How to grab your readers’ attention in 6 easy steps

Your attention, please

Learning to grab your readers’ attention is one of the most important marketing lessons you’ll ever learn. Why? Because no matter how amazing your content is or how genius your ideas are, you can’t offer them to your readers unless you hook them in and make them notice you first.

Before you turn a reader into a customer, let them know what an amazing business you have or try to sell them something, you need to grab their attention. Have I got your attention yet? If so, let me explain how to get someone else’s.

Your readers can’t pay attention to everything at once

Unless, of course, your reader is your mother – but we’re going to go out on a whim and assume your mother doesn’t fall into your target audience.

Your brain needs to focus on specific information in order to understand something, and attention helps us filter out what’s irrelevant and which information stays in our awareness. As human focus is limited and we’re incapable of giving our 100 per cent attention to everything, our attention decides what’s most important.

As your readers’ minds are very intuitive and selective about what they choose to focus on, you need to give them a reason to pay attention to your content instead of the flood of other stimuli they’re exposed to on a daily basis.

So, if you’re ready to strengthen your writing, try out these six attention-grabbing tips that will supercharge your creativity and let your readers know your content is worth their time.

1. Hook them in with your first sentence

The first sentence of an article is undoubtedly the most important.

If your headline successfully piques your reader’s interest, your first sentence needs to build on that momentum so that they’re inclined to finish reading the entire article.

Knowing your readers’ pain points, making them a promise and highlighting an aspect of your content that makes it unique will help convince them to read on with the assurance that they’re going to get something out of it.

2. Make your readers see what you see

When you’re creating messaging for your business, it’s easy to fall into the trap of focussing on yourself and thinking that your readers see things exactly the same way you do. But this simply isn’t true.

Until your readers perceive what you perceive and understand what you understand, people won’t truly pay attention to you, nor will they properly hear what you’re saying.

Therefore, to help them see what you see, it’s important to make your position crystal clear through the use of storytelling, detailed description, business case studies, personal experiences and anything else that you think will help your readers to better understand your message.

3. Hit your readers on a personal level

Personal writing is important writing, as people are more willing to read something that relates directly to them.

Information that’s personally interesting or which someone perceives as meaningful can grab a reader’s attention, increase clarity and help it slip right into their awareness.

You don’t need to do much explaining to tell someone their house is on fire – you’d immediately get their attention because it’s so personal to them. When you write to engage your readers at a personal level, they’ll immediately become invested in what you have to say.

4. Don’t be afraid of using emotion

Just like writing on a personal level will get someone’s attention, writing with emotion is another sure-fire way of ensuring your content gets read.

Writing with emotion will not only help add clarity to your messaging and giving your readers a reason to talk about you and your business, it will also help trigger the circuits in their brains that activate behaviour and drive decision-making.

According to Michael Gazzaniga, a professor of psychology at the University of California, emotions drive more than 80 per cent of our decision-making, while logic makes up the rest. If you want your readers to pay attention to you, making them feel something will go a long way to achieving that.

5. Utilise the one-two punch

The one-two punch is a killer combination in the sport of boxing, and the same applies to your writing. You only have a mere few seconds to grab your reader’s attention. Once you’ve captured it, don’t waste it.

Getting your reader’s attention is like the first jab of a one-two punch, whereas the actual information or messaging you’re putting out is the second hit, which hopefully delivers the knockout blow (in a good way).

If the information you’re giving your readers is valuable, you’ve paved the way to capture their attention again with future messaging. However, if it isn’t valuable, it’ll be harder to grab their attention the next time around as they’ll automatically think you aren’t worth their time.

6. Use eye-catching imagery to grab their attention

No matter how talented you are at writing engaging copy, you shouldn’t only rely on your words to capture your readers’ attention. 

Pictures are a great way of breaking up long blocks of text to give your readers a momentary break from your content. If the images you use are related to your content, they’ll continue to hold your reader’s attention while they pause from reading your copy. 

Starting with an engaging image at the top of your content will immediately make your offering more dynamic and appealing. From there, you can gradually add more images throughout your text to break up the information.

Need help creating content that makes an impression?

With these six tips, you’ll be well on your way to not only grabbing your readers’ attention, but also building your audience that builds your business. However, sometimes it’s best to seek the help of professionals.

Orion Creative’s copywriters have the expertise to promote your strengths, services and products with authoritative high-value content that lead to great engagement and sales uptake.

With years of experience creating content that sells, our writers are highly-skilled at generating campaign concepts, producing catchy headlines and coming up with irresistible call-to-actions.

Get in touch with us today to see how Orion can assist your business in creating consistent, engaging, high-quality content.

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