You have written a blogging masterpiece — but why isn’t anyone reading it???
As bloggers, we want first and foremost to be READ! We don’t polish and prune posts to have them ignored, languishing comment-less in cyber space.
But, as much as we much as may long for each sentence we write, each concept we flesh out, to be thoughtfully consumed, the reality is — most posts are never read! They are SCANNED.
Yes, those words, those beautiful, beautiful words you wrote are not all being read. Some of them are never even seen as readers eyes fly across and down the page, digesting only what they need and then moving on to their next feed.
7 Ways to Get People to Read Your Post
So, what does a blogger do? What hope is there if online readers are really not reading after all?
Embrace it. Recognize that the majority of your posts will only be scanned and write for it!
IF you do an amazing job creating a scannable post THEN you may win the greatest honor — when a reader decides a post must be slowly savored and goes back to the beginning, reads it from start to finish and then shares, shares, shares!
1. Write for the Web!
As bloggers, we are different than traditional writers. (Yes, we are often looked down upon as second class writers, but that is for another post… or twelve!) We are different in how we must write.
We write for the web — for the give-it-to me-now-I-have-twenty-tabs-waiting crowd. These readers are consuming content fast and they need copy that is written for speed.
Now, that doesn’t mean that we leave our writing talents for print and publish trite pieces online. Actually it is the stunning, smooth writing that will make online readers slow down and even hit the tweet button. And that increases our blog traffic!
So as you craft your pieces, imagine your reader, mobile and moving fast, and write for them.
2. Keep Your Paragraphs Short
The most common edit I make to the pieces our 5 Minutes for Mom writers submit is to shorten and break up paragraphs.
As a web reader scans your post, her eyes will scan the first few words of the paragraphs. So, make sure your paragraphs are short and the first few words are compelling and support your post.
3. Use Heading Tags
Not only are heading tags important for SEO purposes, but headings also allow the reader to scan the post, taking away your main points, even if they don’t have time to read the whole piece.
So, make keyword relevant headers — and appease Google and your reader at the same time!
4. Use Bold and Italics Wisely
I am a fan of using bolding and italics. I often use them in my posts to break up the post and emphasize certain points or sentences.
Of course, use them wisely!
5. List It Baby
For web traffic, lists are a perfect solution for readers wanting fast, organized information. It is easy to read and easy to remember. And people like easy. They really do!
6. Use Compelling Images
When I started blogging in 2006, I regularly published posts without images. Now I go back to those old posts and shudder! How much better they would have been with a compelling photo.
Images help emphasize our message, engage our reader, and provide a much needed break for web weary eyes.
7. White Space – Understand and Respect it
Oh how I love white space. In this crowded crazy world, it is white space that makes us linger on a web page, enjoying the subliminal peace it offers.
Yes, our eyes and minds are sick of the chaos. We don’t want a million things to look at. We need white space to stop the madness, clear the scene and show us where our eyes should rest.
So, when you format your post, just as when you examine the layout of your site, remember white space. Your reader needs it and so does your post.
And once you have done all you can to ensure that busy web reading eyes can navigate your post quickly and efficiently, relax. You have created your masterpiece. People will scan it — and many will even read it!