To be a Blogger whose posts enjoy terrific engagement, you have to have both excellent Blog post content and terrific Blog post readability.
If your Blog post readability is such that it just does not connect with your readers, your post will sink like a stone, zero readers, zero engagement. This would be true even if you’ve created a Blog post whose content would really add value to your readers.
So is there a single crucial differentiator between the ways you create your Blog posts and blogger’s who have terrific engagement create theirs?
YES! They ensure that their Blog post readability is spot on. i.e. Their posts are formatted to be perfectly readable via the Internet.
They are driven by a proven fact that site visitors scan a Blog post before they decide to read it. Such a scan takes about 15 second’s tops.
Alpha bloggers, work their butt of to make the most of their site visitor’s 15 seconds scan. They format their Blog post content to be perfectly readable – in three important ways.
So that it’s easy for site visitors to:
Read the content of their Blog posts using the right font family and font sizes
Site visitors never have to struggle to read / understand the Blog post’s message
The Blog post has a clearly visible content hierarchy, i.e. Readers easily identify the structure and important points in the Blog post.
Whatever you do as a Blogger, you must realize that just chucking together Blog post content will not cut it today. If this is how you craft Blog posts, then you can be assured of zero readers and zero engagement.
To arrest reader eyeballs you have to follow blogging readability principles used by A-list Bloggers.
This effort always improves your chances of turning Blog scanners into blog readers, then Blog readers into paying customers.
This ought to be the single incentive that drives you to adopt all the Blogging readability principles in use today.
6 Crucial Blog Readability Principles
#1 – Write short succinct headlines
A recent, in-depth study, of Blog posts that get terrific engagement, indicates that the ideal length of a Blog post headline is six words.
Site visitors / readers normally scan the first three words and the last three words of a Blog post headline.
Okay, in the real world delivering arresting Blog post headlines using six words is pretty darn difficult, hence seriously consider what are your 1st three words and last 3 words in your Blog post headline.
These are the six words that site visitors are scanning. Make these words count. Ensure they arrest the attention of the reader and draw then into the post’s content.
#2 – To empower reader comprehension, write short sentences
How short? The maximum length of a sentence for good readability is 14 words.
Here’s the correct approach to do this.
Break apart compound sentences. These are sentences which have two ideas joined with the word and. Break this sentence up into two shorter sentences. i.e. The content before the word and being the 1st sentence. The content after the word and being the 2nd sentence.
Next, identify sentence content between its Subject and related Verb. Identify Adjectives between your sentence Subject and related Verb. Delete them. The use of multiple adjectives, always adds to sentence clutter. This often confuses a reader. Take them out.
#3 – One sentence, one thought
Significantly, a sentence that carries too many adjectives often buries the main point of the sentence. This creates a problem with the flow of sentence logic. This makes a reader work extra hard at understanding the main point of the sentence.
As a tried and tested thumb rule never deliver two unique points in one compound sentence. Embellished with unnecessary adjectives. Readers will give up quickly and bounce off your Blog.
#4 – One paragraph, one idea
In the same way, each Blog post paragraph should flesh out a single idea. This establishes definite hierarchy within to your Blog post content.
#5 – Variety is the spice of readability
Great writing gives readers a sense of pace and rhythm.
Reader’s definitely engage when the length of sentences and paragraphs are varied. Remember the maximum number of sentences in a paragraph should be about four.
Avoid paragraphs that are 10 sentences or more.
Follow a long paragraph with a short one. Visual variety in content length gives readers eyes a break from content monotony. This variety gives their minds breathing room.
#6 – Use smooth transitions
Using smooth transitions within Blog post content helps a reader focus better.
Smooth transitions between paragraphs ideas are critical for content readability.
Smooth transitions connect one idea with another. They show relationships between a Blog posts, key points.
Abrupt transitions or no transitions at all cause confusion. Compelling transitions hook the reader to the next paragraph. Keeping the reader glued to reading your Blog post content.
The 6 Blog content readability principles described above most important writing mechanics for Blog post readability.
Having said all of this, remember it is okay to break rules, occasionally. Every A-List Blogger has does this time and again. When you follow simple Blog content creation rules your readers will reward you by paying attention and engaging with your Blog posts.
Text formatting techniques that boost Blog post readability
A simple but engaging way to optimize a Blog post for readability, is to draw attention to specific words and phrases within Blog post content using text formatting techniques.
This helps arrest and engage Blog post readers when they are skimming content.
Bold Text – Highlight important information within Blog post content. Ensure that the first mention of your primary keyword, within Blog post content is bold.
Italicise Text – This helps establish a relaxed conversational tone within content. Italics helps mimic vocal inflection as well.
Colored Text – This always helps a reader find hot spots. Colored text offers Blog post reader’s eyes a break from monochrome text. Colored text offers Bloggers a way to liven up (i.e. relieve the boredom of) largely black and white content.
NOTE: Colored text can be dangerous when over used.
WARNING: it’s easy to go overboard with Blog post formatting. Too much formatting creates a cluttered eyesore that actually inhibits readability and alienates the reader. The opposite of what you want.
Just the right amount of formatting goes a long way toward making your content engaging and readable.
So also will a little bit of well-placed white space.
Creating inviting white space in Blog post content
For Blog post readability, having enough white space within the Post, is as important as the content within the page.
White space within the Blog post page helps readers separate Blog post content into easily readable and digestible chunks.
As a blogger it’s important that you consider white space as a unique element. Important to your Blog post by itself. Great use of white space within a Blog post creates a sense of balance for the reader.
