Time is what we want most, but what we use worst. William Penn
We read so many interesting blogs every day to augment our knowledge of our subject of interest. But it is seldom understood by only a few as to whether it is a great return on investment(ROI) for our time. The question then arises is that, if we think time is money and just like any other important investment, if we have not done justice to our 5 to 10 minute of reading or investment, why did we actually read it? And since this time is gone, we can hardly do anything about it. It’s just gone.
So, how should we choose what to read? A great blog post always has a lead paragraph (paragraph at the start of the article). If this paragraph doesn’t or the first few lines of it couldn’t bind you enough, don’t bother to waste your time reading it in entirety. That’s a bad ROI of your time. The writer should have given enough substance at the start of the article to keep you engaged. Somehow, these first lines should set the expectations and give you a clear direction of where it might end up. A contrary view to this is, what if the writer couldn’t set it up correctly at the start but the body of the article is great and you may miss the fun if you don’t read the entire post. True! But don’t live in a ‘what if’ world. Don’t you hate a book or movie that has a boring beginning and even though it picks up later on, it just sets up a mood at the start like: ‘let us just get done with it, as it has a lot of 3 to 5 stars rating’? How come an article any different?
My Aha moment towards ROI..
Some of the blog posts have a great body of work in them, super catchy images, data diagrams, pie charts and a lot of visuals to help calm our nerves down. As psychology suggests, we could get lost in words and sentences quickly. Hence, we need visuals to make a picture of what the article is trying to say in our heads.
Now, let us say that body of the article is great, then what? Did it share any crucial insights? Did it help me feel like a grown person from the person I was 10 minutes back? If these answers are NO, why did we spend our money (in this case, time) on it? We are again fed a great looking article. Consider this technique, if an article doesn’t connect the dots at the end, it’s of no use, even if it has 20,000 likes and gazillion wannabe comments(commented by people who doesn’t even read 2 lines of the article but just because they have to show others that they exist on social media, they will leave a comment). Bizarre, isn’t it? In a great article, the comments shared by readers are even more interesting. You learn a lot of contrary views and so many other views that even the writer couldn’t have imagined. Out of a lot of those comments, there must be at least a few comments that will describe how they feel empowered by the insights shared, how they used those insights to connect the dots and help them solve a problem or just simply provided a lot of value to them if they are unaware of it. That, in essence, is the real success of the article. This is precisely why a lot of articles, books and journals, although, are a work of genius but just couldn’t click with the audience. This ‘click’ is the key.
Believe it or not, on an average, only 1 out of every 10 great blog posts will leave an impression on you. You know why? Yes, you answered it correctly in your head. That one blog post has connected the dots for you and enabled you to become a more informed person. It gave you the answer you were looking for when you started reading the article with its great headline and an even amazing lead paragraph. Absolutely great ROI! But then how would you know which article to read. Is the number of likes/comments push you to read it or will it be the techniques mentioned above? I think we truly become rich when our investment gives us more than we expected. An article’s true test of character is not just in the substance it provides but how many people it truly empowers!
Also, here is a great piece of advice for the people who couldn’t give their reader the ROI they deserve, stop writing posts that you can’t summarize in less than 10 words and without a lead paragraph so amazing that push us to read the whole article!
In case you are interested in knowing how to read a blog in less than 10 seconds. Read this article.