3 minute read

Online readers have short attention spans.

That may be old news to you, but many organizations are still learning that if they want their content to get read and shared, they need to make it more interesting and engaging. A big block of text is rarely attractive, especially on a computer screen.

Whether you’re updating your blog, adding content to a webpage, creating a crowdfunding page or posting on social media, presenting relevant content in bite-sized pieces makes it more palatable for picky (and lazy) readers. Here are content types that are likely to attract an audience.

1. Bulleted lists.

  • They’re easy for readers to scan.
  • They’re useful and straight to the point.
  • They provide a visual break for your reader.

2. Q&A pieces.

Q: Need new ideas for your blog?
A: A timely Q&A with a third-party expert can add credibility to your website and mix things up.

3. Infographics.

They’re a great way to show stats and visually convey material that might otherwise be boring. They also give you a way to display a lot of info in one place.

4. Videos.

Studies show that customers are drawn to videos because they educate, entertain and provoke emotions—often all at once. Short videos can liven up your website or your Facebook page and humanize your organization.

5. Photo and caption.

One word: Instagram. A photo with a caption (or hashtag) is a great way to quickly share something cool about your organization. If your audience is there, you also might consider Snapchat, which has become hugely popular, especially among Millennials.

6. Embrace the line break.

Even complex content can be made reader-friendly with the use of lots of white space. Feature one idea per paragraph, and keep them short. Three or four sentences at most. And try writing some paragraphs with one sentence only.

7. Highlight key points.

Add emphasis to your writing by bolding important messages. Just don’t overdo it. If you bold too much, then nothing looks important; it’s just overwhelming. Using bold or italics sparingly makes it easy for readers to scan and hit all the high notes, though.

8. Write as you talk.

Put away the $10 words and write as if you’re talking to a friend. Conversational content is so much easier to flow through, plus it’s personable and engaging. You’re not trying to impress your English teacher anymore. Unless she happens to be a supporter.

9. Craft a great headline.

If you don’t catch readers with an interesting and provocative headline, you’ve already lost them, no matter how cleverly you format your content. It all starts with piquing their interest and drawing them in.

10. Add valuable links.

This could include external links to sources you’re acknowledging in your content, or better yet, internal links that keep readers on your blog or website where they can find more relevant content. Links provide a visual break and pique curiosity.

We’re full of more great ideas on how to make your nonprofit website more captivating and engaging! If you want to hear them, we’re eager to share. Learn more about how Firespring can get you noticed by more prospects and donors.