Maybe you’ve got a lot of web traffic, but no one seems to stay on your site. No one leaves a comment. No one shares your links.
When you ask people if they’ve read your most recent post they say, “Umm… Yeah, it was good. What was it about again?”
They haven’t read it, because your blog is hard to read. You might have good ideas, but you aren’t following some basic rules.
1. You’re not being clear.
The point of writing is to communicate an idea. If you make it hard for the reader to understand what you’re trying to tell them, they’re going to move on to someone who is easier to understand.
Use common language and avoid terms of art and industry when you can. Think about the words you would use if you were talking to your reader in person.
Would you say “We deliver advanced ROI by developing and delivering a comprehensive set of manufacturing equipment to support your ongoing business requirements.”?
Or, would you say “We make widgets that help your factory run more efficiently?”
Being clear supports your status as an expert and someone worthy of trust. Wrapping your ideas in unclear business speak makes you sound like you’re trying to hide something or that you may not understand what you’re talking about.
Who wants to read that?
2. You’re not getting to the point quick enough.
You have only a few sentences to pull a reader in before losing their attention.
The reader needs to know, within just a few seconds, what they’re going to get out of reading your post. Is it going to help answer their question? Is it going to entertain them? Is it worth their time?
If the reader has to dig five paragraphs in to figure those questions out, they aren’t going to read your post. They will bounce away to another site in search of someone who respects their time.
3. Your blog is physically painful to read.
If you want people to read your content, you need to be kind to their eyeballs. Tons of interesting blog posts don’t get read because they are poorly presented.
There are lots of design considerations for blog posts and a designer (like Holly) can help you hammer out the details on your site, but the top offenses are usually:
- The font is too small. – If a reader has to squint to read your blog, it’s going to be hard to make them a fan. Use 14px as a minimum and don’t be afraid to try something even bigger.
- The font is wrong. – “Fun” fonts may, in fact, look fun, but they are hard to read. Make sure it’s easy to differentiate characters in the font you use. Don’t make the reader spend time figuring out the difference between a “u” and an “n”.
- There isn’t enough contrast. – Light blue text on a slightly darker blue background makes for an unpleasant reading experience and creates eye strain. Use colors that make your text stand out. A white background with black text isn’t a bad place to start.
- Your blog is a wall of text. – Long line lengths and unbroken paragraphs are hard to read. Remember that most people scan when they read. Long paragraphs and lines are hard to scan and get read less than short, punchy paragraphs.
If you have ideas worth sharing, present them in a clear way, that’s to the point, and doesn’t literally hurt your readers’ eyes. And people will read your blog. Respect your ideas and your readers.
They will share your posts, they will talk about you, and they will become your fan. They will give you money.
This all sounds great, but I need some help.
Creating great content that engages readers is hard and there’s no shame in asking for help. You may not have time to blog, or maybe you just don’t enjoy it. T&S provides blogging services that may or may not be the right fit for you.
Feel free to contact us online or at 405-285-0348 to see if it’s worth a conversation.
Chris Dodds is the new Word Samurai at T&S. He lovingly crafts blog posts and site content on a magnificently loud mechanical keyboard and carves away unnecessary words with a katana.