You got to this page because the title caught your eye, right? You’re scrolling through it now because it’s easy to read, and it feels like you’re digesting a lot of information, right?
Here are six things Buzzfeed teaches us about writing for the internet.
1. People Click Catchy Titles
You saw the number, the capital letters, and the words “Buzzfeed” and “Writing” in the title, and you clicked the link before your brain could register it.
I know you did; I do the same thing. We all do–dozens of times per day, whether we are on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Reddit, Pinterest, or any other type of social media. Symbols like capital letters and numbers (and hashtags) seem important to us; they stick out. They stimulate us, and they make us want to click them.
2. People Usually Only Read Headings
The entire content of an internet article can be found in its headings.
Think of it like this: the bigger the words are, the more they stick out to our eyes. The more things stick out to our eyes, the more likely we are to look at/read them. Everything you need to know is told to you in big, bold print. Everything else is filler.
3. People Don’t Read Content
Most people only read the title, the headings, and first couple lines of an article. Then they scan the page, looking for pictures and captions before moving on to the next article.
People only spend ten seconds per page. That means you are probably not reading these words. I could say almost anything at this point and you would probably miss it. The moon landing was a hoax.
4. People Like Casual Language
Most internet articles are written to be digested quickly by everyone. Big words and sentences are like cholesterol. They clog the flow of the page.
Keep it short and sweet.
5. People Like Pictures
Aside from headings, people will (usually) only stop to look at pictures. Because humans react to visual stimuli, they will, most likely absorb most of their information through pictures.
Memes, photos, and GIFs tell us more than any other form of media.
6. People Like Short Articles