get noticed in cyber space

7 Research-Based Strategies to Get Noticed in Cyber Space

Writing a blog, a sales letter, or a "squeeze page" has become a part of our daily business routines. However, few people realize that a web-based context is different from the traditional one. Often, in order to get your audience's attention online, you need to forget everything you have learned in school about how to be an effective writer, and understand the psychology of online readers to adjust your writing accordingly.

This article provides you with practical strategies on how to create online content that gets read based on eye movement and psychology of online interactions research.

In order to create content that "sticks," you need to utilize these 7 strategies:

  1. Make it positive
    This statement seems counter-intuitive since we're used to seeing negative news everywhere. Negativity does attract attention. However, research shows that it does not sustain attention as long as positive messages. So, make your content uplifting.

  2. Make it emotional
    Content that arouses strong emotions (positive or negative) gets more attention that content without emotions. When you write a post, think of how you can provoke fascination, anger, anxiety, awe, etc. in your readers and you will get their attention!

  3. Break it into small chunks
    How much do people read online? They don't! Or they almost don't... Research shows that people read less than 20% (!) of all written materials online. I know, this sounds harsh. So how can you ensure that the most important information gets noticed?

    Start with the most important things first. Break your longer paragraphs into smaller chunks. (I know this goes against your academic upbringing, but wouldn't you rather your content be remembered?)

  4. Use your titles and subtitles wisely
    Research shows that readers pay attention to the first 11 characters of your title and make a decision whether to continue reading your post or not. Make sure your titles contain the most important information, allowing readers to predict what the article/content is going to provide... and of course, make these titles and headlines intriguing.

  5. Create an illusion of simplicity.
    Research shows that readers believe that it takes them longer to read wide lines of text. In reality, however, they read wide lines of text faster than the short ones. In order to create the illusion of simplicity while accounting for the actual reading speed, start your articles with narrow lines (you can include a picture either on the right or the left of your text, or insert a drop cap, just like I did it in this paragraph). After 4-5 short lines, make your text gradually wider.

  6. Create content that is practical and useful.
    Make sure that you can identify the goals of your article or your post in simple sentence. Provide your readers with the outcomes of your content right away so they can look forward to reading the entire story and feel that it is worth their time.

  7. Utilize lists and bulleted items for main points of your article. Research shows that compared to the rest of the content, lists are almost always read in full. Use this knowledge to highlight most crucial information that you want your audience to remember.

If you use just these 7 strategies your content will get much more attention online!

Dr. Marina Kostina  |
Dr. Marina Kostina is a distance learning expert, and an online business coach. She helps small business owners to transcend distances and leverage their work online without losing personal connections with their clients. Marina is also a co-author of an Amazon Bestseller, "The Golden Climate in Distance Learning" that helps online trainers connect, engage and enjoy the online environment.