3 Keys to Compelling Summaries and More Quick Tips
Next to your article title, the summary is one of the most critical aspects to capture your reader’s attention.
An article summary is a brief teaser or synopsis highlighting the benefits of your article. Appearing anywhere from RSS feeds to your Expert Author profile page, article summaries bring your readers in after the initial title hook. Article summaries should entice the reader and should make the reader want to read your article above all other articles.
Many Expert Authors will reuse their article’s introductory paragraph as their summary.* While this practice is considered acceptable, unique article summaries can go much farther in delivering results.
3 Keys to Writing Great Article Summaries
1. Don’t Play Cat and Mouse with Your Readers
Your main point(s) and benefit(s) of the article should be clear to the reader in the summary. Of course you don’t want to give too much away, but don’t rely on the reader’s curiosity. Think taste, not hint, to compel the reader forward. This means the reader has had a taste of the article and wants more, rather than what they imagine the article will be like.
2. Less I and We, More You and Yours
Target your reader’s needs and wants with strong benefit-oriented language. Avoid using self-serving information in your summaries, including your name, website, and other blatant self-promotion. Compel the reader in one direction: your article.
3. There’s No Time like the Present
Use present-tense language for a sense of immediacy, use active language to excite the reader, and use stronger, more descriptive language.
Considering the 3 keys above, here’s a me-oriented summary that lacks informative value and uses round-about language:
EzineArticles Managing Editor, Penny describes how to write engaging article summaries. Discover this and more writing tips at our website http://Blog.EzineArticles.com
You are less concerned with who I am and more concerned about what I can provide you, i.e. “What’s different about THIS article that will go above and beyond what I need?” Also, this summary pulls you in two directions: should you read the article or follow the URL?
Here’s a more compelling summary:
Want to take your article writing efforts to the next level? Discover the strategies, like reader-targeting and language tweaks, to write an engaging article summary that delivers results.
Here are some additional quick article summary tips:
- 2-5 sentences in length and a maximum of 200 words
- Grammatically sound (including proper sentence structure, capitalization, and punctuation)
- Free of special characters to make it ready for RSS feeds
- Concise and precise, i.e. straight to the point
- Keep it fresh and don’t repeat the article’s title
Use these tips to write compelling article summaries to give your article writing efforts a boost. And remember: the best summaries give a taste, not a hint.
*Attn. EzineArticles Expert Authors: If you choose to reuse your article’s introduction as a summary, please ensure the introduction is included in both the article Body field and the Summary field. Article summaries don’t appear at the beginning of the article and therefore can cause confusion when an article lacks an introduction.