In Holding Blog Readers’ Attention, Contrast is Critical

contrast in blogs
Contrast is critical to holding an audience’s attention, Nancy Duarte advises professional speakers in her book Resonate. To demonstrate that point, Duarte points to California Institute of Technology physics professor Richard Feynman. In teaching, Duarte explains, Feynman moves back and forth between fact (mathematics) and context (history).

In blog content writing, with the goal being engaging online visitors’ interest, we can learn from Professor Feyman’s ability to create contrast between analytical content and emotional content.

Analytical content can include:

  • diagrams
  • case studies
  • facts
  • supporting documentation
  • statistics

Emotional content can include:

  • biographical stories
  • shocking or scary statements
  • evocative images
  • humor
  • surprises
  • props and dramatizations

Another way speakers can create contrast, Duarte notes, is varying the delivery method between traditional and less traditional methods. Speakers might vary among:

  • speaking from behind a podium to free ranging among the audience
  • alternating between a business tone and humor and enthusiasm
  • minimizing disruptions and planning disruptions
  • using a one-way delivery of information with discussions

I agree. One thing I’ve learned over the years of Say It For You blog content writing is that most business owners and even most professional practitioners have more than one target audience for their products and services. Different blog posts, therefore, might slant in different directions in terms of style and tone. Analytical content can be interspersed with emotional content; a “one-way” instructional tone can be interspersed with biographical stores, humor and “surprises”. In fact, in business blog posts, I teach, it’s a good idea to toggle back and forth among varieties over time, keeping repeat visitors engaged (and content writers from getting bored!).

One blog styling “menu” suggested by includes:

  • reviews
  • lists of resources
  • interviews
  • stats
  • personal stories
  • tutorials

It’s true – in holding blog visitors’ attention over time, contrast is critical.

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