Most people will skip the introduction and scroll down to the sub-headings of this article. And if they don’t find good content that flows, they’ll look for something better on the internet. It is not easy to write engaging articles, but there are a few important factors that we can take care of.
Readers come with a certain motive and a viable end-goal in mind. We need to fulfill that motive through good content writing and well-edited articles.
This list gives you an insight into how you can keep your audience engaged by maintaining the flow of your article.
1. Provoke your readers
You must be able to make bold statements and back them up with relevant arguments. As humans, we love finding flaws in provocative statements to reinforce our beliefs. However, if you can change somebody’s mindset positively, they will want to continue reading more.
2. Conform to standards, but don’t overdo it
Syntax and grammar standards are designed to ensure that we don’t have to learn a new system every time we read something new.
There are many tiny bad habits that writers fall into. These can be simple things like adding spaces before commas, “this is an example , do you see?”, or writing dialogues from different people on the same lines.
‘So,’ he said, ‘let’s go to the party’. She said, ‘that’s great, let’s go.’
This makes for a confusing read and many novice writers tend to ignore these simple standards.
It’s good to go into ‘maintenance’ once in a while to figure out if you’ve been doing something wrong.
3. Do not deviate
It can be tempting to add a few extra points to your article because they seem interesting to you. However, that reduces the quality of your article and drives readers away.
If, at any point in your article, you feel like saying, ‘…but I digress. What I was trying to say is…’, you’re in trouble. Not only will the reader curse you for wasting their time, but they’ll also wonder if you didn’t care enough to edit your article after you wrote it.
4. Link to previous points in your articles
Humans learn through recall. Unless all your readers have a photographic memory, you’ll want to repeat the important points in your article.
Try to bring up something you said before in a way that is relevant. You can see an example of this in the next point.
5. Use subheadings
Remember what I told you in the beginning? Most people tend to skip the introduction and look for subheadings because they make articles easy to wrap your head around.
They make the reader feel comfortable because the gist is available in the subheading. That way they can dive into points they think they don’t understand or are new.
6. Use images where needed
If replacing a paragraph with an image makes it easier to read, you should absolutely do it. Don’t hesitate to add an image if it is good. They are perfect attention-keeping tools.
However, make sure you grab a royalty-free image or explicitly credit the photographer for their work. Otherwise, you might have to take it down.
7. Read your article out loud before publishing
Reading your article out loud gives you an insight into the flow and feel of it. You will be able to identify parts of your article that are boring or lengthy and cut down on those.
Reading aloud is often underrated and we don’t give it much thought, but it’s one of the most helpful ways to understanding if your article flows well.
8. Use references wisely
If you are working at an internship, your methodology and ethics while working will be entirely different from that of an experienced blogger. Even then, use the references provided to you wisely.
Before you start ‘researching’, you should write down what you know about the topic and only then should you look it up online. It keeps you out of the competitive, first-page ecosystem of search results and allows you to create unique content.
9. Don’t confuse your readers
Being clear on your topic and writing with conviction is of utmost importance. If you contradict yourself or sound confused then readers won’t trust your words.
Cut down on phrases like, “you might not agree“, or “this is specific to me“, or “there are many other factors, but these are the ones I could think of“. This makes for weak writing and it shows that you didn’t take the time to research your topic thoroughly to come to a viable conclusion.
So, there you go! These are some tips that will help you write articles that flow and keep your readers engaged.