What is skim-catchable content?
Skim-catchable content is anything that intentionally catches the eye of a reader who had intended to just skim your article. Examples:
Skim-Catchable is a word that you won’t find in any dictionary. In fact, this word was created just today as the blogger’s secret weapon that will delight readers everywhere!
A skim catchable is the stuff that catches the reader’s eye as they skim down a blog article. And it describes the process of intentionally building content that informs, helps, and catches the readers eye!
In inbound marketing language, it’s me the writer putting my readers before myself!
It’s empathetic, it’s unselfish, and it’s what every writer should learn to do.
Before, I introduce you to the one-of-a-kind Skim Catchables, let’s take a look at “Basic Blogging Arts”, just in case you are a new blogger on the block!
The ABC’s of Blogging
- Information should be catchable. It is easy for readers to find as they work their way down the page.
- It could be, in the form of big-standout titles that stand out like skyscrapers that you can’t miss when you look at any city skyline.
- Ensure there is enough white space around your words without having overly-congested paragraphs.
- Lastly, avoid too many images or videos as they can make it difficult for your readers to focus.
Another why use a skim-catchable?
In the age of information overload, it’s unlikely that readers will read your entire blog article. A fact that shouldn’t hurt a writer's pride, but to get them to change their mindset.
Research shows that 55% of page views are less than 15 seconds; an even more empathetic reason writers out there need to provide valuable information that piques readers interest quickly! (Chartbeat quoted by HubSpot’s Sophia Bernazzi)
What are examples of Skim Catchables?
Writers first consideration before they put a pen to paper is to create intriguing headlines that grab readers’ attention. In fact, when a new reader first comes to your blog page, the first thing they will do is skim your headlines and subtitles.
If they like what they see, they will more than likely read your blog, and stick around to browse through your other content too.
- Part of your planning stage should be to brainstorm easy to skim headlines that will captivate your audience.
- Don’t worry if your first headlines and subheadlines lack a “zing” to them, carry on brainstorming until you find what you are looking for.
- Use emotional and authoritative language that connects to your audience. Ask yourself, “What do I want my audience to gain by reading my content?”
Infographics are a great example of skim catchables. They communicate complex figures, facts, and statistics simply in an attractive and colorful graphic. Why not be kind to your readers? Share valuable facts in an easy-to scan way that delights your readers, rather than giving them a headache.
- Why not explore interactive infographics with videos and moving images? They make it easy for readers to have a fun interactive experience with your content.
- If you are thinking about using an infographic make sure that there is a relationship between your content and the images that you use.
Check out Hubspot’s piece below. It really draws the eye of writers - who are readers- looking for hints to overcome writer’s block.
Saving trees with a TL;DR button
TL;DR comes from internet slang which stands for “Too long; didn’t read”. When you switch on your TL;DR Chrome Extension, it will provide a 50-75 word version of your text.
There are many times that readers find a gigantic tree of text, but don’t have the time to extract the valuable information that they need. The TLDR button acts as a lumberjack cutting down and summarizing your text in 5 key bullet points, or as we like to call them tree stumps. Pure golden nuggets for any blogger or reader.
Your readers will thank you for making it easy to locate the treasure they are looking for without having to cut down a whole forest; yelling timber!
Let’s save those trees!
Medium’s Highlighting Tool
Imagine if you could read an article, and instantly see important parts of the piece that have been highlighted just for you. Medium offers a highlighting feature that does exactly that. It also allows readers to share what they have highlighted on Twitter. And it enables readers to interact and comment on parts of highlighted articles.
“The Featured Snippet”
The Featured Snippet is very similar to Skim Searchable. They could definitely be blood relatives. Just like Skim Searchables’ are easy to find answers to readers’ questions in a blog article, Featured Snippets - appear at the top of a search results page - in order to quickly provide an answer to a searchers inquiry.
The content that you’ll see inside a Featured Snippet is automatically generated from a webpage/s that are indexed by Google. Featured Snippets can come in the form of definitions,lists, and tables.
They will boost your organic search results, even without a Google ranking. Your blogs and every piece of content that you’ll ever do should aspire to be in a Featured Snippet - Google’s Hollywood for the stars!
Skim-Searchables: The not so top secret bloggers weapon
Readers are writers' allies, and they need to be treated as such. Skim-Catchables are not just a kindness done for readers, they are key for writers too.
Readers need to finish reading a piece of content feeling that their life is that much better than before they read it.
Writers need to do their part by adding intriguing skimmable headlines, eye-drooling infographics, and use tools like TLDR to make it easier for readers to find the information that they seek.
Your Articles Need SkimCatchables
Skim-Catchables are bloggers' - now- not-so- secret weapon to make readers' jobs easier because they can easily skim down a page and find the answer to what they are looking for. Engaging titles and subtitles, gorgeous infographics, and functions like TL; DR (Too long; didn’t’ read) not only help readers, but should be part of any writer's tool kit!