Unless you’re reading this on a tablet of course. Or on one of those quaint “desktop” screens.
Either way, we’re getting used to accessing our content and updates from a much smaller window. Apparently most job applications, and social network updates now happen via mobile. As does a lot of our passive media consumption – music, TV, films, books, etc.
One interesting outcome is the increasing reliance on visual cues provided by online content. It has to look easy, as well as be easy, to consume.
Ease-of-navigation is arguably even more important than the actual content.
After all, if they can’t find it, how will they read it?
This isn’t a new trend, but does increase the pressure on writers to grab and hold readers’ attention. (Like my use of a gentle tease in the headline above, hopefully enough to prompt you to read on… and, it seems to be working!)
To win your audience, you need to be just as protective of their time as they are. It’s good to stimulate their imagination, though you must also get to the point as fast as you can. The first few seconds of anyone reading anything, is largely about assessment. Is this worth reading? Is it useful, relevant, entertaining?
So your headlines, sub-headings, bullet-points, quotes, are all good way of letting your reader scan and skim, and should be written accordingly. You need to lure them into your writing. Tempt them with the promise of something that will add value to their life in some way or other; even if it’s only as a welcome and fleeting distraction from the daily routine.
Good writing matters more now, than at any other point in our digital age, and is likely to become ever more critical to the success of your communication.
Click here for a free Digital Content review of your own online content, and see how simple it is to win over new hearts, and minds.