There’s so much content out there. Social media, blogs, forums have added a lot more options, besides the existing medium of print, radio and television, to get your message out. It’s important then to make your posts easy to read to get readers to engage, share and buy your products or services. I’ve been doing a lot of reading on blogging of late and was struck by Jeff Goins and Henri Junttila advising the same thing – write posts that are scannable.
There’s simply not enough time to read it all. Scanning is a necessity.
When you’re writing copy for for a website or blog, you need to remember that in this age of perpetual distraction, people don’t absorb content like they used to. Not today.
So, what do you do to stand out?
Write content crafted for the scanners and skimmers, of course.
Jeff Goin’s Advice on writing scannable posts
- Keep the length of your posts short. 400-600 words is ideal.
- Use subheads. This breaks up your content into scannable chunks.
- Use numbered lists. These are fun to write and read.
- Use bullet points. Bullets can actually make you a better blogger.
- Have fun with formatting. Make good use of the bold and italic formatting options.
- Keep your paragraphs short. Two to three lines, at most. Absolutely no more than four.
- Write like you talk. Blogging is different from your doctoral thesis or newspaper article. Blogging is about community. There needs to be a conversational flow to your content.
- Give people an opportunity to participate. Allow people to join the conversation through commenting or via social media.
- Link to quality content. People love clicking anchor text. Give them something worth clicking. Try linking to some of your best content. This catches scanners in the act and holds their attention.
You’ll find similar advice from Henri Junttila in his book Write Blog Posts Readers Love.
- Write short paragraphs
- Use subheadings
- Highlight important parts
- Leverage bullet points
- Use images (and captions)
- Stay on topic
This post is inspired by the following book (affiliate link below).