Making Your Blog Post Easy To Read

Nicole AveryNicole Avery is the master organiser behind the popular parenting blog Planning With Kids, where she shares tips and tricks to organising the chaos of family life. Her first book “Planning With Kids” was released in May 2011 by Wright Books.

Nicole has also recently started Blog Coaching Boost where she shares her experience with bloggers on ways to grow and develop their blogs.

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Making your blog posts easy to read and instantly scannable are key to having readers subscribe to your blog and share your posts on social media. With so much information out there to absorb and only a limited amount of time to take it in, readers need to be able to quickly look over your posts and assess that it offers value to them.

Here are 5 quick ways you can improve the scannability and readability of your blog posts:

1. A meaningful title

While it may sound cute to have a quirky title, readers want to know what they are in for before they invest time reading your post. If you were writing a post about a new product you are stocking, which title lets the reader know what to expect:

“Sun shiny day!” or “New infant t-shirts – sun shiny logo”

It is great to have your posts and their titles reflect your personality, but just make sure it combines enough information so readers know what to expect. If readers subscribe by email or RSS they often only see the title first and may make their decision on whether to open it based on the title’s relevance. (There is of course considerable SEO benefits from having appropriately chosen keywords in your title as well.)

2. Using images

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Readers are drawn to pictures. If you are talking about products you sell, make sure you include images in your post to break up the text. Think about the size of your image, the alignment and whether or not you will add a caption. The more attractive you can make the post through use of images, the more drawn a reader will be to read the text.

If you are thinking that your topics don’t lend themselves easily to images, remember that the image doesn’t have to be an exact visual representation of your topic. Neither does the image doesn’t have to be one of your own.

Try using Compfight.com (hat tip to Kate from Picklebums who taught me this a number of years ago). Enter the keyword you would like an image for in Compfight. When you have a page of images, make sure you choose the “commercial” option on the left hand side so you can legally use the image on your blog.

The image above is one I found via Compfight searching for “beauty”. When you upload an image to your blog that is not yours, always make sure you can do this legally and credit the source somewhere in the post. {Image by – seyed mostafa zamani}

3. Headings

Each of the tips in this post is described underneath a heading. The way your headings appear on your blog depend on the blogging platform you use and the theme you have on your blog. For my blogs I use html code h3 headings. They are a different colour, larger font and really help to break up the text into discreet sections.

If you don’t write your posts using code, the visual editors allow you to easily convert text into headings:

Making Your Blog Post Easy To Read
Simply highlight the text you wish to become a heading (red arrow) then choose the heading format you wish from the drop down menu (blue arrow), in this case heading 3. Again there is SEO value in using headings also.

4. Paragraphs

Paragraphs in blog post ideally should be short and well spaced. You can mix it up with long paragraphs in between, but a whole series of long paragraphs can seem like too much heavy reading. If readers have to keep scrolling down as they do their preliminary scan of your blog post, you may find they click away instead of scrolling back to the top to read the post.

5. Lists

Lists are a great way to break up text and easily allow readers to scan the content of your post to evaluate its relevance to them. Lists are a great way to emphasis the key points you want your readers to take away from your content.

Take for example this paragraph from another post here on Motivating Mum:

It got me thinking about my business and how much of it was based on fact, how much assumption? How many decisions had I made in the belief I knew something about my market when in fact, it was just a belief of mine that I had perpetuated as truth? That was a scary thought indeed. What if I had taken an approach to branding or marketing based on what I thought was correct – I could be way off base.

If we reformat it using a list, this will become a stand out piece of a post which otherwise consists of only pure text:

It got me thinking about my business:

  • How much of it was based on fact, how much assumption?
  • How many decisions had I made in the belief I knew something about my market when in fact, it was just a belief of mine that I had perpetuated as truth?
  • What if I had taken an approach to branding or marketing based on what I thought was correct?

That was a scary thought indeed – I could be way off base!

Taking the time to format your posts so they are easy for you readers to scan and then read, is an important tool to get readers to absorb your content and to drawer readers back to your blog.

How else do you make your blog post easy to read?

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6 Responses to Making Your Blog Post Easy To Read

  1. Fabulous tips, Nic. I agree that the easier posts are to read, the better.
    I’m quite interested to check out compfight now. I’ve been using Dreamstime (or try and take my own photos), but like to hear what others use. :)

  2. Thanks Dhea, good luck with your blogging.

  3. Great tips, especially the compfight one with regards to images…am off to check it out :-)

  4. Pingback: Making Your Blog Post Easy To Read

  5. Dhea says:

    Hi nicole

    These are great tips. I have let my blog lapse so I am now feeling inspired.

    Dhea

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