writing

5 Reasons I Bounce

Blue bouncing balls
Image by Mr. C90

Mark Schaefer wrote a great piece about how headlines make or break reads in this attention economy. In that vein, I leave many posts within the first minute creating a website bounce.

The dreaded bounce occurs when someone who visits your site and leaves after viewing a singular page. Usually they leave because the site lacked value or any obvious next action.

A high bounce rate indicates your site experience — which also means your business and content — doesn’t successfully cultivate prospects.

Headlines drive people into your site, but the writing job continues after someone clicks through.

Here are the top reasons I bounce off blog posts:
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Live and Die with Headlines

Writing
Image by deathtiny41

In a world driven by social network and search engine marketing, you live and die by headlines.

Today’s social media blogosphere discussion revolves around content marketing, but little is said about the actual headlines.

Too bad. Writing great headlines matters more than ever.

Attention spans have shrunk, and if you can’t interest someone right off the bat with a great, witty headline then you won’t get read. It’s as simple as that.
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Transmedia Writing

Stories told across multi-platform media environments — or transmedia stories as they are commonly called on the edge — require more complex writing. A story unfolds across diverse media with readers/viewers opting in to each layer.

At the same time, as writers we want to build an experience that satisfies casual consumers on the first level without requiring them to dig deeper into the media experience.

Writing for transmedia environments invokes a parallel to the classic journalistic pyramid style where details expand as a news story continues. Print journalists are trained to write so that areas can leave the story at any point fulfilled.

However, transmedia requires three dimensional thinking.
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How to Differentiate Your Content

Different
Image by Ksenia Krneychuk

After my speech two weeks ago on blogging, a TribeUp NYC attendee asked me how to differentiate content.

I’m sure other strategists have their methods, but here’s how I do it.

There’s one critical precursor to success: You must possess substantial knowledge about your topic area, and keep abreast of current trends, not only in the mainstream but on the edge of your sector. Become a subject matter expert.

If you don’t, it will be difficult for you to compete. You need this knowledge to determine the trends you should cover.

Start with Irreverence

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Help People Understand

Smart Has the Brains

“I don’t know the rules of grammar… If you’re trying to persuade people to do something, or buy something, it seems to me you should use their language, the language they use every day, the language in which they think. We try to write in the vernacular.” David Ogilvy

If there’s one consistent mistake I’ve made over the years, it’s trying to be too smart.

How does “great” thought or complicated writing help anyone if they can’t understand it?

See, I believe in original thought, and want to make marketing and communications a better profession. I told Valeria Maltoni years ago that I can help businesses and nonprofits become better global citizens by improving communications.

Unless my concepts and ideas are too complicated for the general practitioner.
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