How To Get People To Stop Skimming Your Articles

Read this to get them to read the whole thing.

People’s attention spans are short.

More and more, people seem to just like to skim articles. You can always tell when people have been skimming because they’ll leave a comment about something that was answered in the article.

I mean you’ve probably stopped reading at this point and are just looking for the bold headlines anyway.

So, the name of the game is to keep people reading the whole time.

1. First, Of Course: Make It Into A Numbered List

This is like internet 101. But it really does work.

I have no idea why. I think it’s because people really love counting. Forget reading, they see a list and it’s “Oh boy I get to count to 10.”

I think the whole writing lists on the Internet is just one conspiracy from the counting industry. It’s just of shady characters who think letters have had their day and now it’s numbers’ time to shine.

2. Insult Your Reader

Want to guarantee people read your article?

Make the reader mad.

Like, really, really, angry. If you can turn the reader into the Incredible Hulk then they are going to spend all day on your article.

Heck, they might even read it multiple times.

Oh, they just click off of after two seconds when they realize writing is hard and they just wanted to count stuff.

So yeah make fun of the reader.

Let’s try it.

Hey dummies respond to this I dare you.

3. Write In A Different Language

That’s usually a pretty good way to slow the reader down. I mean they might take a minute and try to figure out how to translate it.

Like if you write.

“Lin morbid esta kiln und louden fer mat cee fi naccan veed dis becot bodden quasar lora volar reck doom.”

People will spend minutes trying to figure it out.

I wouldn’t try with that passage above though. It’s just gibberish. Or is it?

4. Include Links

If you include a link in your article then when people click that link it opens a new window leaving your article open to accrue that sweet, sweet, read time.

So, you could open this.

Or, maybe if the mood strikes you, this.

Perhaps, you’d like to know what’s behind door number three, click here.

5. SdrawkcaB gnihtyrevE etirW

Sdrawkcab gnihtyreve etirw. Ecnetnes hcae daer ot reverof meht ekat lliw ti.

Siht gnitirw ehcadaeh a em evag siht.

6. Put A Lot Of Typoes In Your Article

If you wrte and put a tonne of typos in your articles people will spend a ton of time either telling you about them or writing to tell you that you should fix all of these.

The secret is to not put so many that you look completely incompetent but just enough to dangle in front of the grammarians that they can’t help but point them out.

It’s a lot like fishing. Once I put a dangling modifier on a hook and caught an English teacher. State record too.

7. Add Some Fluff

If you want to pad that word count and make sure that people keep reading then you need to add a whole bunch of words that will make the article seem a lot longer when in fact you are just beating around the bush and hoping no one notices that this is one really long, run on sentence and if Mrs. McConnell saw me writing this she would faint.

So, you need to keep padding these paragraphs out. I know the general consensus when writing on the Internet is to use very short paragraphs and lots of white space to make it more palatable for people reading on electronic devices but hey you gotta do what you gotta do so maybe, just maybe, include this giant blocks of text that will hold the reader’s attention for a bit as they try to figure out why you wrote like this.

I mean look these dense paragraphs were like 200 words all by themselves and if you can just keep doing that you will have an entire article of densely written content that would take an archaeologist to figure out what you were trying to say.

8. Write Like It’s The Civil War

Dearest reader, I am writing to you on October nineteenth in the year of our lord two thousand and twenty.

If you so hope to endeavor to write and create content that will keep the reader from scrolling ever so fast through your work than if you write like a Civil War soldier then you may be able to, on this most trying day, add a little time to the counter as though one is New York Cabbie trying to take advantage of tourists by taking all the long routes.

9. Send Them On A Scavenger Hunt

Let’s say you wrote an article claiming to have ten items in it.

What if I told you that there’s only nine?

Well, I’m sorry for tricking your but there actually are ten items.

But you just scrolled up and down to see if there were really ten didn’t you.

And thank you for the added time.

Now, you can add that little trick to your repertoire.

10. Use Lots Of Quotes

Well, the easiest way to add more to your work. Is to add other people’s work.

I mean why write your own stuff when it’s easier to just take someone else’s.

Just make sure to give them credit.

Like this.

Matthew Donnellon is a talented writer and artist and I don’t know what I’d do if I couldn’t read his work- a very real person I promise

Or maybe,

Matt has been riding my coattails for 3 years and I’m sick of him getting all the credit- Emma Lee

So maybe try a few of these out.

I mean law of averages suggest at least one of them work.

Matthew Donnellon is a writer, artist, and sit down comedian. He is the author of The Curious Case of Emma Lee and Other Stories.

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