I bet you write some pretty awesome content on your blog. However, you may be wondering why your readers are not as convinced. I’d venture to say that it may not be the actual content itself that’s not captivating and engaging your audience, but rather the lack of a skimmable, easy-to-digest format of your posts.
Let’s face it, blog posts tend to have an overwhelming amount of information. And in an age of information overload you only have a few short seconds to capture your reader’s attention. The trick is to organize your posts in a way that avoids intimidating the reader.
Here are a few tips to take into account when formatting your blog posts to ensure your audience stays engaged.
Always Use Subheaders
If you only take one thing away from this blog post it should be to always use subheaders. Subheaders help readers scan your blog at a glance, allowing them to easily jump to the section they are most interested in. If people find your blog post hard to navigate, chances are they won’t stick around very long.
Check out the two images below from this blog post. The exact same content is displayed, with and without subheaders. Which are you more likely to read? Yeah, same. It’s amazing what a little formatting can do!
If your post is especially long and complex, don’t shy away from using different sized subheaders. After all, H1, H2, and H3 tags are there for a reason.
Not only do headings offer value for the reader, they also offer some value for SEO purposes by helping Google grasp the main topics of a blog post. To learn more about a solid SEO blog strategy check out this post.
Keep Your Paragraphs Short
Quite possibly one of the biggest turnoffs to blog readers is long blocks of text. Shorter paragraphs are key to maintaining a reader’s attention. Try to keep your paragraphs between 3-5 sentences as scannability is key to keeping people engaged with your content.
Take Advantage of Bold Text
Bold text is an easy way to draw emphasis to and highlight important points within a post. However, be sure not to get over-excited about bolding words and sentences. It can quickly lose its effectiveness if the reader’s eyes are attracted to too many places at once.
Utilize Text Call-Outs
To the same effect as bolded text, call-outs are an easy way to attract the reader to a certain section of a post. Text call-outs provide the perfect opportunity to include short snippets of information in a visually appealing way. However, I recommend using text call-outs sparingly as they can easily distract the reader from the meat of the post.
This one may seem obvious, but there are a right and wrong ways to use images within blog posts.
Do: Use images that reiterate and further explain the information in your blog.
Don’t: Use cliche stock images of bright-eyed men in business suits laughing at a computer (you know what I’m talking about).
Incorporate Numbered and Bulleted Lists
By now I’ve stressed the importance of being able to quickly skim a blog to find specific information. Including short numbered and/or bulleted lists are yet another way to make your blog easily digestible.
So there you have it. Some easy tips and tricks to formatting your blog posts. What are some of the ways you organize your blogs to make them more user-friendly?