5 Ways to Improve Blog Engagement with Formatting and Organization
In the era of information overload, attention is a hot commodity. You have about 10 seconds to grab your reader’s attention. Every single word needs to count. But the formatting of your posts and the way you organize them will also make a difference.
Here are five ways to improve engagement through organization and formatting.
1. Constrain the Column Width
Wide columns of text can be a turn-off to readers and make your posts more difficult to read. To keep readers engaged and interested, limit the width to just 80 characters or less – including spaces.
This simple change will instantly make your posts easier to scan and read through.
2. Use Headers and Subheaders
A well-organized post makes it easy for readers to skim through the page and find what they need. Headers and subheaders give readers clues about the content of each section. They bring order to the post and allow readers to find exactly what they need.
Imagine reading a blog post without subheaders. You’d probably click off the page in seconds simply because it’s too much work to have to read through every paragraph to find one tidbit of information.
This blog post from Rideshare Central is a great example of how to use headers and subheaders to break up an article.
Rarely do people read through an entire post from start to finish (although that’s what we aim for). Make it easy for them to at least find the information they want without having to jump through hoops.
3. Keep it Short and Sweet
It’s easy to get carried away when writing paragraphs, but do your best to keep them short and snappy. Aim to have lots of white space on the screen.
As a general rule of thumb, you don’t want paragraphs to be any longer than four to five sentences long. While readers prefer short and sweet, it’s important not to go too overboard with brevity either. Otherwise, your readers may mistakenly assume they’re reading a bulleted list.
4. Use Easy-to-Read Fonts
If you want readers to stick around, you need to use fonts that are easy to see and read. San-serif fonts (the ones without the squiggly lines) are easier to read on a screen.
Font size is also important. Bigger is better, especially because visitors may be using a wide range of screen sizes. Small fonts are hard to read on-screen, even for people with perfect vision.
While bigger is better, you need to still be cautious of going overly-big. When fonts are too big, they can look childish.
It’s okay to mix fonts to add interest and add to your blog’s theme, but don’t go overboard. A mixture of too many different fonts can make your blog look clumsy.
5. Use Images
If you want to keep readers engaged, use images in your posts. Images can draw readers in and add to your message.
Images are also a great way to break up text and draw the reader’s eye down the page.
Keeping readers engaged is a challenge, but these five tips can help you grab and hold their attention. Organization and formatting can go a long way in making great content even more engaging.
Images courtesy of us.fotolia.com