This guest post is by James Chartrand of Damn Fine Words.
But you know what none of us tell you? What to do after the headline.
You know, the actual “content” part.
It’s not enough to create killer headlines or spectacular introductions. It’s not enough to write compelling content (and we don’t tell you how to do that either). It’s not enough to use storytelling. The only way to get your blog posts read, shared and revisited means writing great content.
Which really means you need to know how to write a stellar paragraph.
I know: paragraphs aren’t sexy
Catchy headlines sounds sexy. Storytelling sounds sexy. Paragraphs? They sound about as sexy as gramma’s underwear. They’re not a technique or a tool. They’re just plain old-fashioned grammar school stuff.
Here’s what you need to know about what a fantastic paragraph can do for you:
Your readers will take in every single word you write.
Not just the words in the bullet points. Not just the numbered lists. Not just the headlines or the sub-headers. They won’t skim looking for “the good stuff.”
It’s all good stuff. They’ll want every single word.
Here’s a thought: Online readers are notorious for skimming and scanning, running through the bullet points. But do you know why their eyes are wandering? Do you know why they skip through your posts?
It’s because they weren’t interested in the paragraphs.
The content in your paragraphs? Readers figure those are just filler. And in many cases for many, many bloggers… sadly, filler it is.
Readers read … if it’s worth their time
A lot of bloggers assume that skimming and scanning is just the way things are. Nothing they can do about it – people are lazy. Too busy. So they don’t bother putting effort into crafting carefully written paragraphs the way they do their headlines and bullet points, because no one’s going to read the content anyway.
But, as Georgina pointed out earlier today, not all readers scan the content—and that’s important to remember.
Everyone has a favorite blogger whose posts they read religiously. I’ve got one. You’ve got one. You get excited when you see a new post go live because you love the way this blogger writes. You share the posts. You