Short Attention Span Writing

December 9th, 2009

Does anyone else ever feel like me when reading content online that too many writers take too long to get to the point? I’m annoyed by long introductions in blog posts. People feel like they need to give me a synopsis of the history of what they are about to write and tell me why what they are about to write is important. Get to the point.

Or maybe my attention span is shrinking. According to the trends tab in my Google Reader: “From your 98 subscriptions, over the last 30 days you read 3,466 items, starred 0 items, shared 67 items, and emailed 5 items.” I do most of my reading on Tuesdays with an average of 1068  items that day and my favorite time of day to read articles is at 7 p.m, with an average of 818 items. I guess it’s easy to see how the average American could consume 34 gigs a day.

Most of these barely count as reading (Photobomb, Punknews.org, FreeAppAlert, etc.). But in the case of actual articles, I see a title and decide quickly weather or not it’s worth reading further, in the case I do end up reading further, I skim and pick out ideas and move on. Engaging headlines help, so do pictures, charts and lists. Long winded introductions don’t.

Some examples:

Mashable: As the news industry looks to reconstruct its suffering business model, the journalists of today must reconstruct their skill sets for the growing world of online media. Because of cutbacks at many news organizations, the jobs available are highly competitive, blah blah blah.

PPCHero: Testing your ad copy and your landing pages can significantly improve your paid search efforts. Of course, building a solid keyword base, creating an optimized account structure, and executing a well-planned bid management strategy are also crucial. However, testing blah blah blah

Hubspot: Calls to action are the gateways that your visitors must click through to become leads. If your calls to action aren’t optimized and attractive to your visitors, they are less likely to complete the actions you want them to on your website. Creating a great call to action isn’t simple of course, blah blah blah

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Hi, my name is Zach Olsen, internet marketing professional, web entrepreneur & proud dad. Read more...

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