15 ways to grab readers’ attention and save yourself time.
By Nathan Groepper & Jon Benedict
❯❯ YOU’RE ON THE CLOCK
The typical reader gives us 28 minutes a day.
Your story is one of about 80 in the Register today.
That means you only get a few seconds — if you’re lucky.
How do you get more time? How do you get their attention?
You need to be creative ... fast-paced ... funny ... informative.
Here are 15 ways to grab readers.
❯❯ Q & A
1. An edited interview presented in question
and response format. This allows an authority
or celebrity to speak in his or her own words.
2. Breaks down a complicated issue by
answering questions readers may have.
Short biographies of the people
directly involved with a story. This
story form is best when paired with
A profile on a person or
organization broken down into
short bits. This could be written
by the person him/herself.
Illustration that breaks down the
information contained in an photo.
This form often includes portrait
Items arranged in meaningful
ways. This can include Top 10,
things you don’t know
about..., In/Out, Best/Worse
and many more.
A quick guide to a person,
issue, activity, or product.
❯❯ HOW TO
Graphics, photos and text that
breaks down a complicated
activity. This includes specific
directions on how to complete
A group of reporters, experts
or readers giving their
opinions and responses about
a specific subject.
Combinations of images and text that take the place of a full article. This form works best
when comparing different responses to the same criteria.
Questions to test readers’
knowledge of a person,
product, topic or activity.
Items arranged chronologically that
bring the readers up to speed quickly
on a story or issue. This form works
best with ongoing stories.
An opinion piece that predicts the
odds of something happening.
❯❯ INTEREST CHART
An opinion piece that illustrates reader interest in an event.
❯❯ PHOTO STORY
Narratives presented only through photography and cutlines.
Definitions of key terms or jargon in a complicated story.