Here are the places where white space adds definite visual appeal on a Blog post:
Margins around the page
Around headlines and subheads
NOTE: White space inside paragraphs generally invite readers to continue OR they can make them look away as well.
When you use justification to the contents of a paragraph it often creates unnatural white space between words in the sentences that belong to the paragraph. Such unnatural white space can cause a reader to turn away.
The better alternative is to left justify, which is the normal paragraph setting of any editor. Left justification of paragraph content makes it easier for readers to skim through Blog post content.
The same holds true for space between lines of text in a paragraph.
When line spacing in paragraphs is less than ideal, paragraph text appears visually crowded together. This inhibits readers. They will bounce off the Blog post. Line spacing of one and half, is ideal for Blog posts.
White space definitely invites reading and builds empathy with your reader. Use it strategically.
Use arresting sub-headlines within blog post content
Inter-spacing Blog post content with sub-headlines is another way of injecting white space in a Blog post. Using sub-headlines helps make a Blog post more readable when compared to a Blog post without the use of sub-headlines.
Subheads organize post content into easy to identify and read sections. Subheads really compel the reader to continue reading.
5 tips that help you create terrific sub-headlines.
#1 – Promise a clear, specific benefit to the reader in a sub-headline
A sub-headline must not merely summarize content below it. This does not give a reader any incentive to continue reading.
A great sub-headline is like a mini-headline. It arrests the user’s attention by indicating why the reader should continue reading onwards. Usually by promising some clear reader benefit.
#2 – Lead with the most compelling point
Ensure that the very first sub-headline is unique, provocative, arresting. If a reader judges that the first point being made in the Blog post is a must read, most will assume that the rest of the Blog post is equally great.
You’ve then nailed the reader into reading the entire Blog post.
#3 – Use a parallel structure
Readers love consistency. Write sub-headlines that are consistent in length and tone of voice.
#4 – Tell part of the story
It’s been proven that readers will skim the Blog post headline. Then immediately they will scan the post’s sub-headlines. They are searching for reassurance that it will be worth their time and energy reading the Blog post. The scanning of the headline and sub-headlines being done in 15 to 20 seconds.
Reveal just enough in your sub-headlines, so the skimmer will know what is being delivered. Tease BUT do not tell.
#5 – Always choose clarity over cleverness
As a Blog post author it’s often tempting to insert clever word play in your post. Don’t give in to it. Never make a reader work hard to understand what you are talking about. This causes a comprehension stop!
Write clearly. To the point. Keep Headlines, sub-headlines, and Blog post paragraph content simple and straightforward. Your readers will reward you by staying engaged and reading your Blog post from start to end.
TIP: Consider writing the Blog post headline and sub-headlines before writing the Blog post content.
This helps focus your mind because the skeleton of the Blog post is visible to you.
This approach to Blog post creation is consistently used by A-List Bloggers. It helps then structure the Blog post’s logical flow while they flesh out the main Blog post content.
Compose bullet points that hold the attention of readers
Bullets break up content, normally structured as sentences and paragraphs which can be visually a tad boring. Bullets add a graphic element to a chunk of text.
Bullets can be used to break complex content into easily digestible chunks.
Bullets introduce main points which can be enhanced in another post section.
Unfortunately many bloggers miss the opportunity to grab reader attention with bullets.
Use bullets as a reader attention grabbing tool by ensuring that the content delivered in bullet form is succinct (and brief).
Remember having clutter in bullets is your enemy.
Remember the following:
Bullet points are thoughts or phrases, not sentences
They should never have a period at their end
If you need to write a bullet in sentence form, it is not a bullet point
That’s fine if you use a numbered list instead
Long bullet statements run counter to the intended purpose
It’s always a good guideline to use no more than five bullet points in a section of text. More than that just creates visual clutter.
If you stick with the following approach you will achieve clutter free brevity in your Blog posts:
Express a benefit or promise
Make them symmetrical in length
Use parallel construction and consistent grammatical form
Hold reader interest by using the right images
Human being are visual creatures. Hence, compelling images, placed strategically within a Blog post make the post a ton more arresting and readable.
When appropriate images are sprinkled carefully within a blog post they help readers scan and understand the Blog post content. They support the main idea of the post. They illustrate complex ideas.
Creating reader optimized blog post content
Taking pains to make your Blog content readable and easy to comprehend shows that you empathize with your readers.
This builds trust in you and your brand. It establishes likeability. It marks you as a thoughtful Blog post creator. Reader optimized content helps you deliver value to your audience. That’s why it matters. Getting started is not as overwhelming as it might seem.
Focus on the six crucial Blog readability techniques to create engaging, readable blog post content. The six Blog readability techniques are the building blocks of elite blogging.
They make your Blog content lean and clear. The discipline forces you to focus on reader experience. All other readability techniques will flow naturally from this foundation.
Finally (and always) do a visual check of your finished Blog post draft. View it wearing your site visitor’s shoes. Think about what the page will look like as a reader scans it. That’s how you’ll know where your reader’s are scanning. Where the trouble spots are.
Just like all A-list bloggers, you can turn scanners into readers, and readers into paying customers.
Please Leave Your Comments They Are A Huge Help
Do share how you ensure you create Blog posts have great readability.
I’d love to learn from your suggestions. My readers will also be thrilled to get an insight into what you do to create and deliver Blog posts that are bound to your reader’s wants and needs.
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It’s your comments that helps me get better each day. Please leave them in the comments section right below.
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