The Science of Writing for Online Audiences

If you love reading and writing as I do, you might be considering strategies to improve your skills, expand your client base, and even attract high paying ones. Ergo, you are reading and researching heavily.

I am glad to contribute to your knowledge today. I have come up with a few points I believe will impact your writing journey greatly.

Have you ever flipped through pages of a book, and realized later that you had wandered, and do not have a clue what you just read? You are not alone. That’s how human brains work.

A little distraction… we are off, and the brain is busy on other matters. We tend to switch off regularly and need constant motivation to get going, especially when it comes to reading.

A writer therefore has a huge task of ensuring that the reader sticks around by playing around with words and structuring the content. How can I achieve this?

The Science of Writing

Scientists have studied this matter and come up with a solution for writers to make their work captivating and more memorable. Here are points to note:

The rule of three

If you were keen in your writing class, you might have heard the teacher mention it.

“Tell your audience what you are going to say, they tell it to them, then remind them what you have just said”

That is a science – whether your teacher said it knowingly or they were just repeating what they had heard from someone else. I talked about this idea under suspense in the blog, Learn 8 Creative Secrets Every Successful Online Writer Knows. It requires that you expose your prospect reader to your idea, then tell them what you intend to say as they read. When they finally understand your idea, nail it further by finally mentioning it again.

The Most Important Point Comes Last

If you are educating your audience, it is essential that you say your point three times. The third time is the end, and in the human brain what happens last is what really matters.

It is called “recency”. Meaning that what you want to be salient in your reader’s mind must come in the conclusion to make it more memorable.

The last words in every sentence, the closing sentences in each paragraph, and the concluding paragraphs of your story should contain the important points of your message.

Lessen the Impact of Bad Stuff

We’ve seen it in movies. When you remember your favorite movie, it is easier to remember the fighting, sex scenes, than the storyline.

If the movie directors are aware of this fact, then they are intentionally promoting evil in your mind. If not, they are doing it wrong.

You want to be hiding the bad stuff as you write to make the good ones to blossom through the thorns like a rose. If the end of your sentence, paragraph, and story contain the main points you want to pass across, this means the middle is the best place to put the bad stuff – in brief.

If you are describing the body of your audience and have to mention their big forehead, do it in the middle of the paragraph. 

It will be less offensive to them when other good looking body features come last in your description. Concluding with their big forehead will downplay all their good looks you mentioned before.

Mention the Cause Then the Effect

As a crowning factor on lessening the impact of bad news in writing, we should give the reason first before the effect. Why it went wrong will come first before highlighting its impact. This way, your reader takes the explanation of the consequence with weight, while the opposite will appear as an excuse for doing wrong.

Use Subtitles for Schemers

Let’s face it, we are lazy. Writing is now segmented in many sub-sections just to accommodate various groups of readers, particularly lazy ones. We now write for the web FYI. In the internet world, no one wants to read through long paragraphs to get the information they want.

As a freelance writer, you ought to use subtitles in your writing so that a lazy reader like me can get the information I am looking for by merely scheming through your content.

Short Paragraphs are Readable

You want to deliver your message by using short paragraphs – including one-word paragraphs.

The main reason behind this concept is the devices your audience might be using. Most of your readers might be accessing this information through smartphones, which are smaller than what most of us use to write (desktops and laptops).

The important reason behind this concept is that some people hate the block of text (I am one of them). Any writing with long paragraphs turns me off. Make it four lines or less if you want to attract such people.

Did You Get That?

First of all, the science of freelance writing requires that you master repetition in your pieces. Secondly, tell the important point last. 

Next, put the bad information in the middle of your writing to lessen the impact, plus give an explanation before giving the impact.

Finally, let your writing be in small paragraphs as you use subtitles throughout the text. Share with me what you think below.