Raw Need

Why do some posts catch a readers eye, and others receive little notice?

I think it’s something we learn as infants. We learn there is this large creature that takes care of our every need, if we just make enough noise. 🙂

Blogging is a little like that too, although it takes a little more sophisticated approach.  Sometimes it’s hard to hit that fine line between engaging the readers attention and just making a lot of noise.

That’s why headlines are so important.

Remember the old saying about first impressions?  We only have a moment to catch someone’s eye, and opinions are formed in those first few seconds.  While it’s true you can occasionally change someone’s first opinion of you (although rarely) your blog post doesn’t get that chance.

Usually the only chance your post has is in that first second, while the reader is processing your headline. If the headline doesn’t engage them, all the labor in the body of the post is totally wasted, as it will never be read.

Recently I was taken by a headline on thesecretblogofathirtyyearold; “I Just Wrote What I Needed to Write”.  At first glance, I can’t see anything obvious. So I’ve been trying to analyze what grabbed my attention. (bear in mind the author was not trying to write killer copy, but just wrote whatever came to mind)

Here’s what I have so far.

  • Identification
    • there was something in the headline i immediately identified with, and I believe it was the words ‘needed’ and ‘write’. I think most of us are here because of some underlying need to express ourselves.
      • so I was captured by something I identified with; namely, ‘need‘, and ‘write‘.
  • Raw
    • sometimes how polished the words are doesn’t really matter, if the emotion is there.
    • once I was engaged by the headline and read the first sentence, I was captured again. Now, I was reading the body of the post, and the first sentence captured me again. (which brings up another important point)
  • Capture
    • not only does the reader need something in the headline that will engage their attention, the first few lines of the post must capture their attention by drawing them into your world, your thought process, or whatever. Only then will you be able to share those thoughts you have been needing to express.
  • Authenticity
    • last but not least, we must be authentic. Don’t try to write like a college grad unless you are. Just write as yourself. Use spellcheck, and watch your punctuation, but above all be yourself!

Well, those are my thoughts for the day!

Happy Friday to everyone.