The hardest part about being a blogger is not the writer’s block or dealing with technological issues, it is the sense of failure when an article struggles to get any recognition or readers.
The first instinct for many writers is to assume that they didn’t say the right thing, which means they then go and punish themselves by slaving over a whole new copy of new information.
The answer to the problem most likely isn’t in the information or the ideas that you have come up with, but rather in the way that they are presented.
This guide aims to show you how to get more people to read your blog with basic formatting tools and clever editing.
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Put Yourself in The Shoes of The Reader
One of the hardest things to do, especially when you are first starting out with content writing and blogging, is to get into the right mindset.
You have spent so long discovering your own voice as a writer, and developing your skills and vocabulary, that you get caught up in your own head and create a post based on your own way of thinking.
What you need to do is to write it, take a step back and then put yourself in the shoes of the reader.
To do this, there are some key aspects of reader behavior that you need to consider.
It is all about making crucial information easier to find…
To start with, readers aren’t there to carefully read the information laid out before them one word at time. They are unlikely to savor the piece as they would a passage in a novel.
The majority of readers skim-read a passage to find the crucial pieces of information that they need and then leave once they have had enough.
If your work doesn’t pique their interest from the start and prove to be worth their time straight away, they will click the back button and look for the next entry in their Google search.
It has also been noted that readers gain as much information from the captions under pictures as they do from the actual text.
If you can’t hook them there and then, you may find that they don’t read much of your post. Read your post back under fresh eyes and be honest.
If you found this piece online and were searching for critical information, would you take the time to read through the whole thing and ultimately learn anything from it?
If the answer is no, it is time to edit it with some helpful formatting tricks.
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Reformatting Text Can Make a Big Difference
It is quite possible that you can create content with high quality information without having to change a word. Instead it is all about how the words are presented.
The biggest problem for readers is having a wall of text shoved in their faces.
If you can break it down into smaller, manageable chunks of information – one idea per paragraph – with some clear line breaks, it becomes easier to negotiate. The following can also help:
- Present short, important points as bullet points.
- Split how-to guides and top ten lists into clear, numbered passages.
- Highlight key ideas in bold.
Bullet points like this not only break down the crucial ideas into easily digestible nuggets of information, they immediately stand out on the page, increasing the chance of them being read.
Creating numbered lists can seem a little over-done these days as every site is full of “x amount of reasons why…” articles.
It may be hard to separate yourself from the crowd this way, but they are still some of the most-read articles around. If you can hook them in at number 10, they will probably want to stick around to see what is at number 1.
Bold areas of text, meanwhile simply act as beacons to the important concepts.
In theory, a reader should be able to read these bold areas and bullet points, piece together the gist of the argument and leave satisfied – even if they don’t read every word.
The trick here is knowing what to highlight and what to leave. A bold passage in every other sentence lessens the impact significantly.
There are plenty of tools and tricks that bloggers can use to create content with high quality and ensure more hits…
The more of these tools you use, the more interesting the text looks and the more value it provides – for you and your reader.
Add those deep caption on your pictures – two or three sentences that sum up the importance of the article – and be sure to place backlinks to previous posts that relate to the work.
This can help you to showcase your wider expertise and prove that you can be reliable source for them to turn to again and again.
Also, never forget the importance of a good subheading to keep the reader engaged right until the end.
A good trick here is to write the subheadings first, almost as though there were chapter titles, to give the article narrative.
Once you have told this basic story in a big, bold font, you can flesh it out with all the crucial information.
Once you have added all these tools, there is one more thing to do before you hit the publish button…
Read It Again!
Now that you have spaced out the text, formatted some bullet points and placed the crucial ideas in bold, it is time to step back into the mindset of the reader and read it all over again.
If you only read the bold areas, subheadings and bullet points while quickly skimming through the page, would you receive content that is just as worthwhile and informative as if you read the whole thing word by word?
Once you are sure that the article works both ways, then you can publish it.
By following these tips on how to get more people to read your blog and simply taking a different look at presentation, rather than content, you can start to relax about the quality of your work and watch the tally of hits rise.