A Guest Blog Today About Sub-Headers

4 Sep

003Welcome back and Happy Wednesday to you all.

Finally someone took me up on my offer to be a guess blogger. My good friend Sha waded into the deep water and provided us all with some great tips and suggestions below.  Thank you my friend.  You can find Sha’s website here.

How, without further delay, here is Sha’s guest blog on this 4th day of September.

Sub-headers:   Engagement or Break-up?

 

“Lemme tell you what I’m gonna did”.  You gotta love Justin Wilson.  He captured his audience with his unique Cajun way of speaking.

 

What does this have to do with the topic at hand?  Are you curious enough to read on?  If so, I’ve made my point.  Well, sort of but not really – at least not yet.

 

As writers, we need to think like readers.  We need to think about what we would enter into our search engines when – well, searching.  We need to think about which titles compel us to pick up that book and read the back to see what it’s about.  After all, without readers, there would be no need for writers!

 

The catch is – grabbing your reader and keeping his or her attention throughout your article or book.

 

Think about what readers are looking for.  They want to be satisfied in one of three areas:

 

  1. Information – DIY, facts, benefits, safety, best of, how to, etc.
  2. Entertainment – fun to read, laughter, tears, acting like a fool talking to the computer screen…
  3. Enlightenment – enrichment, inspiration, motivation, self-help.

 

How many times have you read an article – or began to read an article and clicked out, only to head back to Uncle Google?  Why did you leave?  The answer is simple:  because you weren’t engaged or you were too bored to finish reading.

 

How do we avoid this as writers?  Again, think like a reader.

 

Commercial breaks

 

Readers don’t want to sit through 3 pages of verbal diarrhea in the form of text.  They get bored and leave.  So do you, right?  In addition to adding photos, videos, etc. you need to give your readers a natural stopping point.  Remember when you worked in corporate USA?  You took your lunch break when you got to a logical stopping point so you wouldn’t forget where you were in your task.

 

Readers need the same breaks.  Consider them as commercial breaks.  Commercials are when viewers take the opportunity to go to the bathroom, feed the pets and raid the fridge.  Sub-headings serve the same purpose for your readers.

 

In order to be effective, sub-headers should elicit one of more of the following:

 

  • Curiosity
  • Surprise
  • Personality
  • Emotion

 

Spark any of these and chances are good you’ll have your readers following through to the finish line.

 

Tease but don’t deceive

 

Your sub-headers should compel your readers to keep moving through your page or book.  You don’t want to give the topic away with something obvious.  If the above sub-header read, Proper sub-header phrasing would you read it?  I wouldn’t because your style of writing probably isn’t the same as mine.  If that doesn’t hit home, perhaps this does:  Keep in mind the old saying, “why buy the cow if you give the milk away for free?”  Keep them guessing.

 

You want to intrigue your readers into learning what the hell you mean by the sub-headings.  At the same time, you don’t want to get so cutesy or off the wall that it doesn’t relate in any way to the topic.  If you consider the text below each sub-header as an article or chapter in itself, you will have better chances of keeping your readers engaged and wanting more.

 

Keep your readers excited, curious, informed and begging for more.  They’ll remember you and come back again and again.  Better yet, they’ll more than likely spread the word to their friends about this awesome writer, (insert name here).

 

Now, that my fellow writers, is literary bliss.

 

I just told you what I’m gonna did as a writer.  So how d’ya like them apples?

Shauna L Bowling

Refining, Defining or Rhyming

Copyright © August 2013

 

MORE ON FRIDAY

Thanks for stopping by and thank you again to Sha. I will see you all again on Friday with a new blog posting and some tips for you to try out.

Bill

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

 

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20 Responses to “A Guest Blog Today About Sub-Headers”

  1. Janine Huldie September 4, 2013 at 3:03 pm #

    Loved this and very wonderful tips. Happy to see Sha here today and honestly couldn’t agree more that we have to try to keep our audience by using so many of the elements that she speaks of here. So thank you again for sharing with us Sha!!

    • Shauna September 4, 2013 at 3:27 pm #

      Janine, I’m so glad you found the topic helpful.

      I hope you don’t mind me butting in here, Bill!

    • Billybuc September 4, 2013 at 3:39 pm #

      Thank you Janine!

  2. Carol Stanley September 4, 2013 at 3:08 pm #

    So many truths here. Great job Sha…So much good information here..and being entertained and enlightened. I read for total entertainment unless I am reading instructions or directions….I love good mysteries with well developed characters, interesting descriptions and a mystery of which I have no idea of the ending.

    • Shauna September 4, 2013 at 3:28 pm #

      I do too, Carol. This blog is geared towards shorter forms of writing that you find on writer’s sites. Of course, a good bit of mystery is surely helpful in those arenas also!

      • Carol Stanley September 4, 2013 at 4:44 pm #

        I just added my extra two cents..You are an excellent writer and taking advice from you and of course Billybuc will help all writers —write much better.

    • Billybuc September 4, 2013 at 3:40 pm #

      Thank you Carol! I always appreciate you.

  3. Shauna September 4, 2013 at 3:29 pm #

    Bill, I want to thank you so much for allowing me to be your first guest (guess?) blogger. I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll say it again – you da man!

    • Billybuc September 4, 2013 at 5:28 pm #

      I’m always happy to help out, Sha! Friends help friends. Thanks for doing this.

  4. ruchira September 4, 2013 at 6:01 pm #

    wow great tips Shauna.

    Bill, what a beautiful and talented writer/guest blog you posted.

    I am going to incorporate some pointers in my new book. thanks!

    • Shauna September 4, 2013 at 6:35 pm #

      Ruchira, thanx for your awesome comment. I’m thrilled you found this useful enough to include in your book.

  5. Kelly Umphenour September 4, 2013 at 6:11 pm #

    I am amazed at how funny and informative this piece is:) great tips and how clever to have sucked up our attention and kept it all the way through!

    • Shauna September 4, 2013 at 6:37 pm #

      Ah, then I have learned well, from my mentor, Mr. Bill! You can call me Grasshopper from now on, Kelly!

    • Billybuc September 4, 2013 at 6:57 pm #

      Thanks Kelly!

  6. katstrat September 4, 2013 at 7:01 pm #

    That was very interesting and useful information! Thanks for being Bill’s guest blogger. Sha.
    I love your writing style.
    Have a great day, everyone!
    ~ Kathryn

    • Shauna September 4, 2013 at 7:09 pm #

      Kathryn, I am indebted to Bill for allowing me to guest on his awesome site. I’m glad you like my style. While I have my own voice, Bill has been very instrumental in helping me to hone my style. Doncha just love him????

      • marcoujor September 4, 2013 at 10:39 pm #

        Dear Bill,

        What a lovely surprise to see Sha guesting so professionally and helpfully to us all on your blog… I am always so impressed by my girlfriend’s range, moxy and creativity…

        oh, and you are A-OK as well, good sir! Love, Maria

  7. grandma pearl September 5, 2013 at 1:56 am #

    Shauna and Bill, the dynamic duo of writing tips! This is one for my bookmarks for sure. Like Mr. Bill, you have great tips to help us to be better writers, Shauna. I was compelled to take notes, as I do when reading Bill’s articles and blog posts. Impressive stuff, my friends 😉 Pearl

    • Billybuc September 5, 2013 at 2:12 am #

      Connie, you are a doll and I greatly appreciate you. I hope you are having a fantastic week.

      bill

    • Shauna September 5, 2013 at 12:07 pm #

      Bill took the words right out of my mouth, Pearl. Enjoy your day!

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