No, today’s post is not about some sort of medieval torture device. What it is about is the way we scan our feeds from various social media services with a quick thumb-slide, pushing whacks of content aside that doesn’t immediately grab our attention. And I’m just as guilty as anyone else.
All that time we writers spend creating thoughtful posts bypassed in the briefest of flicks, while posts about acrobatic dogs or cute babies or alligator-eating pythons get most of the attention. We can lament the changes sweeping across a landscape previously understood. We can moan and complain. We can stop blogging altogether saying our time is better spent writing another book. Your choice.
Here are a few thoughts to consider, including a few quotes from an October 2015 post by Mitch Joel. Yes, I know that’s already a lifetime ago, but the topic remains relevant.
- Less is more. Perhaps this should be my new mantra. Deliver short insightful posts with the main points highlighted. You can do so by breaking topics into more than one chunk to offer a ‘mini-series’ to readers. Or you can work harder to find and write the essence that’s of most value to readers.
- Add diagrams or charts to signal unique content. These are more likely to catch the eye than a picture or the cover of your latest book.
- Find out where conversations relevant to your topic take place. Since content is everywhere, you need to know where your type of readers hang out. Post there and not merely on your blog. “Suddenly, blog-like content is finding a serious home in places like LinkedIn, Medium and now, Facebook Notes.”
- Use video. According to Mitch Joel, “Images are hot. Video continues to be a growth market.”
- Content consumers focus on their feeds. You need to be in their feeds multiple times to catch attention. Retweets, shares, comments and likes are your best friends.
- Headlines are king. Or queen for that matter. The title you use for your post is crucial. Does Your Thumb Hurt may not be brilliant but it might catch a wider audience than How Blogging is Changing.
In the interest of ‘less is more’. I’ll stop now. What changes are you making?
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M.K. Tod writes historical fiction and blogs about all aspects of the genre at A Writer of History. Her latest novel, LIES TOLD IN SILENCE is set in WWI France and is available from Amazon, Nook, Kobo, Google Play and iTunes. Her debut novel, UNRAVELLED: Two wars. Two affairs. One marriage. is also available from these retailers.