Having been in the web design business for over 15 years now, I’ve spent a lot of time around some incredibly intelligent usability experts. One of the most common tirades I’ve heard from them over the years is about the likelihood that, on the internet, nobody will read a large wall of text that is put in front of them. Most will skim the article to find the information they need, and if it’s not found quickly, they won’t stick around. There are several easy ways to retain the attention of your readers:
First (and the most obvious), you need a clear and concise message that gets straight to the point. Your readers aren’t going to stick around long enough anyway, so help them out by giving them the information they need right away.
Second, clean formatting will make your article easier to skim. Brush up on the writing composition skills you learned in elementary school and use paragraphs and bullet points appropriately. Nothing scares off a reader faster than a huge wall of text with long paragraphs and no bullet points. If you let your text have room to breath, it will be much easier for the user to skim your article and extract the information he or she needs.
Finally, adding images to an extremely long article will make it look not so intimidating to your reader, and if the images are chosen correctly, they just might actually help deliver your message and set the tone for the article. At the very least, adding interesting illustrations and photography is a great way to attract and keep your reader’s attention.
Did you know that I allow article and blog writers to use any of my images from this site for free? Yes, that’s true – so feel free to use however many you wish.