So, we’ve all heard the saying that ‘content is king’ and with the power of the internet, blogging has become a way for individuals, brands and even CEO’s to stand up on their virtual soapboxes and get their message out to the masses. Social media has further empowered bloggers to distribute their messages and engage with audiences on a global scale.
Great, but even the best blog or article won’t get the traction it deserves if it’s unreadable. Thankfully, we’ve provided a Top 10 list if things to consider to make sure your blogs posts are easy to read.
Know your audience
The first step to writing any great content is to know your audience. Think about your visitors and what it is they are looking for on your website. Of course, writing content around the peripherals of your primary subject matter is a great way to draw in new users, however even then using the right tone of voice, vocabulary and phrases that resonate with that audience they’ll quickly switch off.
We often talk about user experience, especially when it comes to design and build of websites, however, the same principals need to be considered when it comes to your blog. Writing content in a manner which doesn’t resonate with your audience is a massive turn off. Therefore a little research into your readers, who they are, where they are, the things they like to do/ read/ watch etc can go a long way to helping you create engaging stories…
Define your subject
Following on from the first point, defining your subject is key. There are two aspects to this, firstly your entire blog needs a theme. Don’t write sporadic and unlinked blogs which serve no relevance from one to the other. All your blog posts need to be grouped together under a theme. I guess it’s easy enough for us to say that our theme is centred around ‘user experience’ and ‘digital marketing’ but for a blogger, the themes may be wider.
Whether it’s beauty tips, lifestyle, sports, fashion, marketing, video games there are always bloggers in every niche. So whilst defining your subject is crucial also think about how you can differentiate yourself from everyone else that’s competing in the same blog space.
Create compelling titles
The first thing that is going to entice anybody to read your blog posts is your titles. This will be followed by imagery but we’ll come onto that. Writing a compelling title will not only ‘set the tone’ for your blog post, it will also advertise to your prospect viewers to click the link to your post.
YouTubers and Bloggers often use ‘clickbait’ titles to draw the user in. Now, a word of caution here, if you add too much click bait emphasis in your titles you will end up causing frustration for your visitors, especially if you’re making the title sound better than the actual content. This can cause high bounce rates if your content isn’t succinct with your title. As an example, you write a blog about a day trip to a theme park of which you lost your phone, if your title is ‘They Stole Everything’ it may well get you lots of clicks but equally you’ll probably find your bounce rate is quite high or low engagement as the story isn’t quite true of the title.
Keep it concise
There is nothing worse than reading an article which is reams and reams of paragraphs and links to other sites. Your content should provide bitesize snippets organised and easy to digest. No one wants to read your 10,000-word thesis on reverse polarisation between electrical white goods.
Easy to Navigate
Your content and blog for that matter should be easy to navigate. Have a great, simple navigation and provide related content links to keep users onsite for longer. Don’t clutter your blog with links to every post you’ve written for the last 10 years and equally if you must have advertising, think about the user experience. Having lots of ad’s may provide revenue but if they distract from the content you’ll find users drop off and don’t engage, therefore keep ads to a minimum.
Equally, your content should naturally flow and segmented with headings to break up your articles and allow the user to skim read and instantly ‘get a feel’ for your article.
Also, keep inbound and outbound linking to a minimum, whilst it’s good to collaborate with other bloggers and link to other related content, if you’re constantly promoting the user goes to another post they’ll never finish an article and can hinder the overall experience of your blog.
Use Great Imagery
Imagery, especially when you share your posts on social media, are fundamental in not only generating traffic but also ensuring your message gets across. A picture paints a thousand words, we’ve all heard that saying and never more so is it true that on your blog.
Good photography or graphics is a great way to add credibility to your blog. That’s why infographics are so popular. And don’t forget to add ‘alt tags’ to your images to help with organic search.
Additionally, think about the positioning of your images. If your blog is 700px wide but you place an image only 300px wide, then your user’s vision is going to be diverting from one side of the page to the other. It’s better to make your image full width so that the content can be viewed easily on the downward scroll. You should use high res imagery, but compress it to a size suitable for the web and don’t forget those aspect ratios.
Go easy on the eyes
Having a contrast between your background and text is equally one of the most important factors of having an easy to read blog. Typically a white background with dark grey or black copy works well as the contrast is the polar opposite.
There’s nothing worse than reading a blog where the text is too light in shade, equally a font colour that is too harsh can be an assault on the eyes. Having a great blog and ensuring it’s easy to read is down partly to design and layout, so don’t be afraid to get creative. For inspiration on blog themes, you can check out lots of designs on ThemeForest for inspiration.
The importance of typography
DO NOT USE COMIC SANS. Ok, slight joke, but seriously using great typography is a crucial consideration. As you’re writing a blog post you’re naturally expecting the user to read every single word. Just like having a great design and beautiful imagery, when the majority of the user experience is read your words then they too must be beautiful.
Don’t skimp out by using bland fonts, find the right typography can add depth to your titles, provide impact in your headings and make your paragraphs far more readable. This combination, therefore, helps improve engagement with your readers and invites them to stay on your website for longer.
Likewise, don’t make your fonts too small. Size 12px should really be a minimum. Again, most users like to skim read so having a decent size font will help users digest the content without having to work too hard or squint to read it.
Allow your content to breathe
Splitting your content into bitesize chunks is definitely a big bonus in ensuring your blog is readable. Likewise, giving it space to breathe helps keep the user focused on your content and not the banners, or links surrounding your blog.
A simple trick here is to provide a little bit of padding between your body copy and the left/ right margins of your website. Try not to clutter your design with distractions, giving your content space to breathe can never be a bad thing.
Include numbers and bullets
The final tip in making your blog easy to read is to not forget about including useful numbers, statistics and use of organised lists or bullet points. Though there’s nothing worse than cramming your blog posts full of stats and figures that nothing really makes sense.
Figures are important though as they can help back up a point and add credibility to your content. Particularly if you’re referencing another piece of research and collaborating with another author. Again this comes back to breaking your content up and ensuring it’s organised in a manner which enables the user to engage with your blog.
Ensuring your blog is easy to read not only keeps visitors on your site for longer, it improves the chances of them sharing your content with their social networks, subscribing to you and reading more of your posts. Of course, all of those elements naturally have a positive impact on your websites ability to rank better in Google too, which can only be a good thing.
Hopefully, you’ve found some of these tips useful. If you have please feel free to give it a thumbs up and a share. If you have any other tips for making your blog easier to read please use the comments section below, we’d love to hear your thoughts.