There is nothing I hate more than an ugly blog post.
You know what I’m talking about – those blogs with big blocks of super small text.
They don’t even give you headings – it’s like reading a dry business manual!
Who in their right mind wants to read that?
In the hopes that I can reduce the number of these ugly beasts, I wanted to create this quick guide about how to format your blog posts for readability.
You’re writing a blog post, not a novel. Break up your paragraphs.
Ideally, you should only convey one idea per paragraph. Any more and things just get confusing.
I like to limit my paragraphs to no more than four sentences.
That’s plenty to get across a single point. It also helps to keep your posts written in a more conversational tone, which also increases readability.
Bold & Italics
When you write an article, what are the most important points you want readers to take away?
Make them stand out.
Make it easy for the reader to take something away with a quick scan of your content.
And remember: If everything is bold, nothing is bold!
Every blog post needs a good bulleted list or two. They make it so easy to quickly and easily convey important points.
In fact, let me lay some fun stats on you:
- 55% of visitors spend fewer than 15 seconds on your website.
- Companies that blog have 97% more inbound links.
- 92% of companies who blog multiple times per day have acquired a customer from their blog.
- Very few people actually read the articles they share on social media. Crazy, right?
People remember 65% of the information they see in a picture 3 days after they see it, as opposed to only 10% of the information they read.
I bet you’ll remember the stat above about social sharing versus read time because I added a graph for you to easily digest it and make the point stand out.
Images are great for more than just adding information – they also give the eyes a nice rest from reading, break up content, and help with SEO.
Just, please, make sure your images are relevant to the content – no cheesy stock photos.
Images are a great way to increase readability, but image captions are an underutilized tool.
That’s huge! It’s so hard to get people to stop and read your content. Captions give you a chance at “capt”uring their attention and pulling them in. (Sorry, I had to)
Headings & Subheadings
Please use headings. Again, you’re not writing a novel. You can break up your ideas into easily scannable and digestible snippets.
Headings make it easier to scan your content and figure out the important bits. Your whole article might not be relevant to your reader – don’t drive them away just because you didn’t break up your post into chunks.
A nice quote here and there stands out, breaks up the paragraphs, and adds some relevant info.
In the words of Jack Kerouac,
“It ain’t whatcha write, it’s the way atcha write it.”
So write well, write often, and format properly!
Related Post: 7 Minor Content Tweaks That Produce Major Results
Formatting makes a world of difference. Beautifully formatted posts are read more, shared more, and linked to more. So take the extra time to make them look pretty!
If you want to learn more about how to succeed with an online blog, read my full guide to getting paid $4k+ per month while blogging.