How to Present the Compelling Idea in Your Article

The best way to present a new idea is to do it fast and to do it early.

Your first paragraph is one of the most crucial parts of your article. This is where readers decide whether to continue reading or to move on to the next interesting thing they see on the Internet. Without anything compelling to keep them glued to your website, you run the risk of being quickly dismissed. Some people will tell you it’s best to save the big idea for the end. That’s when you sum up all your major points so that they all nicely close on one compelling idea at the end. That’s fine if you’re writing a scientific paper, but we don’t think it’s going to work for a blog article.

People won’t stick around if you’re going to keep them waiting till the end. Whereas if you stimulate their mind and appeal to their emotions first thing in your article, they’re a lot more likely to read up to the last word.

An Idea Needs Support, No Matter How Compelling It Is

The thing is, a great idea will always have its detractors. It’s human nature to want to stick with the old and tested. Even when your readers are deeply fascinated by what you offer them, there will still be that little voice inside their head that tells them to be wary of this new and compelling idea. This is why you still need to provide support in the body of your article.

There are three ways to do this.

One, you can show them factual evidence that supports your ideas. If you did a lot of research, there’s no way you’re not going to incorporate facts into your article. Plus, people can easily verify factual evidence by going on Google and doing the research themselves.

Two, you can tell them stories that make your idea come to life. People love stories. Stories have been around perhaps since man’s discovery of fire. When people read or listen to stories, their defenses are down. It’s like connecting with another human being in a deep and touching way. When you tell them a story as evidence for how good your idea is, it’s easier to convince them.

And three, you can ask experts to give a testimonial to your idea. People trust the experts. They have years of experience behind them and they know what they’re doing. Naturally, when experts say they believe in what you’re offering, people will come flocking to you to try out what you can offer them.

If There’s a Simpler Way to Say It…

We know a lot of esteemed authors, prominent bloggers and writing coaches have been saying this over and over again. “KISS! Keep it simple, stupid!” Another version is “Keep it short and simple.” The idea stays the same, though. It’s been said so often that it has become one giant cliché by now. Sadly, not many writers seem to take this advice seriously. There seems to be a myth persistently going around that a good writer uses big words and long sentences. Supposedly, writers are seen to be more intelligent when they pepper their work with words readers have to look up the dictionary for.

On the contrary, it only makes you look like an amateur. An amateur whose articles nobody likes to read because they’re just too difficult to absorb.

We’re saying this not because we’ve been writing books and other things for quite some time. We’re saying this because it’s true. You can ask any other seasoned writer out there. They’d tell you the same thing. Ditch those words that your readers cringe at and go for words they can easily understand. And it’s not only other writers who agree with us.

There’s a new idea in psychology that supports the idea that people prefer simple things to complicated ones. It’s called cognitive fluency. Apparently, it’s an evolutionary concept that helped our ancestors decide which ones to pay attention to. We know they didn’t have much time to figure out what to think when a saber-tooth tiger bared its teeth at them. Seeing those giant fangs told gave them the familiar pang of fear that made them bolt for their lives.

The same idea applies when people read something. They don’t have a lot of time to figure out what you’re trying to say in your convoluted article. They’d rather have the big idea presented to them in words their minds can easily understand. Put yourself in your readers’ shoes. Do you honestly want to look up from what you’re reading to consult a dictionary? We know you don’t. You would rather look for another article that talks about the same thing but in a way that’s easier to read.

Is Your Article Readable Enough?

One way to gauge how easy it is to read your article is to run it through the Flesch-Kincaid Readability Tests. The tests take a look at the length of your words and sentences to predict how easy it is for human readers to read your article. Generally, you want your article to be completely understandable to fifth to seventh graders. This is measured by the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level, which is patterned after the US grading system. A score of somewhere between 5.0 and 7.0 indicates that students in the fifth to seventh grades will easily understand your articles.

On the other hand, the Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease indicates how easy or difficult it is to read your article. The higher your score, the easier it is to read your article. You would want your score to be above 60, which is the score that indicates that fifth-graders can easily understand your writing. If you go lower than that, go over your article and give it a good slashing.