I want you to consider this for a minute. How much information comes your way every single day? It’s a lot of content to consume. We’re bombarded by articles, social media posts, emails, podcasts, and videos. This is more than any one person could possibly consume and thoughtfully think about. Some of it is good, and some of it isn’t. Most of us really don’t have the time to thoroughly read through everything.
Most of us have become really good at scanning. Then we pick what we actually want to read, watch, or listen to. This is why it’s really important to break up your content into digestible chunks and make it easy for your readers to scan through it.
When a potential reader comes across your blog post, they need to know what the post is about right away. If you can’t show them what the post is about in a quick glance, they’ll just click on to the next site on their list.
Here are some things you can do to break up your post and make sure it’s easy to scan.
Use Headlines and Subheadings
For example, take a look at this post. Do you see how I’m breaking up the different elements of making a post easy to scan down into subheadings? You can do this with any blog post. Create an outline. Each point in your outline could be a subheading, and then fill in the content.
Alternatively, you could write the content first and then go back and add the subheadings. Or if you prefer, start with the content and then go back and add the subheadings, whatever works for you. The only important thing is that they are in there before you hit publish.
Keep Paragraphs Short
Reading online is much different than the old days of reading paper books and magazines. Books, newspapers and magazines can get away with long paragraphs. Reading online is different. Text is harder to read on digital devices and not only that, our attention span keeps shrinking.
One great way to keep your readers engaged is by keeping paragraphs short, ideally no more than two to three sentences. Even one sentence can work at times.
Use Bullet Point Lists And Bold or Italic For Important Points
Go through your content again and see if there’s anything that can be presented in list form.
- Use a list instead of several related sentences.
- Use a list to share examples.
- A list is a great way to break things up and grab your reader's attention.
- Lists can be as long or short as you need them to be.
There are other ways to format as well. Bold important points, italicize them, or underline them for emphasis. All of these formatting options add visual interest and make it much quicker and easier to scan a piece of text rather than laboriously reading through a long block of text.
How to Use Graphics Effectively
Last but definitely not least, let’s talk about graphics. The Internet is becoming increasingly visual. It can help to communicate at a glance what your blog post is about and generate interest. Scroll through your own social media feeds and see what grabs your attention. Researching Pinterest is another great idea. You’ll see how graphics can hook you and get you to click through to a site. They are also a great way to break up longer sections of text. Be sure to use graphics to their full advantage.
Because appealing blog graphics are a great way to draw people in make sure to read my post “Why Your Blog Needs Amazing Graphics.”
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