How Do I Get People to Read My Blog? Create Scannable Content

You work hard to create timely, well-researched content for your blog. You may even promote your post on social media. Despite all this, you aren’t getting the readership you want. What’s the problem?

It could be one simple reason: your blog isn’t appealing to readers visually.

Believe it or not, how your text looks is just as important as what it says. Today’s readers are more likely to scan an article or blog post than read it from beginning to end. We hear a lot of people ask, how do I get people to read my blog?

Here, we’ll look at five simple, inexpensive ways to make your content scannable and easy to read.

1. Use subheadings & short paragraphs.

The simplest way to make your text scannable is to write with short paragraphs and to break your articles up with subheadings. This allows readers to browse the content and focus on the points that interest them.

Subheadings also let readers jump around and read your content in the order they choose.

Short paragraphs are easy on the eyes and ideal for capturing the attention of your time-crunched reader. They are also especially important for mobile readers, who make up an ever-higher percentage of online users and shoppers. In 2017, mobile devices will drive 50% of e-commerce sales. You won’t reach all these mobile users with large blocks of text.

typewriter
Writing content that is both visually attractive and substantively valuable to your audience is a sure fire way to engage new and returning readers.

2. Keep your audience in mind.

The idea that it’s crucial to write for your audience isn’t new. However, many business writers and marketers forget this when they create their content. Unless you’re writing for an expert audience, the best approach is to make your content as easy to read as possible.

Many readers prefer a conversational style of writing. This means using shorter, less technical words rather than complicated terms and jargon. Obviously, this doesn’t apply if you’re writing for an academic journal or industry experts. But you make your articles more digestible for general readers with this style.

If you have any doubts about this, learn about the Flesch Reading Ease score.

3. Harness the power of formatting.

Simple changes in formatting often make a big difference for scannability. Here are a few tips to help you take advantage of this.

writing-fast-blur-writer-scannable
Your readers are on the move, and fast, so you need to simplify your formating to catch their attention in the few moments you have. Remember, your blog should not read like Dickens or Faulkner, though we love them both.
  • Bullets: Separate points using bullets, just like you’re reading now.
  • Numbered lists: If you want to make a certain number of points, a numbered list is a highly scannable approach.
  • Different fonts & styles: Using a variety of fonts helps certain text stand out. Bolding and italicizing also accomplish this.
  • Captions for images: Captions increase the power of images, as readers’ eyes are naturally drawn to the text under an image. To take this a step further, use deep captions, several sentences about the image.

4. Don’t underestimate white space.

It’s easy to forget about how meaningful white space is when creating content. After all, your focus is on words and images. However, ample white space is one of the best ways to make a page more scannable and readable.

Crowded pages, on the other hand, create a cluttered experience and make the text less appealing and harder to scan.

In fact, using more blank space is one of the simplest ways to reduce your bounce rate. This is another visual element of your content especially relevant to your mobile readers. In mobile content, lack of white space translates into a block of text.

5. Incorporate visuals.

Homer incorporates visuals-makes a drawing
Homer incorporates visuals-makes a drawing

Making Your Blog Scannable & Reach a Wider Audience

So, if you are asking yourself, ‘how do I get people to read my blog?’, creating scannable content is a simple and low-cost way to get there.

If you want more readers, remember they are scanners and skimmers. Yes, all your readers, but mobile users in particular. Consider how your page looks as well as what it says. Experiment with different techniques and layouts. Use some of Verblio’s (formerly BlogMutt) suggestions above.

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Matthew Allard

Sales at Verblio is a wonderful thing for the simple fact that our content service removes the headaches of managing writers, deadlines, writer's block, and even editing from our customers. When I'm not teaching business owners and marketers how to get the content they need from Verblio, I'm probably running trails in the Front Range, snowboarding or backpacking with my wife.

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