We all know that writing for an online audience isn’t the same as writing for print publications. Yes, good grammar and spelling help make sure that your content actually makes sense, but many other traditional rules of writing can be broken online. The main reason for this is due to the way people actually read online content, they don’t want big paragraphs, they want short sections that are easy to scan.
Here are 4 simple tips on how to make sure your content is super readable so your visitors don’t click away:
1) Short Paragraphs
The first way you can make your content more readable is by breaking down your content into shorter paragraphs. This way, you won’t overwhelm visitors with giant blocks of text. When you keep your paragraphs short, your reader will be better able to pay attention to what you’ve written, and will be able to easily skip from section to section.
2) Subheadings and Bullets
Continuing on from the point above, subheading and bullet points also go one step further to make your content easy to read on a screen. Subheadings give your reader a general idea of what the upcoming content is about, which can help hold people’s interest longer. Additionally, bullet points are short and to the point, providing key information in a straightforward manner.
Times have changed and people expect text to be broken up with images these days. Not only do they help make your website look nicer, and make articles easier to scan, images also add to your brand. The good news is that you don’t need to take all of the photographs yourself! Although personal photographs are a great touch for most blogs, you can also find quality images on various stock photo websites.
If you are writing informal content, then keep your tone light, casual, and funny. Write in the first and second person to keep your audience entertained and feeling as though you’re writing for them personally. Of course, there are some situations where this rule doesn’t apply (for example, if you’re writing for a professional or technical website). However, in most cases, developing an informal tone that shows off your personality is a great way to connect with your readers and help make your content more readable.
Remember, it takes time to learn how to write online – especially if you’re used to the strict rules of offline writing! The good news is that you can use website traffic stats and comments to help judge which content your readers love.
How to Craft Attention-Grabbing Titles for Your Blog Content
At times it can be easy to come up with content ideas, but figuring out an appropriate title can be a lot harder. Sure, anyone can come up with a bland, to-the-point title; but unfortunately these are not usually the kinds of titles that attract much attention. For most readers, the title is what hooks them in and gives them a chance of actually clicking through to read your content. This is why it’s so important to spend some time on every single title you write.
Here are some tips to help craft attention-grabbing titles:
- One of the most common title formats online is to use a number. For example, “10 Ways to Potty Train Your Toddler Without the Tears” or even “7 Days to a Healthier You”. This is a format made popular in magazines, and it works for a reason – it shows people that there are specific steps to reach their goal, which makes it easier for them to take action on what you write.
- Every online headline needs to give the reader a reason to click through. Clickbait headlines get people clicking through because they are frustratingly vague. This is probably not the way to go if you don’t want to annoy people (although this method does work!). Instead, go for tried and tested methods of teaching your reader how to achieve something. Always include the benefit within the headline in some way.
- Sometimes, the best way to create intrigue is to leave the title vague. Not vague in the sense that nobody would be interested, but vague in a way that would still hook readers in. Let’s say you were writing a post about the raw food diet. This title example would hook readers into the general subject area, but they’d have to click through to learn what the article was really about: So You’re on the Raw Food Diet? Read This First!
- Don’t be afraid to steal other people’s subject lines! No, that doesn’t mean copying any titles – in fact, that is definitely not what you should do. Instead, it means keeping a document where you list titles that get your attention, and then tweaking them for completely different topics. For example, “18 Simple Tricks That’ll Help You Save for Your Vacation in Half the Time!” could be stolen and turned into “9 Little Known Tricks to Help You Sell Your House in One Week!” – as you can see, the titles are completely different, but the first gave the inspiration for the second.
It’ll take practice to improve your titles, but it’s well worth it. Spending just a few minutes extra on each headline you write could pay off big time when it comes to attracting online traffic!
What other tricks have you tried when trying to make your blog more readable?
Please share in the comments below!