This afternoon I started reading an online article about the Women's World Cup (soccer aka football). As a guy who used to bounce around between the goalposts, I still take an interest in the sport.
The article was rather long, and I'm okay with long if the topic is appealing and the author keeps it interesting. I read to learn and to think a bit. The author does the job well and the words flow.
But the author broke the "rules". Out of nowhere he goes into a political tirade. A tirade that was totally without relevance to the topic, but off the rails he went.
And with that, I lost interest in the article. There MIGHT have been some great content later in the article, but the author forgot his audience and made it solely about him. It's not that I don't have any thoughts about politics, but there's a time and a place and I don't do ambushes.
I doubt any English or journalist professor ever laid out the following outline to use as a template:
Explore topic for 2 paragraphs
Assault unrelated topic the reader didn't expect
Return to main topic
As a blogger or website content creator, it's critical to stay on target and to NEVER forget the target audience.
My approach is dependent upon my audience. If I'm writing to other Rainers, my topic selection and style may be totally different than a consumer directed post that is likely to be much more factual and much less opinion piece.
I'm not in the business of making people click away before they get to the end.
And with that, I'll keep this one short :)
Bill of Bill & Liz aka BLiz