Have you ever watched a movie and, out of nowhere, a scene takes place that is somehow so “off” that it jars you out of the narrative and back to reality?

Sloppy storytelling is confusing and frustrating, whether it’s in a movie or on a website.

A blog post or article will succeed or fail based on whether it engages the audience clearly and consistently. Here are 20 writing strategies examples that can help you snag your readers and keep them interested.

Let’s explore!

1. A Captivating Opening Sentence

There’s a reason this is the number one writing strategy on this list. Don’t assume readers are automatically interested in your subject. Write something catchy that will make them interested.

Example: “Have you ever watched a movie and, out of nowhere, a scene takes place that is somehow so “off” that it jars you out of the narrative and back to reality?”

Okay, maybe I’m just tooting my own horn here, but most people have watched movies, most people can relate to this experience, and it serves as a pretty relevant introduction to the subject matter.

For more info, Problogger discusses how to open your next blog post.

2. A Sense of Direction: The Opening Paragraph

The opening paragraph of an article is like a travel itinerary. It should tell readers where they’ll be going and what they’ll find there. Make it creative or make it straightforward, but always make it clear.

3. A Tone of Sincerity

Just because you’re not sitting right beside your reader doesn’t mean that the basic rules of human interaction don’t apply. Readers are looking for clues into your authenticity, and insincerity is as distasteful on the page as it is at a cocktail party.

Convey your passion and authority in a subject or your readers will ditch you.

4. Speak to Your Audience

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Who is reading your article? What is their life like? Do they have a family? Are they starting a career?

Knowing why someone is coming to your article is a major step in knowing what to say to them and, most importantly, how to appeal to them on an emotional level.

Example: “Your family’s safety is your number one concern. Whether you plan to travel or stay at home this holiday season, we have all the safety tips you need to keep everyone safe, healthy and happy during the holidays.”

Copyblogger explains how to really connect with your blog’s audience.

5. The Value of an Outline

You learned it in freshman composition class and it’s just as important now.

An outline is an effective writing strategy that will get you from A to Z without leading your reader through a maze of digressions and secondary thoughts.

Know what you want to say in an article before you say it. Try this:

Short opening paragraph

  • Subheading 1
    Summary sentence
  • Subheading 2
    Summary sentence
  • Subheading 3
    Summary sentence

6. Have Fun

This is one of the most important writing strategies for success, yet it’s rarely discussed.

Simply put, if you don’t enjoy what you are writing about or at least find some value in writing about it, your disinterest will seep into the article and your words will fall flat.

Find something to enjoy in what you’re writing; interest will make your content sparkle.

7. Open a Dialogue

You wouldn’t speak in person to a group of interested people and expect them not to converse with you, so don’t make that mistake in your writing.

When writing a blog post or article, remember that you’re actually having a conversation.

Example: “This is just a list of how I like to keep my office organized. If you have some of your own I’d love to hear about them!”

8. Timing is Everything

Timeliness cuts through the fog of an oversaturated internet. If you’re writing on a subject that’s topping the headlines, put a new spin on it. If your subject is as old as time itself, present it in a modern, relevant light.

Example: Ten Everyday Things You Have in Common With Ancient Egyptians

9. Above All Else, Be Clear

The great writer George Orwell once said that good writing is like a clear pane of glass. Clarity is the all-important hallmark of good writing. Don’t confuse your reader.

Know what you want to convey and do it as simply as possible.

10. Break it Up with Visuals

Incorporating visuals into your writing enriches the reader’s experience.

This strategy involves using images, graphs, infographics, tables, diagrams, and other visual aids to complement and clarify your text. Visuals serve multiple purposes: they can break the monotony of continuous text, help illustrate complex points, set the mood or tone of the content, and present data in a more digestible and engaging format.

This variety in content delivery can refresh the reader’s attention and make your writing more appealing and memorable.

11. Put Your Reader to the Test

This is one of the classic writing strategies. It involves engaging your readers with interactive elements like quizzes or tests.

These can be related to the content you’re discussing and offer a fun, engaging way for readers to test their knowledge or opinions.

