Welcome to the latest installment in my series on writing tips for bloggers here at Blogelina! I know you are busy and likely have multiple responsibilities (possibly including parenting and full-time work outside of your blog) to juggle in addition to your blogging. I’m here to help you grow your blog and get your message out to a wider audience. Part of how I do that is through excellent blog design and, a critical element of blog design is, believe it or not – writing.
You might be tempted to think that blog design is limited to pictures, colors and blog layout. While those things and the theme you choose for your blog do a lot of heavy lifting when it comes to blog design, writing plays a big role too.
I’m going to be covering all things writing in the weeks ahead with the goal of helping you hone your writing skills as a busy blogger. By the completion of this series on writing tips for bloggers, I hope to give you all the tools you need to more effectively engage and retain your readers’ attention. Without any further adieu, I am going to jump right in to today’s topic: paragraph length and how to use it to keep your readers engaged.
Vary Your Paragraph Lengths to Keep Readers Interested
If you paid close attention in English class in high school and college, you probably remember being taught that paragraphs must be between three and five sentences long. Typically, paragraphs also begin with a topic sentence and end three or four sentences later when that topic has been fully explained.
However, if you read a lot of blogs you know that the trend today is to type posts with many one-sentence paragraphs.
The thought is that readers will not grow tired reading longer posts if your thoughts are broken up into single sentence paragraphs.
Avoid Too Much of a Good Thing
Single sentence paragraphs, while a grammatical anomaly, should be used to create rhythm and to enhance the flow of your posts. I think there’s a happy medium between paragraphs that are too long and a litany of single-sentence graphs.
The key to helping readers move through your posts with energy and interest is to vary the length of your paragraphs. Punctuating two three to five sentence paragraphs, for example, with a single sentence helps readers feel like they are moving through your content and visually, helps prevent their eyes from glossing over at one massive block of text or too many strands of single sentence thoughts.
While you’re varying the length of your paragraphs, don’t forget to vary the length of your sentences as well. Write brief sentences. Then, sandwich them in between longer thoughts. Apply the same principle you’re using with your paragraphs to the sentences that make them up.
When it comes to paragraph and sentence length, variety is the spice of blogging!
What kind of posts do you find easier to read – ones with lots of short sentences, long paragraphs, or ones with variety? What writing questions would you like to see Blogelina cover in this series on writing tips for bloggers?