• Scott Herring

Writing for Reading

I read way too much. My nightstand has 9 books on it right now. I have no less than 90 tabs open across 2 laptops (PC & Mac), 8 browser windows, and 2 browsers (Chrome & Firefox...). I'm learning DevOps, reading about Amazon's success formula, building two new websites, and writing another Renegade blog. Chaos. Insanity. Stupidity. NOISE. For any blogger to cut through modern life's noise, they need to really not suck. The content has to be good. And the writer has to practice writing for reading.


If you're like me, when you open a blog post or newsletter, you scan. Headlines, images, and lists. Oh, and pullquotes. If something clicks, if it breaks the resistance barrier of a guy with too many tabs and not enough time, I'll read a paragraph. I have my go-to sources, ones I truly trust, but even they can see the recycle bin if the topic doesn't cut through the noise.


The best blogs write for readers, and I've already hinted at what that means. Help the reader make a decision...


Write Good Headlines


I've written previously about the art of headlines. That's a start. Think keywords and a hook. You have to hit both notes. Else, it's bu-bye.


Use Worthwhile Images


You'll shorten the decision process with a good image. Got a chart? Got a photo of the event you're writing about? Got an amusing GIF (not my favorite, but it can work). Don't waste space with bad images, but if something tells your story well, like a solid diagram of a workflow, by all means include it.


Get on the Good List


Scanners, like me, hit headlines and bullet lists. If I see a listicle, I'm happy as heck. I can read the headlines to see if the writer knows anything I don't. Trust me, there's a lot of wasted disk space in the blogging world. Tell me something unexpected in your listicle headlines, man. And bullet lists are easily scanned too. The supporting points to a post in short form...sweet!


You Can Pullquote Me on That


And I'd be remiss to leave out pullquotes. In the old days, you know the way before times, I wrote press releases. Pullquotes were a thing (they might still be...). They were a hook. And if you can channel your inner media relations guru, you'll hook a few readers, and maybe Google too. Looking for what the funk I'm talking about? Well here's one...

Chaos. Insanity. Stupidity. NOISE. For any blogger to cut through modern life's noise, they need to really not suck. The content has to be good. And the writer has to practice writing for reading.

So there you have it. Think about writing for reading, and you'll get better fast. We're all busy as bees, so your reader will thank you for getting to the points visually. Take a look at what you have here. See anything? Yep, the dog ate his own dog food a couple of ways. Writing for reading helps immensely, right?

If you haven't done so already, please join us.


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