But you—unlike spammers—exercise restraint. You don’t want to be the person who uses capital letters in tweets, or solicits email addresses for shady Nigerian trust funds or Viagra campaigns. You want to earn attention and keep it.
Given the fierce competition, how can you set yourself apart?
Below are five strategies you can use to engage readers without being demanding or annoying.
1. Be as specific as possible.
Most humans have voyeuristic tendencies. Why not appeal to them?
Being nosy is how we learn about the world and gauge whether we’re “normal.” If you bait your reader with a personal anecdote developed with rich detail, the reader will gladly enter the world you created.
For example, instead of writing, “I went to the store,” you could write, “I jogged to the nearest 7-11 to pick up my favorite celebrity tabloid.” Which statement piques your curiosity?
2. Avoid talking down to your reader.
Even an expert in a niche field should practice explaining challenging and/or complicated concepts in simple terms. Don’t assume the reader understands what you mean; he or she can’t stop and ask you a question.