A lot of people wonder how they can create a Breakout Blog that will help build platform and connect them to their audience. This series on Blogging Tips looks at ways to maximize blog performance to reach these goals.
We’ve talked about how good titles and the use of pictures can really help your blog post draw interest, and how short, effective posts can keep readers reading. But what about writing the text itself…are there any do’s and don’ts?
Here’s a few things that might be worth keeping in mind:
Use BOLD to highlight key thoughts. This makes the main ideas stand out and can convert ‘skimmers’ into readers by showing the value inside a post! Less is more, however…if every other line is bolded, the effect is lost.
Short Paragraphs. Tighter paragraphs means more white space. Reading feels ‘quicker’, which is attractive to people who have only so much time to read blogs. It also indicates to new visitors that the poster can get to the point rather than ramble.
Use headings or bullets. Adding a little structure to a blog entry with several points to consider will break the text up into bite-sized pieces AND show that the poster is organized and succinct.
Make links stand out. When linking to other websites or older posts, make sure the hyperlinks are visible. People like links…they add value and provide a direction if a reader needs more information. Pick a link color that is easily spotted within the text.
Choose a background that’s hard on the eyes. Some blogs set their text boxes to ‘invisible’, allowing the design to bleed through. This can make posts harder to read. Ditto with poor color contrasts. If squinting readers have to practically make out with their monitor to read a blog’s acid green text on the purple background…how often will they return?
Use a font that is difficult to read. Fonts are fun and can personalize a blog. But fonts must be READABLE. If they aren’t, deciphering posts can be a chore. Readers have a lot of other blogs to choose from, so we need to do everything we can to keep them at ours. 🙂
Get too crazy with colors. I’ve seen blogs with each paragraph written in a different color, or even each sentence. Some blogs can get away with more text color because it fits the blogger’s style–fun, laid back or whimsical. But if the blog functions as a resource/authority on a particular subject…the rainbow effect may send the message to not take content too seriously.
Use tiny print. This can be a challenge, because the size of text is not always easy to figure out. Becca and I have driven ourselves mental when we notice that to her Mac or my PC, the text size appears too small or too large on a post. We have tried different things that sometimes fixes it, other times it doesn’t. Do your best to make the text size large enough for people to read easily. If you’re uncertain that what you see is what readers see, ask!
So…what are your Do’s and Don’ts? Please list them in the comments! And if you ever notice anything about this blog that hampers your reading experience, please say so. Becca and I are all about learning and improvement, and we want your visits to be as enjoyable as possible!
Becca Puglisi is an international speaker, writing coach, and bestselling author of The Emotion Thesaurus and its sequels. Her books are available in five languages, are sourced by US universities, and are used by novelists, screenwriters, editors, and psychologists around the world. She is passionate about learning and sharing her knowledge with others through her Writers Helping Writers blog and via One Stop For Writers—a powerhouse online library created to help writers elevate their storytelling.