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Paradox of Content Marketing to Beginners

Use small interruptions in your copy to get readers to actually read it


With the exception of your diary, you probably want people to read what you write. Boost completion rates and recall by strategically placing interruptions and hooks in your sales copy, blog posts, etc.

People remember details of interrupted tasks 90% better than completed tasks that went uninterrupted — it’s called the Zeigarnik effect

And then there’s the Ovsiankina effect, which says that people tend to want to complete an interrupted action. These related effects are helpful tools in copywriting that can draw the reader further into your message. 

When writing, try revealing a little bit at a time. And separate each reveal with small interruptions like new paragraphs, new sections, infographics, etc. Then add little phrases like, “Here’s how…” and “There’s more…” right before these interruptions to indicate that the task (learning something) will be completed soon. 

This results in greater recall and a higher likelihood that the reader will read to the end. But use it sparingly so that it doesn’t hurt the user experience.


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  • Twitter is exploring the use of Facebook-style emoji reactions. It is also exploring searchable direct messages. It is also testing a way to watch YouTube videos directly in your Home timeline, without leaving the conversation on Twitter. It’s being tested on iOS for now.
  • LinkedIn is adding read receipts + typing indicators to InMail and Message Requests from April 15. You can switch off these messaging features in your settings.
  • Instagram has today announced that it will soon add a new option to save your Instagram Stories as drafts, to be posted at a later stage. It is also testing a feature to allow users to DM people right from the comments section of your posts.
  • YouTube is experimenting with the auto-detection of products in videos and provide related content links. The product list will be shown beneath the YouTube player. Currently, it’s for US only.
  • Facebook couldn’t resist itself from borrowing. Now, they are testing live audio and (private) audio rooms.
  • In Monday’s newsletter, I shared Rand Fishkin’s article about 64.82% of searches on Google ended without a click. So Google published a blog. According to it, Google sends more traffic to the open web every year.
  • If I wasn’t in marketing, I would have deleted Facebook a long, long time ago. (Tweet link)
  • Rule of thumb for UX: More options, more problems. (Tweet link
  • When in doubt, take action. Nothing provides clarity like doing something. (Tweet link)
  • Motivation is what gets you started, habits are what keep you going.

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