Writing for the Internet -- How To Give the Readers What They Want

In this article you will find tips on: How to intrigue your readers from the very start-the most important part of your piece isn't the content, Once they're hooked-reel them in, How to keep them reading through the entire piece instead of scanning for information, Break it up!-How to keep their attention span from reaching its limits, and How to keep your readers from becoming distracted while reading your well crafted articles.

Introduction
If you're new at writing on the Super Information Highway you may be stumped as to what readers want. As the Internet has become a major staple to the information flow of our society--and many around the world--more and more of the traditional writers have turned to the Internet and discovered new heights for their creative genius. So, with that said, let's get on with the Info!

The Most Important Part of Your Piece Isn't the Content
"What?" you say. "But isn't the content what it's all about?" Yes and no. If what you've written isn't very good, the effort you put into your work was most likely in vein. But, the body of your work isn't the first thing that your audience sees. The title of your piece is the most important part of your article. If the title doesn't grab their attention, and arouse their curiosity, they won't even give a second thought to reading what you've worked so diligently to produce. Make it so intriguing that they won't want to pass it up for fear of not being able to find it again.

Once They're Hooked-Reel Them In
Now that you've gotten their attention, you need to keep it--because if you don't, they're only a click away from never coming back. You need to do something to keep them wanting more. Provide them with an index of sorts, as I have done for you at the beginning of this article. Let them know what you are going to be telling them. Break it up into sections so they can easily tell where each begins and ends. Make bold headings for each of your sub-sections.

How To Keep Them Reading Through the Entire piece
This is the most important thing you can do to keep your reader's attention--the placement of your information. You need to take all of your pertinent information and stuff it at the top of your piece. Take the most important information from each section and push it to the beginning of that section. After you have done that, cut out everything else. Yes, I said it! Get rid of all that hard work you put into writing all the extra little things about your topic. If it is not absolutely necessary, get rid of it. Why? Because those who surf the web for information don't want all the little details-unless that is the purpose of the written piece.

Break It Up!
Now that you have thrown out most of your work, break up your sections into shorter paragraphs. Readers feel overwhelmed by long sections. They don't want to get a headache from your work, that's why you did it for them!

How to Keep Your Readers from Becoming Distracted
You've read plenty of articles on the Internet by now, so you know that while links are a great asset to have, it's distracting when you're reading and you come across a link that takes you somewhere you want to go, but then you forget about what you were reading in the first place and you lose interest. Put those links at the end of your article. Merely let the reader know--within the body of the text--that they can find additional information if they follow the links provided at the end of the article.

Conclusion
If everyone followed these simple guidelines, I believe, the Internet would be a much easier place to visit when looking for key information. I hope the information provided in this article will help you as much as it has me.

The Author of this Article has assumed the pen name "Jon Owen" in honor of two friends lost in unfortunate circumstances. The author's website--http://www.jonowen.com--contains a list of publications, contact information as well as an author's bio, useful links for writers, and dedications. Jon Owen is a freelance writer and has published poetry with poetry.com for several years. Additionally, he is currently working on a book of his own poetry, which will have the title, "From the Depths Within."

In The News:

Mori wins 2 top sports-writing awards  Elko Daily Free Press
What Is Political Writing For?  Columbia Journalism Review
Opinion | Why I Write  The New York Times
Loan write-offs pick up  The Daily Star

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