This is how being a birthday party magician helped me in my article writing business:
When you walk into a house full of 3, 4, and 5 year olds who are pumped up on cake, ice cream, and excitement; you had better be confident that you know what you're doing. They'll sense fear and eat you alive.
* The first trick you do needs to catch their attention quickly and tell them, "This is going to be a fun and entertaining show!"
This is exactly like the first paragraph of your article. Tell them quickly how your article will solve a problem or answer a question or give them information they need.
** The next few tricks need to involve the audience. Let them feel like they're part of the show. Each trick needs to build upon the next.
Your article needs to show them how this information is going to help them personally. It needs to build their interest.
If you give a 4 year old even 10 seconds of down time you've lost them. They'll be creating their own entertainment quicker than you can say "hocus pocus".
The person reading your article might not go running wildly through the house screaming if you lose their interest, but they will click away.
*** End with a big finish. Leave them with something they'll remember.
You dont' want them to think, "That was a waste of time". You want them to walk away with at least one helpful thought or idea.
And as they say in show business, "Always leave your audience wanting more."
This is the purpose of a resource box. To tell them where they can find out more.
(I'll save how my use of ventriloquism helps me as a ghostwriter for another post!)
So tell me, what did you do in your past career that has helped you in IM?
aka ramblin' rose the magician
P.S. To all the other magicians out there, I realize the correct term should be "effect" and not "trick" I was just trying to avoid confusion.