While surfing the web, have you ever come across an article that was really hard to read? Maybe the text was in an unusual font or the content was strewn across the width of the page with no paragraph breaks. If you’re anything like me, you immediately exited out and tried to find something better.
Bad formatting doesn’t only frustrate readers; it can also make you seem less credible as a source. So while you might have produced well-written, quality content, people will judge whether it’s worth consuming based on how it is presented.
You probably won’t be able to control every aspect of how your content looks on screen, such as the webpage design, but there are things you can do to help make your content more reader friendly.
- Shorten paragraphs: Readers can be intimidated by paragraphs that are too long and sometimes skip over them entirely. If you shorten a paragraph, or break it up into two separate paragraphs, readers may be more willing to read the article.
There isn’t a particular rule about how long or short a paragraph should be. English teachers always used to recommend at least three sentences to make a full paragraph. Well in content marketing you can sometimes get away with just having two- or even one-sentence paragraphs!
- Break up text with visuals: Visuals give readers a nice break between reading paragraphs and can also help you bring home an important point. Depending on the article, you may want to include photos, graphics and/or charts and graphs.
- Use subheads for longer articles: Sometimes you need to include a lot of content. And that’s okay. It’s important that readers are getting the information they need.
To make your longer articles easier for readers to navigate through, use subheads to break up the bigger concepts. That way, if readers are looking for something specific, they can easily find the section with the information they need.
- Use bulleted or numbered lists: Some people think using lists is just lazy writing. But lists can actually make blogs easier for readers to understand and digest. Bulleted lists, like the one used in this article, help readers quickly scan and find the information they need.
- Bold or italicize text: When you have subheads or words and phrases within the text that you really want readers to notice, use bold or italics to emphasis them. It will immediately draw the readers’ eyes to those specific places within the article.
You put a lot of effort into writing great content, so don’t let bad formatting drive the readers away! Incorporate some of these content writing tips in your next blog post to make your content more enticing to readers.