So you finally published that blog post – one that took you hours, or even days to finish. Just because you spent a lot of time writing a post doesn’t mean people will read it. Your post may be filled with valuable content. It takes a skilled blogger to keep readers hooked. You need to know how to make your blog posts readable.
Have you ever taken one look at a web page and decided to click on the back button? Or read the first two paragraphs of a post and looked for something better? Well, you’re not alone. We’re always looking for content that is easier to read.
Contrary to what some bloggers think, creating readable posts isn’t difficult. You just need to follow these 7 steps.
Include visuals in your content
If I was to read an endless block of text, I’d get bored and save the post for later or simply look for another site with similar information. When your blog posts look like a student’s essay not many people will want to read it.
Studies shows that when we read a piece of information, we’ll remember 10% of it three days later. But when an image is included, we remember 65% of it. Isn’t that fascinating?
Images also help break the text. Readers are relieved and take a few moments to look at the image. Some types of visuals you can include in your post include pictures, infographics, diagrams, and video clips.
There’s a reason why almost all text editors have the option of adding bullet points. Bullet points serve various purposes, some of which are:
- To mention the main points in the text
- To give more information
- Make reading easier
I have used bullet points to explain some of its uses and to also show how it enhances a post. If you’re consistent in your use of bullet points, you can be sure the readability score of your pieces will be much higher than that of your competitors.
Proper use of colours
A few months ago a friend of mine started a free WordPress blog. She is a fantastic writer and I knew she’d gain a decent following with time. One day she sent me a link to a new post she had written and I was surprised to find that the text was in red. Reading it made my eyes hurt. I pointed this out to her and explained how important it was to get her colours right.
Most bloggers use black text on a white background. If you aren’t good with colors, use that colour-scheme. If you’re adventurous and want to try other colours, it’s fine. Only make sure that the contrast isn’t pronounced as it would make reading difficult for your readers.
Use of a different colour for headings or quotes is common among elite bloggers. Some of the colours commonly used for this purpose include sky blue and Green.
Write short sentences and paragraphs
The gap between content written for print and content written for the internet is wide. Let’s say you’re seated on a bench reading a hard copy magazine. Even if the sentence structure is poor, you’ll still keep reading. On the internet, you only click back and find another website with well-written content.
Readers on the internet have short attention spans so you’ll be doing your blog a great deal of good by using short sentences. Readers can easily understand your message when you use short sentences. Moreover, it prevents you from making silly grammatical errors. Strive to keep your sentences under 20 words.
Just like sentences, paragraphs shouldn’t be lengthy. No reader loves to read huge blocks of text which never seem to end. Paragraphs with 3, 4 lines are recommended.
Think of a blog post as a huge chunk of meat. Can you eat that way? No. You have to cut it up into small pieces. Your post needs to have subheadings. Reading becomes much easier when a post has subheadings.
You’re basically dividing it into smaller pieces so that the target audience can digest the information effortlessly. Sometimes an internet user wants to read specific points in the article or just skim through. It’s no wonder many great bloggers write listicles or posts which are full of sub-headers.
A HubSpot report shows that 73% of users skim through a blog post instead of reading the whole of it.
Include links in your posts
Perhaps this is the aspect of digital writing that makes it superior to traditional print. The inclusion of hyperlinks in a post accomplishes various functions. First, it enables the writer to cite sources and avoid plagiarism.
Secondly, you can direct your readers to a post which offers more information using links. A mix of outgoing and internal links is good for search engine optimization. With links, you improve your readers’ experience by providing valuable content.
I would also like to add that having some phrases and paragraphs in bold also improves readability.
Check your font
The last thing you want a reader to do is to squint in order to read your blog post. Aim for a font that is large enough for a person to read with ease. If you aren’t sure about it, you can always seek the opinion of your blogger friends.
You may be tempted to use decorative posts but this may hurt your credibility. Although you can use various fonts, it’s advisable to stick with common fonts such as Times New Roman and Arial. Use of different fonts for headers is an exciting way to mix up fonts in your posts.
If you follow the steps above, you can be sure the number of visitors to your blog will go up. There are many other strategies you can use to make your blog posts readable. If you have a tip that’s not included here, I’ll appreciate if you mentioned it in the comments section.