An impeccably-groomed woman who keeps a messy house – that’s the Webster-Merriam Dictionary’s example of incongruity.
But is incongruity a good or bad thing when it comes to blogging for business? (I was pondering that very question the other day when one of my Butler students showed up in a chartreuse green sweatshirt with the motto “Love pink!” emblazoned all over it.) Is incongruity good or bad for blog writing? As a corporate blogging trainer, I’d have to answer “both”.
University of Missouri Professor Praggyan Mohanty ponders, too, examining whether incongruity in ads leads to a positive “aha” effect when consumers “get it”. “The incongruity in the visual attracts attention and one is drawn towards reconciling the incongruity,” the professor concludes.
Putting ingredients together that don’t seem to match, I teach Indianapolis blog writers on the search for fresh blog content ideas, is an excellent tool for engaging readers.
On the other hand, given the very short attention span of the average online reader, it’s important to use incongruity with caution. Remember, first-time readers (who probably constitute the majority of visitors to your blog site) went online in the first place needing information about a particular thing. Because their search had something to do with what you have, what you know about, and what you know how to do, they arrived at your blog.
You might say that precisely because of the congruity between their queries and your content, the search engine delivered those eyeballs to your site.
In using the tools of surprise and incongruity in order to make your blog content writing more engaging, be careful that readers won’t perceive you as a bait-and-switch artist. The “aha” effect will be positive only when it helps readers locate, understand, and acquire the information, products, and services they came for.
Incongruity may make readers think, but it’s the congruity that will make them buy!