Which of the above blog posts would you be more likely to read? The left one, correct? I mean, unless you’re into huge blocks of unbroken copy and a total lack of images. If you are, then congratulations! Your attention span is triple that of mine.
Here’s the thing about blog posts. You can write a smart, funny, helpful blog post that subtly showcases your talents or products that will (probably) attract new clients. But if that blog post isn’t formatted correctly? Nobody is going to read it.
Here are a few easy ways to make your blog post much, much more likely to get read.
1) Keep it short
Less than 500 words for sure. Less than 300 is even better. Seth Godin’s posts are a paragraph long! Nobody is ever not going to read your post because it’s too short.
2) Add an image
We all like pretty pictures. They make your posts Pin-able and if you label them correctly, they increase your SEO. Here are 53+ resources for free images!
3) Add the title to the image
You can use Picmonkey (free! easy!) to add the title to any image. Again, it makes your post a lot more Pinterest-friendly and engaging.
4) Use headers/bullet points/numbers/bolding judiciously
People’s attention spans are verging on non-existent. Make things easy for them by making your post scannable. Highlight major points with bolding or break up topics under headers. Then they can scan for what interests them and read the details if it pertains to them.
5) Write awesome titles
If you’re not sure how, this headline analyzer is your new BFF as is this long list of ’emotional’ title words.
6) Keep paragraphs short and use lots of white space
Don’t be afraid to use white space judiciously. When we see huge blocks of texts we get overwhelmed and click away. But lots of visual breathing room and short sentences? Doable.
What makes you read a blog post? Did I miss anything?
photo by Bruno Hautzenberger // cc
So let’s say I’m in the market for a life coach or GRE tutor or web designer.
I go a’googling and happen up the website of someone who looks like a perfect fit. Her portfolio is great! Her references look good! And she looks super friendly and sweet in her headshots. I click the blog tab in her menu bar and this is what I see:
Three blog posts. One from 2009. One from 2011. And one from two months ago.
Now, I might be a hard ass (spoiler alert: I totally am) but this Does Not Impress Me. Why, fortheloveofpete, am I going to give my hard earned money to someone who doesn’t have their act together enough to update their blog regularly? Or doesn’t take enough pride in their online space to delete an outdated blog? Why would I trust someone with my mind/GRE score/website when they can’t even be trusted to handle a blog?
I wouldn’t. So I move on to someone else.
Of course, one could argue that a super successful, super busy life coach/ GRE tutor/ web designer might be too busy to update their blog. But have you met Nubby Twiglet? Or Marie Forleo? Or Danielle LaPorte? Girlfriends are buuuuuusy with client work and consulting but they manage to keep their blogs updated on the regular.
And if you really, actually don’t have time to update your blog? Or you find it to be an unpleasant chore? Delegate it to an intern/VA/consultant (*cough*me*cough*). Or delete it! There are plenty of other ways to connect with clients and customers and peers.
How often do you update your business’s blog? And if you don’t, what’s your excuse? 😉