Effective Writing Tips to Make the Readers Finish Your Posts

When you write a blog post, each sentence only has one job.

Get your reader to read the next sentence.

This is crucial for writing on Medium because you get paid based on how long people spend reading your articles.

The more people finish your posts, the more money you earn.

If people click away from your blog posts quickly, you get paid less and they’re less likely to read the next post you publish.

These effective writing tips will make your reader feel surprised that they’re already done reading your article.

Use This Word Short-Cut

Instead of you will — > You’ll

Instead of I am — > I’m

Instead of we are — > We’re

Contractions make your words flow smooth like butter.

Make Your Words Drive the Story Forward With This Subtle Tweak

The reason why people read blog posts is that they’re entertaining.


People read blog posts for entertainment.

This transition shows the difference between passive voice and active voice.

From The Write Practice:

A sentence in the active voice is structured traditionally: subject + verb + object.

The opposite of the active voice is the passive voice.

A sentence is in the passive voice when the word that is the recipient of the action is the subject of the sentence.

Ditch These Phrases to Command Authority

Don’t use phrases like:

  • I think
  • I believe
  • In my opinion

People already know you think, believe, and have an opinion about the subject you’re writing about because you wrote it.

State your arguments with conviction.

Speaking of the word because…

Use This Word More (And a Handful of Others)

Studies show that people are more likely to say yes to a request if you use the word because even if the reason you give is arbitrary.

People want reasons.

Use because to provide reasons for your arguments to make them stronger.

Because is also an example of a transition word, which is a word that drives the post forward by moving between points with ease.

Others include:

  • Therefore
  • In short
  • Next
  • In addition
  • In conclusion

Stop Your Readers in Their Tracks

I got shot in the head three times.

Ok…I didn’t.

But, you stopped your train of thought and got startled a bit, didn’t you?

This is an extreme example of a pattern interruption. You want to add pieces to your post that make the reader stop and think for a second, which takes them out of a trance and keeps them from getting bored while reading your posts.

Crazy statements work, but you can interrupt patterns in other ways:

  • Using clever sub-headings
  • Adding bulleted lists
  • Italics and bold
  • Quotes with quote blocks
  • Inserting images

All of which reminds me of this next important point

Stop Writing UGLY Blog Posts

Formatting is critical. Clever use of whitespace gives readers a mental break while they’re reading. You don’t have to use nothing but one-sentence paragraphs to achieve this. Actually, that starts to look boring and dry over time too. But make sure you’re not droning on and on with long-winded paragraphs.

Medium has a great user interface that helps your blog posts look pretty:

  • Line breaks
  • Image embeds
  • HTML embeds
  • Sub-headings
  • Drop-caps
  • Blog post inserts

Use them.

Take some time to read popular Medium posts and see how the writers format their posts to make them stand out.

Become An Architect Instead of a Construction Worker

The words in your posts don’t matter as much as you think they do. The frame you put around your writing matters more. Hit a few crucial elements and you’re golden. This is why I tell writers to spend time mind-mapping and outlining their posts first. I also tell them to come up with the idea for the headline before they write the article. You should have a solid premise and structure before you start typing at all.

The most important elements of your article are, in order:

  • The headline: “When you write the headline. 80 cents of your dollar is spent.” No clicks = no reads
  • Intro/conclusion: Start with a bang, get to the point, and end with a motivational rallying cry for your readers with a strong call to action
  • Sub-headings: Give readers a sneak peek of what’s to come
  • The book-ends: Begin and end each section of your post the same way you would the intro/conclusion
  • The words in between: These are still important, but it’s better to use a ‘color in between the lines approach’ instead of thinking your words themselves are the strength of the piece

Add Subhead Here

Remember what I said earlier about sentence structure? This graphic shows you how to switch things up to keep your words from getting dull.

Play around with different styles to see what works well.

Speaking of style.

F#@$ the “Rules”

Don’t be afraid to break conventional writing rules. And never let grammar nazis get in your way. I have no idea how to use proper writing techniques because the techniques don’t matter as much as the emotion behind the words.

Who cares if I start a sentence with a conjunction?

Who cares whether or not I use an oxford comma?

I love em dashes even though I’m not quite sure if you use them properly. I don’t care.

I remember Ryan Holiday used to use {*} instead of the typical bullet points in his posts. It’s clever and unique. Find little writing styles and strategies other writers don’t use.

Speaking of something most writers don’t do…

Say it With Your Chest

Most writers are deathly afraid of controversy.

If you have the balls to say what you really think, consequences be damned, the people who agree with you will flock to you like moths to a flame and people who hate the message will hate-read your articles, which still earns you money. 

Never polarize on purpose, but share your honest beliefs, always. Don’t pull punches. Never be afraid of the mob. Speak your truth and let the chips fall where they may.

You Know What to Do Next…

The final piece of advice is simple:

Put these tips into practice.

There’s a right and wrong way to practice.

The wrong way involves continuing to throw spaghetti at the wall even if your results never change. This is a great way to remain broke, frustrated, and unknown.

The right way involves conscious practice. Study one technique, drill it to perfection, find the next technique, and do it again. I picked up many different writing strategies — one by one, over the span of nearly a decade.

Now I just intuitively weave them into my work without thinking.

You’ll get there.

Just do the work.

Ok, you’re done 🙂

See how fast that was?

By Ayodeji