Pay attention. This is important. This first paragraph serves the purpose of grabbing your attention and explaining what the post is about. In this case, describing itself throughout. Think of it as a template of sorts.
This header introduces the subject
This header introduces the subject I’m going to discuss over the next few paragraphs. Namely, the importance of headers.
Paragraph breaks and headers prevented this post from being a wall of text.
Visual breaks are important because most readers skim a post online. Headers like this one anchor the user as they scroll. Bold words can also serve the same purpose, but don’t overdo it.
This first header is where the premise of the article is further developed. I introduced it with the title, clarified further in the first paragraph, and now, in its own dedicated section, I can expand on it.
The rest of the post will literally describe itself, stretching self-referentiality without, I hope, becoming unintelligible.
As meta as this post is, I’m injecting myself, the author, into it to make it less impersonal.
This header takes the reader somewhere
With the premise developed, this post needs to go somewhere. Every article should tell a story. Everything you write, even technical posts, should narrate a tale or arc of some kind.
I was in the shower thinking about my next post. What could I write about? Then it hit me. Somebody must have flushed a toilet. The idea and the scalding water hit me at the same time. I should write about the structure of posts by writing a post that describes itself.
A post about nothing, Seinfeld would have called it.
Paint pictures with words. Ok, me in the shower is not the picture I really want to paint. Inject humor in your posts.
Literal pictures on top of literary pictures are also a good idea.
Don’t forget to include relevant quotes:
I always have a quotation for everything – it saves original thinking.Dorothy L. Sayers
- Validation about what you’re claiming;
- A different perspective;
- Indirect clout via association;
- Amusement to the reader;
- A visual break.
The last trait is also shared by bullet-point lists.
This is the conclusion
A conclusion should summarize what just happened, allowing the reader’s brain to quickly recap the information it processed.
The recap for this post reminds the reader to start with a strong title that captures the essence of the post. Telling them to enthrall the user in the first paragraph, before introducing what the post is about. Without forgetting to mention why they should care.
Then this post used headers to guide the user’s attention as they scrolled. Offering a visual break and separating the post in mini-sections.
Images, sparingly used bold, bullet points, and quotations all enriched this post and provided further visual respite.
Speaking of images, this post included a small anecdote and used its headers to complete an arc describing how the post itself is structured.
Injecting humor and the author’s personality, elevated the post from a mere thought experiment to a masterpiece reminiscent of Shakespeare.
Closing your recap with a joke or some self-deprecating humor is okay.
Once you’re done with your recap, invite the user to comment and share their thoughts below. Finally, if so desired, bid the user goodbye.
Until next time.
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