Among the things the best teachers and literacy coaches share with their readers and writers is the craft of giving gifts to the readers by writing with the reader in mind.
In these days of web browsing and internet reading, we should be aware we now live an an age of Skim, Scan, and Save. Whether we like or agree with the practice is moot. Readers of our content are skimmers and scanners.
By writing with gifts, we ensure they get the "take-away" or "money-quote" and help them slow down their reading. This also helps you as the writer, as your words are more likely to be read and shared.
These gifts are what I call eye-rests on the information highway. Much like a long drive on an interstate, these "eye rests" act as rest stops (or at least slow-downs) among the congestion of information.
So what are some of the eye rest gifts you can provide your readers?
- Shorter paragraphs
- Bold Phrases (not just a keyword, but a take-away phrase or money quote).
- Images that puncuate your post
- Contextual hyperlinks
- Bullet-pointed lists
You don't have to include all of these "gifts" in one post, but a few gifts now and again sure would be nice – especially in a long post.
As one of your readers, I'm hoping (begging?) for such gifts.
Photo on Flickr by paulpker121