between facts and personal touch relevant to the topic, which will leave the reader satisfied because it gives justice to the catchy title. I personally appreciate an article written this way. I like learning while getting entertained. It actually gives me retention.



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JoeMilford

I may have mentioned this before, but I constantly have to remind my students that they need to have a catchy title for their essays, or at least an original one. I tell them that this is the FIRST impression of their work that the audience is going to get, and the title alludes to the thesis and main idea of the content to follow. Not providing the audience with a strong title is a way to immediately set your content up for failure.



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kurai1128

You get them through interesting title that caught their attention. We never jumped to read the body of an article, no matter how good it is, we always look at the title first to get a sneak view of it's flow. Then once we became curious we end up reading the whole content.



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JoeMilford

I'm definitely with you here and with others above who have mentioned the importance of the title. I think that that is SO key to grabbing my attention when I am browsing sites and blogs. I really try, on my own blogs, to have catchy and original titles, but to also have titles which are accessible and relatable to my audience. If the title is TOO specialized, I might lose readers, but if it is not interesting and specialized ENOUGH, I could lose readers because of that as well.



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mar06

Just put more interesting topic that may catch our attention and make some good feedback about what article you have. To become successful at that, just look first about information's about what topic will you give and I ensure that if you are confident of posting that topic many people where be interested about you.



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Martinsx1

It's clearly obvious that having a good catchy title is the first step in capturing readers attention. If the title is good enough, the body wouldn't be much of a problem. There are some readers that won't bother reading through the entire body of an article, the title would be very explanatory for them. But if the title fails, then it's all over for the article.



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