Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Writing Tips For Bloggers

Writing for the Web and more particularly on blogs is very different than writing in other mediums. Web users are known for not staying on web pages long and for skimming through content rather than reading it word for word. This is even more the case when readers read through their RSS feeds. Rather than reading each word on a web page, web users “scan” pages for information, looking for keywords, phrases, and visual cues. As a result it is very important to learn how to write content that gives maximum information using minimum words.

Here are a few tips and techniques you can use for working with your scanning readers instead of against them:
  • Lists—In general posts with bullets or numbered lists in them get linked to and read a lot more than similar-length posts written in an essay style.
  • Formatting—Use bold, CAPITALS, italics, underlining, and other formatting techniques to emphasize points. Don’t go overboard, because you run the risk of frustrating your reader. Do be careful with underlining because it is also commonly used to indicate that text is a link. Also consider changing font size, color, and style to draw your readers’ eyes to your main points.
  • Headings and subheadings—Using headings midway through posts helps with post structure, but headings also are great for drawing your readers’ eyes down the page and helping them find important points and the elements of your article that will most interest them.
  • Pictures—Clever use of pictures in your posts can grab attention, emphasize points, and draw people down into your post. In a largely text-driven medium, images will give your post visual points of interest. I’ve tested how readers react to pictures in posts, and pictures are particularly effective at the top of posts to get people reading, and also worthwhile to break up the text in longer posts and to draw the eye to action items.
  • Borders/block quotes—Boxes around quotes and key points can similarly get the attention of readers.
  • Space—Don’t feel you have to fill up every inch of your screen; rather, create spaces because they help readers not to feel overwhelmed and, again, tend to draw readers’ eyes to what is inside such spaces.
  • Short paragraphs—Web users tend to get lost in large blocks of text—break it into smaller bites, and you’ll find people will continue to read a post longer.
  • Don’t bury your points—Make your main points as clear as you can, and get your main point across in the first few sentences rather than burying it in your conclusion.
Work hard at producing content that can easily be scanned, and you’ll find that your readers will stick with you, even through the longest of blog posts.

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