It doesn’t matter how many people visit your blog post – if they don’t actually read it, you wasted your time writing it.
You could be a phenomenal writer. You could present the most useful information in the world. You could have poured your heart and soul and precious time into writing your articles.
But it’s only worth it if someone reads it.
It would be shame if it were for nothing – if people just glazed over your post and decided it wasn’t for them without giving it a chance.
If you’re going to invest time in writing something, spend a little extra time making sure it’s engaging to read. Of course, you start with writing engaging content. But there are a few design, layout and formatting techniques you can use to make your article more readable.
Write for your reader, not for yourself.
[bctt tweet=”Write for your reader, not for yourself.” username=”sparkflowco”]
1 – Use a Clear Introduction to Your Article
A lot of writers will try to hook readers in with a story or metaphor. I’m all about creative hooks. But try not to drag it out or make it confusing.
If a reader isn’t clear on what your article is actually about, they’ll end up leaving. Don’t sacrifice clarity for creativity. Instead, try stating the topic of your article in the first few sentences, then jump into your hook.
2 – Use Big and Bold Headings to Break Up Sections
Readers will often skim down a page before they commit to reading something. They’re scanning for phrases that will give them a general overview of what you’ll cover in your blog post.
If they just see a bunch of paragraphs, it’ll be hard for them to gather information and they’ll just give up.
Every 3-4 paragraphs, put in a big and bold heading that describes that section. Make sure it’s descriptive so that skimmers know what the article is about.
It’s best practice to use H2/Heading 2 formats for major section break, and H3/Heading 3 formats for sub heading breaks.
3 – Break Up Your Paragraphs Every Few Sentences
Long paragraphs with several sentences are good for books and magazines, but they’re horrible for online articles. When people read blog posts, they’re looking to consume content quickly.
Long paragraphs make the content feel slow and drag on. In contrast, short paragraphs make a reader feel like they’re going at a faster pace.
For online blog posts, aim for 2-3 sentences per paragraph.
4 – Use Single Sentence Paragraphs
Even though short paragraphs will help your readers go through your content quickly with better comprehension, several same-sized paragraphs can get monotonous.
Every once in a while, try using single sentence paragraphs. Don’t use them arbitrarily, but use them strategically in places where you’re trying to make a compelling argument.
Well-placed single-sentence paragraphs can really help drive home a point or indicate a twist or turning point in your message.
5 – Use Call Outs for Notable Quotes
If there are specific sentences or phrases in your article that are interesting, unique, provocative, powerful, or anything that’s worth noting – bring attention to it. Call outs are a great way to emphasize a point or highlight the best parts of your article.
Call outs can simply be bigger, bolder text that’s separate from the paragraphs and headlines. You could put a colored box behind it.
It doesn’t take that much time to do, but implementing these small changes into your writing will make a world of difference.
After all, didn’t you write this article so that people would read it, be educated, and learn more about your company?