Blogging for crickets?
Is there anything more frustrating than spending a load of time crafting the perfect blog post and hearing crickets? Probably what’s happened is you’ve lost the incredibly short attention span of the average internet user. Your amazing content might get completely overlooked and that web surfer who really needed to read it, will miss out on your amazingness. Not so good right?
So tell me, do you find huge paragraphs of text compelling to read such as the following?
Big paragraphs of text are not only hard to ready because they are overwhelming, but they are difficult for the brain to digest quickly. When you have a big chunk of text it's a sign that the content isn't really organised efficiently. I come across blog posts that might have great content. The information is topical, relevant and valuable but it's just presented poorly. The content presentation makes me want to leave. I have to work really hard to understand the main points and my eye doesn't flow or skim easily at all. In fact if I want to skim the content I can't. I actually have to read the whole long blog post to understand the main points and no one want's to do that online. Long blog posts can be packed with value if that's what you're after. Long blog posts that aren't created with ease of use in mind are torture. I've come across short blog posts that are equally repellant in that they too can push people away. When a short blog post is written without the use of styles, copy editing and purposeful direction they too can quickly turn people away. So let's take a look at what you can do and avoid a blog post snooze fest. My rubber ducky is better than yours. Mine can talk and I think that a blue duck is the best kind of duck and the ducks that can quack and march in rice fields are the absolute best because I've seen that and that's pretty darned awesome if I don't say so myself and I do. I say that right here so I can think of more text to type to make my point of a long paragraph of text that isn't broken up with sentences that are impossibly long.The more my brain has to work, the less likely I will sign up for your services. That's UXClick To Tweet
When we are writing online, we are a billboard on a freeway. Small paragraphs are quicker and easier to read. When you break copy into bite sized chunks you increase the chances of your message being heard.
Creating short sentences are also easy to digest and skim.
Content “styles” direct and inform. Use them in your blog post.
Make use of what you have. Elements such as Headings and Sub-Headings exist for a reason. These are the things called “h1” or “h2” sometimes. They direct the reader in an informative way. A user should easily be able to understand your article just from reading the headings and sub-headings only. Use them to inform and to get your message across efficiently.
Mix your blog post up visually. Be directive.
When you're typing away give your readers some variety. Consider adding an informative list or a quote to help clarify your point and add value. This will also not only grab their initial attention but hold their attention and get your message across efficiently. If you take nothing else away from this article, shorten your paragraphs and use headings and sub-headings to break up your content.
While you're mixing it up, make sure you aren't adding unnecessary visual clutter. Too many different looks can be very confusing and distracting.
Top 5 Blog Posting Tips:
- Break up your words. Use smaller paragraphs, short sentences, headings and subheadings
- Create an informative image for the top of your blog post. This is an image with the title of your post included in the image. You can easily use something like Canva or Picmonkey to create it.
- If you wanna go crazy you can also do this for your subheadings, but it's not crucial. When you do this you will be:
- Breaking the page up nicely visually
- Grabbing and holding the attention of swift moving web surfers
- Giving users another easy way to pic up what you're puttin' down AND
- Increasing your blog's social share opportunities if the images are optimized for social platforms.
- Link out to a few supporting and informative articles. This promotes your blog outside of your website and offers value to your readers. Look for popular articles, those with “authority”. One way to know how popular an article is is by the shares it has if you can see this or by the reputation of the source. Go for industry authorities for your sources if in doubt.
- Make use of a good blogging workflow. Consider your current blogging workflow and how you can add these items to it. Plug this checklist in your workflow tool!
You don't need the fancy stuff to create an effective blog post
The basics will do the trick. You should have basic styles available like quotes, bullets (lists), headings, bold and underline. Start using them with the other tips I have for you here and you will stop the blog snoring. It won't wake you up anymore at night and people will start to hear your beautiful voice and get your shit.
Tip for styling your blog post:
When you decide to hire a web developer, have a conversation about custom styles that will give you more communication freedom.
If you want even more freedom -ask for custom page templates if you are using WordPress. You can see how I use some basic, but custom styles for my page here. That page is also a custom page template that eliminates my header.
It's important to remember, you can fix all of this right now yourself. Follow the do's and don'ts I've got here and you will drastically improve the chances of your posts being read.
Do you have any tips? I'd love to hear them.