As a novice online writer, one needs to gather some tips from the pros in order to succeed. Here are five things I’ve found so far that I think are pretty useful.
1. Place your lead high up, very high up in the article
Online readers do NOT have very large attention spans. If you go to a coffee shop, especially one with nice fireplace seating, you might notice an elderly couple pick up a newspaper, sit down, and spend a couple hours perusing and doing the crossword. This is not how people consume online news. There are so many articles they can look at, even on one topic, that they don’t have time to wait for the lead of yours.
This follows from the first point, but you should also apply it to individual paragraphs. They need to have their own points that are made in the topic sentence and made clearly.
3. Change your font sizes on headings
If readers skim your work, and the will, they will look for an indication that something is important. Give them that indication by making your headings and new points bigger.
4. Link to everything
Linking will not entice people to other sites. Rather, it is more likely to raise your profile because the writer you linked to can usually tell where his readers came from. He might send you some love with a link as well.
5. Keep it short and simple, stupid
In order to combat serial skimmers, make your paragraphs and stories as short and sweet as possible.