Alan May "You don't want to have the article that is a solid grey wall of words that's just too intimidating to read. It's boring, and the eye doesn't even know where to start. Make sure you break things up with paragraphs, white space, maybe a subtitle or two."
Right on target - and - reblog!
In a recent post (which, of course, got featured!), Bob Stewart gave us a part of the recipe for the secret sauce that the Feature Fairies use, when deciding to attach a gold star to your post.
There has been a lot of concern over what goes into that decision... who makes that determination... and how much do I have to pay to get a chance to be considered, and should it be in small unmarked bills?
Bob gives six suggestions as to those features that might catch the attention of the feature fairy.
A CATCHY TITLE The headline of your post is the "curb appeal" of your article. If the title doesn't catch the readers attention, it sure as heck ain't gonna catch the attention of those charged with featuring the posts. They read dozens and dozens of posts, and they do it on the fly. The headlines needs to stop them in their little fairy tracks.
MAKE IT GOOD LOOKIN' Formatting.... it's what's for dinner, these days. You don't want to have the article that is a solid grey wall of words that's just too intimidating to read. It's boring, and the eye doesn't even know where to start. Make sure you break things up with paragraphs, white space, maybe a subtitle or two. Make it pretty y'all.
GRAPHICS we, the Internet readers, are an impatient bunch. And a post, even when broken into paragraphs, isn't enough to keep our attention. A picture, a graphic, a drawing... they all help keep our attention. And don't overdo that. One photo, or a graphic or two are more than enough. Remember less is more. Personally, I subscribe to clipart.com, and use their clip art to make my articles interesting. (God knows that the writing ain't a'gonna do it on its own).
DON'T OVERDO IT The Active Rain editor allows you to use up to 40 colours... please don't use them all. The same thing applies to typefaces... there are dozens and dozens of typefaces you can choose... but again... resist the desire to use bunches of them in the same post. I know it feels exciting, but it makes the reader exhausted just trying to work their way through your post. Black, for type, is still the easiest to read. As I mentioned above... less, is still more. (except, of course, when less is less, but that's an entirely different post.)
BE AUTHENTIC give us something personal about you. Go into detail, and tell us about something that happened to you, and how it affected you. The feature fairy loves to learn something about you... something heartwarming and soft, or something painful and personal. The feature fairy, as well as the consumer, can tell when you're trying too hard, or when you're just not being authentic. Never let 'em see you sweat.
BE INTERESTING this is the hardest one. In order to be featured, your post should be something that others will want to read. Granted, marketing reports will make your phone ring... but they bore the rest of the Active Rain readership to tears. Try to be as objective as you can. Pretend you're just another reader on Active Rain... would this post interest YOU, if you were on the other side of the screen? Would it? If the answer is 'no', then it probably won't interest the feature fairy, either.
And my own personal note... "Spellcheck". I know, I know... it's probably not going to keep you from getting featured... I've seen features that have had a spelling error in the headline. But spelling errors are magnified when they're featured. Do yourself a favour and run spellcheck before you post.
ALAN MAY, Realtor®
Specializing in Evanston Real Estate and North Shore Real Estate
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, 1710 Central Street, Evanston, IL 60201
847.425.3779 Cell: 847.924.3313 Email: Almay@aol.com
Evanston Real Estate & North Shore Real Estate • Licensed in IllinoisDo not copy the content of this blog, without first contacting the author for permission.
Reblogging IS allowed. All other use is strictly prohibited without express permission from me.