Creating blog posts and other online content that attracts a reader’s interest is the goal of any good Writer. In order to accomplish this, your content has to be organized, succinct and readable. You want to make every effort as a Writer to ensure that your work stands out and reaches your targeted audience, with the countless amount of content available on the web. Understanding the best and most effective ways to help your readers navigate through your work will not only increase the readability of your posts, it will help improve the search results of the web page and let your readers know they are now wandering aimlessly through an island of random concepts.
The ways in which you can improve your writing and make your posts more readable is by following these suggestions. They include creating a powerful introduction, using sub headers and paragraph breaks, highlighting key text and points that you want your reader to remember, add links to give authority to your material and close strong. Incorporated these writing tips will help your readers easily navigate your article, extract the information they need and direct them toward some action with your User.
1. Begin with a Powerful Introduction
The beginning of your article is the most important place to grab your reader’s attention. In journalism this is referred to as the lead or opening paragraph. The goal of a strong lead or open is to grab a reader’s attention and interest, compelling them to continue reading the post. The stronger the opening to your writing, the more interest you will pique in your audience and the greater percentage of those individuals you will retain through the end of your piece.
Consider the opening paragraph as a statement expectations for the reader. The lead introduces the subject matter of your content, explains to the reader why, their reading it, what they will learn and how reading your post will benefit their lives.
2. Sub Headers
Sub headers act as transition points in your posts and should be used as much as possible. They help with the flow of your thoughts and alert your reader as to what the next section pertains to and what information they will receive. Treat the sub header in the same manner as television programmers use the commercial – it is a brief break from the action that allows your reader to digest what they read before introducing them to a new topic or train of thought. Using sub headers can prove an effective way to bring your reader to a desired conclusion, especially if you are selling a product or service for a User.
Generally, you should provide a sub header break in your posts at about every 100 or so words. In a piece that is 500 to 600 words in length, three sub header breaks should be more than sufficient to create the level of transition desired in your readers.
3. Highlighting Text (i.e. Bold, Italics)
Using bold or italics highlights in your posts can call particular attention to a point that you want to communicate or some keyword that you want to leave in the mind of the reader. Highlighting techniques are effective tools in increasing the readability of your piece. The contrast of bold text and italicized text compared to normal text breaks up the monotony of a tract of writing and helps retain interest in the reader. Use the highlighting technique to punch up your posts.
4. Using Links
When you write, you should be familiar with the use of text hyperlinks. The use of hyperlinks gives weight and authority to your work and allows the reader to seek additional information, whether in support of an argument or stated fact, or meant to direct the reader to some relevant material on the User’s website. Hyperlinks should be used to enhance your work and provide meaningful and useful information for the reader. The link should give the user a sense of what they will find when clicking on the URL (which appears behind the blue highlighted text).
5. Bring Closure to your Thoughts
Like Lost, all good (and confusing) things must come to an end. You want to get in a habit of finishing your work with as strong a close as you opened it. A strong closing paragraph should provide the reader with the answer to the question, “How do I benefit from this information I read?” If you did your job right building the expectations of your reader up to a finale that involves some action, you will find a high number of responses based on your recommendation(s). It is in the closing that you will be able to conclude your thoughts, satisfy the reader’s query and direct them to do something.
Don’t let the Smoke Monster blur the meaning of your assignments. Begin the process of incorporating these skills into your posts on a regular basis. You will find that as you become more comfortable with these writing tips, they will become second nature to you. You should be able to notice the difference in the quality of your work and the satisfaction of your User.
Remember, we either live together — or die alone.