You pour your heart into your content, slaving over it, carefully wording each and every sentence so that it says exactly what you want. You hit the “Publish It” button on the page and eagerly await excited comments from avid readers.
Except, those comments never come. You wonder if anyone has even looked at your content. It’s enough to completely sap your motivation and throw in the towel. What good is writing if no one bothers to read it?
Instead of racking your brain, trying to find new ways to hone your writing skills, having an increased readership could be very simple. It’s not so much how much you write but how you write. Making your content easy to read could be the element you need in order to attract and hold the attention of readers.
According to a seminal web study by Jakob Nielson, 79% of web users scan content instead of reading it. Just think about how you use web content. When you are looking up specific information, if it’s not on the page in front of you, you move on to the next one.
In order to be a successful web content writer, you need to forget some of the things you were taught in English class. Knowing that web users are scanning and not reading in depth, you will be able to work with it instead of fighting against it.
With more complex topics, break it up into a series of posts, rather than one excruciatingly long one. This will bring readers back again. Readers will find it easier to digest content when it’s fed to them in bite-sized pieces.
Paragraphs should be structured in an inverted pyramid, putting your conclusion at the beginning and following with your supporting sentences. Web readers will be better able to scan from one point to the next before diving in.
Following some simple techniques can take your amazing content and turn it into something more reader-friendly.
- Utilize the Line Break: Introducing white space in your content will make your content easier to read. Don’t drone on in your paragraphs. Limit them to three or four sentences at. Keep it to one idea per paragraph. Throw in a few one-sentence paragraphs to help break it up, as well.
- Create Compelling Headlines and Subheads:Having a strong headline will draw the notice of readers. Creating mini-headlines throughout your content will keep readers moving through to the end of your piece. Subheads should be informative and intriguing. Readers know BS when they read it, so don’t try to exaggerate.
- Embrace the Bullet: Readers can’t resist the bullet list. It makes content easy to scan while you present different points. Since it looks different from the rest of your content, a bullet list creates a visual break.
- Use Deep Captions: Image captions are some of the most-read copy on a web page. Try to pair up a strong image with a “deep image.” These are two or three sentences long and will interest readers enough to read your content further.
- Include Relevant Links: Including some internal links that bring users back to your cornerstone content keeps people on your site and lets them have a look at your best material. Having external links shows readers that you’ve done your research on the subject.
- Format Content Strategically: Highlight important concepts by putting them in bold lettering.Not everything needs to be written in bold. That has as much effect as leaving the page blank. Only highlight key points so that the reader can find them quickly.
- Crunch the Numbers: Think numbered lists look lazy? Wrong. When it comes to web content, numbering can be an extremely effective way to capture a reader’s attention and keep them oriented.
- Read Your Content, Then Re-Read It: After you’ve gone through your content, highlighted key points, created fetching subheaders, created numbered and bullet lists, read through the entire content. Then, read it again, focusing only on those points you made a point of calling attention to. Does the point you are trying to make come across clearly? Does it lure the reader in?
Using these tips can help boost your readership immensely. When great writing meets strategic formatting, you get a piece that will draw the attention of more users across the web.
Do you have any tips and techniques that could help boost readership for others?