What long reads should be like to make you want to read them to the end
Long reads are material between 1,200 and 8,000 characters, including interactive content, images, text, and other content. It’s not about the layout or the quality of the images, it’s about the content and how well it’s developed. A long read must reveal and present an idea in an author’s own way.
One of the goals of such material is to get the user to read the whole thing, even if it takes 10 to 40 minutes. Long read came to content marketing from journalism, where long articles have been used to present detailed thoughts. In addition to its size, this type of material differs in pitch. It tells a story with all the necessary elements of an essay: prologue, denouement, epilogue. Long reads keep the user in suspense, making them want to read the story to the end or wait for the next publication. Other texts, such as sales or web pages, do not have these qualities.
For a long read to be read to the end on a computer or mobile device, it is important to choose the right topic and structure for the text. A good piece of writing should incorporate three principles:
– work with content;
– elaboration with structure and headings;
– work with the layout.
How to create a good long read
The first thing people see when they open a text is the headline, designed to attract them to read on. Now the author’s presentation, theme and style come to the fore. The material must draw the reader in so that they want to know what happens at the end.
Readers are divided into different types. Some read the text carefully, while others glance at each headline and continue reading. Others read selectively, stopping at sections of interest and skipping other parts of the text. These users pay attention to the layout of the material. The more attractive it is, the more likely they are to read to the end.
The uniqueness of this material is that it doesn’t try to sell, which means that users don’t feel intrusive. However, long reads have considerable viral potential because their subject matter can remain relevant for years. You need to do some serious work to make the text work for the company and attract users. Long reads can be long and challenging to write. You need to choose the right topic, understand it and find the right writing style. In this case, you can tackle a burning social issue, personal stories or the reportage genre. Each topic can be uniquely revealing and evoke an emotional response from the reader. If this happens, then the long-read author has achieved their goal.