Attracting traffic to a blog post is a win, but keeping the reader engaged and understanding your content is the overall victory. Unfortunately, readers tend to get bored really quickly. Especially first time visitors to your blog. The main message and point of your post should be easy to understand in the first few lines of text. Read on for some easy tips on how to keep your posts engaging and thus, worth the time it takes to write them!
Keep an Eye on Length:
The length of a blog post (or any piece of content, really) is paramount, as people will stop reading if the block of text is too long. Worse, people may not even read it at all. It is important to consider that for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) purposes, it’s not a good thing to have posts that are too short either. The industry staple says that a minimum of 300 words is best. Lengthier articles can add some SEO value, so a good range would be between 300 and 800 words depending on your blogging acumen. Also, break up your length by using shorter paragraphs instead of writing one huge block of text.
To the Point:
We can go back to pre-collegiate writing rules on this one. Any post you create needs to be about only one topic. One main message, and one main point. The main topic should be able to fit neatly into one or two sentences. If not, you should edit and clarify this message so that it does. And, hey, if you can’t get your message to fit within your one topic, write another post! More content is always a good thing.
Make it Easy to Read:
Make sure people can read your text efficiently and easily. Reading from a screen can be hard, so ensure you don’t make it any more difficult than it already is. Use a decent font size. Larger font helps people read your content better. Use at least 14 px and preferably 16 px, with an appropriate whitespace (1.5em for the larger font sizes, more toward 2em for smaller font sizes). Employing more whitespace has been found to actually increase text comprehension. Also make sure the lines of text aren’t too long; keep it limited to 50 to 75 characters per line to ensure maximum message retention. And last but not least, choose colors wisely for the text and background. Green text on a yellow background is impossible to read, so don’t use silly combinations like that.
Provide Visually Scannable Content:
The structure of a blog post should be planned well and make visual and organizational sense. Make good use of headings and subheadings within your posts. Write short, on-topic paragraphs. Always make sure the first sentence of a paragraph or section tells the reader exactly what that text is about. Definitely pay special attention to these. Using things like bullet-points, graphics, and charts to break up text is a good thing, and helps people understand what you’re talking about. Not everyone reads text only posts well, so make sure you’re accommodating other types of readers by including more visual’ content that supports your text. If you are using links within a post, make sure they’re easy to identify and are well-embedded into the sentence so that the two blend seamlessly.
Mind the 1st Paragraph:
Make sure the first paragraph of your post is clear, interesting and emphasizes the message of the blog post. Legend has it that blogging is writing upside down. Well, maybe there’s no legend’ but, you get it. Some writing styles aim to surprise readers with the main message of the piece in the final paragraph. Bloggers should not do this. You’ll likely have lost most readers by then (remember, people get bored easily). Write it upside down: the chief conclusion of your post should go in the first paragraph, and the evidence/elaboration/arguments to that conclusion will appear in the lower sections. As any good writer knows, sum up and repeat the main conclusions in the last section of the piece.
Writing blog posts is hard and time-consuming work. Don’t waste your precious time and energy writing something that ultimately gets skipped over by your audience because they got bored, overwhelmed, or confused. Use these tips to your advantage and make sure your visitors stay and read your posts!