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How to Write Zesty Soundbites (and Make Your Blog Posts Memorable)

Henrietta singing in the rainWhat phrases linger in your mind for days?

Which lines can you remember after months or even years?

Most people can quote a few nursery rhymes, one or two poems, some advertising slogans, and quite a few song lines.

Do you know what these texts have in common?

They use poetic techniques like rhyme, rhythm, and repetition. And they communicate the essence of an idea.

In modern lingo such phrases and sentences are soundbites. Like proverbs and sayings they communicate a nugget of wisdom with power and flair.

Soundbites stick in people’s minds

Soundbites convey a profound message in smooth language.

Soundbites often start with an idea – perhaps you want to bust a well-established view point; or you may want to provide a new perspective on an old truth.

A soundbite communicates the core of your idea.

You weed out irrelevant details and exceptions. You strip out cumbersome trains of thought. You force yourself to prioritize and find just the one sentence that’s the essence of your blog post. If your readers would remember one thing, then this would be it.

The core of your idea has to be simple. You have to be able to write it down in one or two sentences. If you need more sentences to explain your idea, then you’ve not stripped it down to its essence yet.

Once you know the core idea you’d like to communicate you can use poetic techniques to make your soundbite smooth and easy to remember. Soundbites often use poetic techniques like contrast, rhyme, repetition, rhythm or metaphors to make them easier to remember. Often they surprise readers to attract attention.

Let’s look at an example. The following are the last sentences of a Copyblogger guest post I wrote last year:

Write less. Read more.

Talk less. Listen more.

These short sentences use several poetic techniques to attract attention:

  • Repetition and contrast both attract attention to certain words. In this case the words less and more contrast with each other; and both are repeated, too.

  • When you write long sentence after long sentence, you slowly lull your readers to sleep. A few ultra-short sentences interrupt flow and rhythm. They wake your reader up to pay attention.

  • Most advice for writers says that you have to write more, but I recommended the opposite: Write less. When you make an unexpected statement, you jolt your reader into paying attention. Be careful with this approach — if you bust common advice, you need to justify it in your post.

You don’t always have to create your own soundbites.

Let’s be honest … sometimes others have written the perfect soundbite.

When someone has written a soundbite so powerful and memorable, you can’t improve it, simply include it as a quote with a credit to the author.

How to use soundbites in your blog posts

Don’t bury your soundbites in the middle of a paragraph.

Use them as a killer last sentence or make them stand out as one-sentence paragraphs. You can highlight your soundbites by adding a border or background color; and add a tweet this link to increase tweets:

Soundbites are the desserts of writing. Their taste lingers in your reader’s mind. (tweet this)

Click to tweet is a free service that allows you to create tweet this links – it’s easy.

How to master the art of soundbites

You could read advertising slogans. Or you could listen to politicians sharing their soundbites during interviews and debates.

But you might enjoy picking up a book with sayings and proverbs more. Read the phrases aloud and pay attention to word choice, metaphors, contrast, rhyme, rhythm, and repetition.

Don’t put yourself under too much pressure. You don’t have to become the next Shakespeare or Emily Dickinson to inspire your audience with your advice, your tips, your writing.

Just keep writing. And have fun.

Comments

  1. Wow, good luck with your next book launch!
    I meant to comment on your last post. It was soooo useful. After forgetting about it for a couple of days, you already had loads of comments, so I didn’t leave a comment in the end, but it definitely was you at your best.

    • You’re really quick to comment this time!

      Thank you, Kerstin. Glad you’re still enjoying my posts and find them helpful. :)

  2. Hi Henneke I love your posts all I’ve read resonate with me and mean so much. My blog is down for the time being as I’m studying with Jon Morrow guest blogging course, but can’t wait to get started again so I can put some of your ideas into practice.

    Thanks so much for all the great stuff

    • You’re welcome, Lynne. I also took part in Jon’s guest blogging course. It’s a really good program. I hope you’re enjoying it!

      Thank you for stopping by. :)

  3. Hi Henneke,

    Your drawings are improving! Nice work – keep moving and stay improving.

    Regards, Harry
    Harry Heijligers recently posted…Hoe manage je het gevoel van de klant? Simpel: in 3 stappenMy Profile

    • Thank you, Harry. Learning to draw is a lifelong journey; and I started far too late ;-)

      • It’s never too late to start if you have a passion to do it! Never put limitations on yourself – just go for it! :)
        P.S… I Always love reading your posts Henneke – thanks for the humour in your writing – you always put a smile on my face :)
        Cheers!

  4. Thanks Henneke. Again, another useful post!

  5. Look forward to buying your book!

  6. Good advice as always, Henneke!

    I’m curious – have you named the little dog in your drawings? (He looks just like my 4 year old Shih Poo, Winnie the Pooh.)
    Sue recently posted…Positive Thinking Not Working For You?My Profile

  7. Great job Henneke,
    I just like your style, you certainly stick out from the crowd,
    Best wishes
    Anemi

  8. Book launch, Hennke? Congratulations! Where can I find out more about your book?
    Lucy Chen recently posted…How to Handle Pain and What to Do after a BreakdownMy Profile

  9. So succinct and to the point. You’re a true inspiration!
    Susan recently posted…Target Marketing Book for the Niche MarketerMy Profile

  10. Could not figure out the ‘tweet this comment’ app. Any suggestions?

    • Hi Lori – I’m not using the “tweet this comment” app, so I’m not quite sure what you’re referring to? CommentLuv allows you to tweet the post after you’ve left a comment, but doesn’t tweet the comment. I’m trying to keep the number of plugins on my site as low as possible.

  11. Rhyme, rhythm and repetition. Thanks for the soundbite ideas, Henneke! I’m definitely going to use this in my posts somehow. And thanks for the link to Click to Tweet. I was wondering how to do that and then – there it was! Seek and you shall find!

    • I don’t use “Click to Tweet” in all my posts, but when I do, the number of tweets are usually higher.

      Thank you for taking the time to comment, Karleen :)

  12. Great article, Henneke. I will will try to use this method in future blogs. It makes a lot of sense. It’s like little excerpts – to catch our attention and divert the mind somewhat – that emphasize the meaning of the article or paragraph. Thanks for the tips. Oh… And break a let with your new book.
    Shelly Moreau recently posted…Putting a Price on RudenessMy Profile

    • Thank you, Shelly. And yep, you’re right – they’re like little excerpts containing the most important nuggets of information in your posts.

      Good to see you again! :-)

  13. Genius idea of including memorable tidbits of test within your content.

    The reasons that you said in your post make sense of how they may become memorable and stick with your readers some more.

    I just need to make sure I don’t overdo the use of them and include only some of the very best within my work.

    Thanks for the work!

    - Sam
    Samuel recently posted…50 Ways to Drive Traffic to a WebsiteMy Profile

    • Yep, that’s a good point – don’t overdo it. If you use too many sound bites, they lose their impact. And especially too much rhyme makes your writing sound bloated.

      Thank you for stopping by, Sam.

  14. I think Arthur looks a tad shocked in this fab illustration! Could it be because he can see your orange bloomers? ;)
    Caroline recently posted…Fabulous Free Photo Sites: We Reveal 2 Of Our Favourites!My Profile

    • I think he’s a little surprised about the singing in the rain and all the water splashes directed at him :)

      Good to see you again, Caroline.

  15. These soundbites are just like tweetable moments! An idea that can be easily packaged in 140 characters or less.
    Blake recently posted…To Be Sticky You Need To Be EngagingMy Profile

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