Even if your blog posts get plenty of views, not everyone will be reading to the end. If they’re not, it’s one of two issues: either your post isn’t interesting enough, or it isn’t readable enough. Here are a few tips on making your blog posts more readable so that you can increase your conversions and your browsing rate.
Split them up
Start off with formatting your posts in a way that makes more sense. Split them up into small sections under headings. This is useful because it breaks the text up into different sections, allowing the reader to catch their breath. It also gives a small preview of what is coming up next. Someone in a hurry might browse your headings until they find a paragraph that they want to read.
You can also cut your paragraphs into shorter paragraphs still, like this. This will make it easier to read. In fact, if you are writing a post which is designed to:
- Convince someone of your opinion
- Sell them something
- Tell them something revolutionary
Then you should consider using bullet points, one- or two-sentence paragraphs, and other tricks to break the writing up smaller.
Cut them down
Next, you will want to tackle your sentence length. This will come naturally over time, but if you have a problem with it, you can train yourself. Start by cutting your sentences to a maximum length of 30 words. When that starts to feel more intuitive, cut them down to 20 words each. The shorter a sentence is, the easier it is to understand. If you have a long and complex sentence, readers may get lost. Shorter sentences also grab the attention. Try it for yourself by going through an older blog post and cutting the sentences down. Where the phrase is too long, you can simply split it into two sentences instead.
Improve your vocabulary
There are two things to worry about when writing blog posts in terms of vocabulary. First, try to expand your vocabulary a little. You don’t want to just use the same words over and over again, especially if they are not very expressive. Terms like ‘nice’, ‘good’, and ‘bad’ are usually to be avoided in favour of something that tells the story a little better. Secondly, try not to use big words just for the sake of it. The simpler your terms are, the more people will understand them. For example, the word ‘mellifluous’ is a great one, but only if you think your target audience will be familiar with it. If they would have to look it up, try using a synonym like ‘sweet-sounding’ or ‘honeyed’.
Use grammar and readability tools
There are lots of free tools out there if you are interested in improving your readability. When you use WordPress, there are built-in plugins which can tell you your readability score. These will also give you tips on how to improve it. You can also try programs like Grammarly when you are using a word processor or a different site. Even Microsoft Word or browsers like Chrome can give you spelling and grammar checks. Make use of everything at your disposal to ensure that your blog posts are always correctly written and easy to read.
When you know the rules, it’s also a lot easier to understand when to break them. Get these tips into your head and practice them until you are perfect. That’s when you will know if a blog post doesn’t need headers, if it requires longer words, or if that grammar rule doesn’t apply. The more you write following these guidelines, the better you will get at it.
With a background in business administration and management, Tess Pajaron currently works at Open Colleges, Australia’s leading online educator. She likes to cover stories in careers and marketing.