Writers love to discuss the ‘hook’. Should you try to hook a reader immediately or have faith in the reader and slowly grab them? Although these discussions center around novels, the hook discussion can – and should be! – applied to blogs and hooking blog readers. In some ways, finding readers for your blog posts is more difficult than for your novels. Before you start calling me crazy and throwing sh*t, let me explain.
When someone buys, or considers buying, a book, they know that they’re going to have to put at least a few hours into reading it. That’s not even remotely true for blog readers. Everyone is busy, busy, busy. Reading and following blogs has to fit in between all the two-hundred other things a person needs to do in a day. Bloggers need to hook a reader quickly before they scroll onto the next blog. But how? In my opinion, there are three ways to hook blog readers to ensure they don’t keep scrolling past your blog.
The actual hook. Like many blog readers, I have the WordPress App on my phone. The app allows a reader to see – at most – three sentences of the start of the blog. I’m not going to lie. If the first three sentences don’t hook me, I’m scrolling down. This is why I believe wholeheartedly in the hook for blogs (for novels as well, but that’s a different story). There are different ways to hook readers. I’m not an expert, but I usually try one of three things. I make readers laugh, I try to shock readers, or I try to arouse readers interest with an unusual topic. (Ironically, today’s blog post about hooking readers doesn’t contain much of a hook. Oops!)
Sometimes, I’ll keep reading a blog even if the first three sentences don’t capture me. There are basically two reasons I continue to read:
Good graphics. I love a good graphic – as do most blog followers. Humans are, after all, visual creatures. Whether it’s a picture, a meme or even a chart, if it grabs me, I’ll keep reading. What grabs me? Something unique. Not a meme I’ve already seen ten times on Facebook this morning. Any interesting chart about increasing blog readers or selling more books will definitely pique my interest as well.
Interesting title/topic. In my quest to learn anything and everything about readers, writing, and the publishing industry, I follow a lot of blogs. Like, seriously, I should probably join a support group. I don’t read a ton of blogs, though. Why? Because there aren’t a whole lot of blogs out there, which contain unique material. There I said it. Go ahead and burn down my house, just make sure to bring a fire extinguisher with you. But seriously, I know how hard it is to come up with unique material. Trust me, I try to write three blog posts a week for this blog, not to mention daily posts for my Readsalot blog. It’s freaking hard to come up with interesting topics. Sometimes, I totally cheat and do a blog containing memes. I’m only human.
How do you hook blog readers? Let me know and I’ll totally steal your ideas J