As much as I’d like to believe that all my gentle readers pour over my finely crafted posts from top to bottom, I know better. With so much content out there clamoring for eyeballs, if you don’t quickly capture and hold the attention of your visitors, they’re quickly on to the next Twitter link.
Successful writing for blogs means that at least one key insight adheres to the reader’s memory, and that the insight is associated with you.
Three simple typographic and formatting techniques that engage readers and make blog copy more readable and memorable.
- Use bullets or numbers – Lists are our friends. They draw attention. They organize an argument. They’re more inviting to read (and, frankly, they’re easier to write than long passages with smooth transitions).
- Use boldface type to flag key ideas – In addition to highlighting the main points of your bulleted/numbered list, don’t be afraid to use boldface (and/or italics) to emphasize a key point in the body copy – Be judicious, though. Otherwise it might look like you’re screaming in print.
- Relieve long stretches of copy with headings – You can’t bullet narratives, but long, uninterrupted stretches of copy tax blog readers’ attention. Headings break up the copy into more visually digestible bites, and locate key parts of your argument for the reader.
As I wrote in a previous post, still and video images also draw readers into a story. What are your favorite techniques?