How Much Time Do Writers Actually Get From Their Readers?
— February 20, 2019
As a writer, you spend multiple hours coming up with exciting topics to cover in the hopes of grabbing the reader’s attention.
Often spending your time researching, you look online for relevant keywords, facts, and statistics to add to your blog posts.
Then today, you find and skim a post like mine, to only learn, 43% of people admit to skimming blog posts.
If people are not thoroughly reading articles, including mine and yours, then how much time do writers actually get from their readers?
You may create the most excellent content in the world, but there are multiple hurdles you must overcome for anybody to see it, let alone read it.
Grabbing someones attention is one thing, but then the writer must keep it from wandering off only mere seconds after they click the link that leads to the blog post.
Sadly, a study by Microsoft found that the human attention span is declining, and on average, it is eight seconds long, which, in the year 2000, was twelve seconds.
It is ironic, for eight seconds to a writer seems like a short amount of time to have to wait to read a blog post, but for a reader, it is far too long.
In fact, writers most likely get even less than the full eight seconds of their readers’ attention span, especially when it takes the average mobile landing page 22 seconds to load.
Research also shows, after 3 or more seconds of waiting, 53% end up leaving before the page appears on their phones.
With numbers like these, it is a wonder how anyone makes it to a site at all, but somehow they do, for 52.2% of all website traffic worldwide was generated through mobile phones, in 2018.
With that said, the 52% of worldwide website traffic most likely would have been much higher if a sites load time was 3 seconds or less, but even then, writers would still only have about five seconds of a reader’s attention span to work with.
In short, even if a writer is able to hook a reader in with a catchy or clever blog title, more than 50% of those who click on the link to read the article, end up leaving before they actually do.
Thus, the intention is there, people do want to read interesting blog posts, but the enemy, a website’s slow load time, is what stands between people reading a post, or leaving before they get there.
Those who do stay and wait the entire 22 seconds it typically takes for a site to fully load, will only give the writer less than 8 seconds of their time to try and keep them there, and even then, almost 50% end up skimming it anyways.
Therefore, writers do not get much of a reader’s time at all.
It is clear, the combination of a low attention span and a site’s slow load time, are the two significant reasons why.
As a writer, you must make every single second you have of the reader’s attention, count, literally.