Quizzes also encourage readers to interact more deeply with the content, potentially making the reading experience more memorable and personal. This method can increase reader engagement and make your content stand out.

12. Dazzle Them with Surprising Facts

Incorporating surprising or little-known facts into your writing can captivate readers’ interest and add an element of intrigue.

These facts should be relevant to your topic and add value to your overall message. They can be used to challenge common misconceptions, provide new insights, or simply add an interesting twist to your narrative.

This strategy helps in keeping the reader engaged and can make your content more thought-provoking and shareable.

13. Add Interesting Quotes from Authorities

Using quotes from experts or well-known personalities can lend authority and credibility to your writing.

A well-chosen quote can support your arguments, provide a different perspective, or add an emotional element to your content. It’s important to ensure that the quotes are contextually relevant and enhance the point you’re trying to make.

Quotes can also break up the text and provide a memorable takeaway for the reader.

14. Ask Questions to Get Your Readers Thinking

Asking questions in your writing is a powerful way to engage readers. It encourages them to think critically about the subject matter and to reflect on how it relates to their own experiences or beliefs.

This strategy can create a conversational tone and make the content more relatable and engaging.

By posing relevant and thought-provoking questions, you invite readers to actively participate in the narrative, which can make the content more impactful and memorable.

15. Tell Your Reader a Story

Storytelling is a timeless method of engaging an audience.

Starting your content with a story – whether it’s a personal anecdote, a historical account, a fictional scenario, or a fable – can capture the reader’s interest right from the beginning.

A good story should be relevant to the main content, helping to illustrate your points in a more relatable and memorable way. Stories can evoke emotions, create a personal connection, and make complex concepts more understandable.

16. Listing

Listing involves jotting down ideas, thoughts, or items related to your topic in a bullet-point format.

This technique is useful for brainstorming and organizing thoughts. It helps in quickly capturing a range of ideas, which can then be expanded upon or narrowed down as needed. Lists are also reader-friendly, making information easy to scan and digest.

17. Clustering

Clustering, or mind mapping, is a prewriting technique where you visually map out the relationships between different ideas.

Starting with a central idea, you branch out to related sub-ideas, creating a web of connections.

This method is especially useful for visual learners and helps in exploring and organizing complex topics by showing how different concepts are interconnected.

18. Freewriting

Freewriting is the process of writing continuously without worrying about structure or correctness. It involves setting a time limit and writing whatever comes to mind, without self-editing or overthinking.

This technique is effective for overcoming writer’s block, generating raw material, and exploring ideas freely. It can lead to unexpected insights and directions for your writing.

19. Looping

Looping is an extension of freewriting. After a freewriting session, you identify a promising idea or passage and use it as a starting point for another freewriting session.

This process can be repeated multiple times, each time focusing more closely on developing and refining the chosen idea. Looping helps in deepening your understanding of a topic and refining your thoughts.

20. The Journalists’ Questions

This writing strategy involves using the classic journalists’ questions – Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How – to explore a topic thoroughly. These questions guide the development of your content, ensuring you cover all essential aspects of the subject.

They can be used to structure your writing, ensuring a comprehensive and well-rounded approach to the topic

Final Thoughts: Which Writing Strategies Will You Implement?

Each of these writing strategies examples offers unique benefits and can be instrumental in enhancing the effectiveness and engagement of your writing.

Whether you’re breaking up text with visuals, adding interactivity through quizzes, or telling a compelling story, the right strategy can significantly impact how your content resonates with your audience.

Consider the nature of your topic, the preferences of your audience, and your own strengths as a writer when choosing which strategies to employ.

You might find that combining several techniques works best for your particular piece.

For instance, a data-driven article could be enhanced with surprising facts and relevant visuals, while a personal blog post might benefit more from storytelling and asking thought-provoking questions.

Ultimately, the choice of which strategies to use depends on your writing goals, the subject matter, and the desired impact on your readers. Experiment with different approaches to discover what works best for you and your audience.

Remember, the goal is to communicate your message in the most clear, engaging, and effective way possible.