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Let me ask you something. How much content is thrown at you on any given day? It’s a lot, isn’t it? We’re bombarded by articles, social media posts, emails, podcasts, videos, etc. We come across a lot more content than we could possibly consume any given day. And chances are that a lot of it is good stuff.
As a result, we’ve all gotten pretty good at scanning and then picking and choosing what we actually want to read, watch, or listen to. And that’s why it is important to structure your content to make it easy for your readers to scan through it.
If you can’t show them at a glance what the post is about, chances are pretty good that they’ll move on to something else. I know if the blog post is one giant block of text, chances are I’m outta there! Here are a couple of different things you can do to structure your content and make sure it’s easy to read.
Use Headlines and Sub-Headings
Take a look at this post. Do you see how I’m making the content easy to read by using subheadings? You can do the same with your blog post. Think of the outline of your post. Each point in your outline could be a subheading. Start with those and then fill in the content.
Or if you prefer, start with the content and then go back and add the subheadings. Create the content and work in the subheadings in whichever way works best for you. The only important thing is that they are in there before you hit publish.
Keep Your Paragraphs Short
Reading online is a lot different than reading something on paper. Books, newspapers and magazines can get away with long paragraphs. Online it’s a different story. Text is harder to read on digital devices and our attention span keeps shrinking.
One of the most effective things you can do to keep your readers reading is to keep your paragraphs and sentences short. Don’t make it much longer than three or four lines. No run on sentences either!
Use Lists And Bold Important Key Terms
Next you want to go through your content and see if there’s anything you can present in the form of a list.
- Use a list instead of several related sentences.
- Use a list to share examples.
- A list is a great way to break things up and grab your reader’s attention.
- Lists can be as long or short as you need them to be.
And let’s not forget about other formatting options. Bold important key terms, italicize them, or underline them for emphasis. All of these formatting options make it much quicker and easier to scan a piece of text and figure out what it’s about without having to read every single word.
There are a couple of different ways to do quotes in your blog post. You can use the classic way “using quotation marks”. Or you can use the block quote, which, in my opinion, stands out a little bit more. Either way, it will help break up the content as well as help your quote catch your readers’ eyes!
You don’t have to be big. You have to be remarkable.Joe Pulizzi
Another great way to make your content grab attention is with links. You can link to your own pages or posts or link to other websites. The key is that the links are usually underlined and in a different color. Sometimes they can even be bold. This draws the eye to the link because it’s different than the words around it. Don’t you just want to Click Here?!
Pull Them In With Graphics
Last but not least, let’s talk about graphics. A picture is one of the best ways to convey within seconds what your blog post is about and generate interest. Just scroll through your Facebook feed and look at what’s getting your attention. Or how about browsing through Pinterest? Images hook you and grab you in. They are also a great way to break up longer sections of text. Make sure you use them to their fullest advantage.
Hopefully, these tips will help you structure your content like a pro and your readers will be singing your praises! (Or maybe just post a nice comment!)