5 Tips To Make Your Posts More Readable, Pt. 2

5 Tips To Make Your Posts More Readable, Pt. 2

Last week, I wrote an article on 5 Ways To Make Your Posts More Readable. I want to elaborate on several other ways to make your posts more “readable.” Just to refresh, my original five tips to make your posts more readable included:
  1. Break up your posts into smaller chunks.
  2. Separate your posts into 3-4 main sections with bolded sub-headings.
  3. Use numbered and bulleted lists.
  4. Add quotes from other sources.
  5. Use visually interesting pictures.

If you have not yet read my original post on how to make your posts more readable, you can do so here.

The Goal: Turn Passing Vistors Into Readers

If you are trying to build traffic, it is important to focus on increasing the likelihood that a passing visitor will take the time to read the post based on its initial readability. Several factors come into play in order to make your articles more readable. The goal is to inspire visitors to read your articles.

TIP #1. Make your font size readable. I’m not going to lie, I was once guilty of using a 9pt font on my blog – and I guarantee that most people who attempted to read my blog either enlarged the text or simply left. Don’t take that chance. Use at least an 11pt size font for your main body text. Additionally, by using a line-height of 1.5, you are making your posts easier to visually digest, as each line is separated a little bit more.

TIP #2. Make sure the background contrasts with the foreground body text. Far too often I see a blog with clashing color combinations. Stick to dark text on a white background or white text on a dark background.

A new trend among blogs is to use a body text font-color that is a dark gray instead of black. I think a darker gray instead of black makes the text easier on the eyes. I use a dark gray on my blog which looks a lot better than a flat black.

I use to be a big fan of white text on a dark background, but I am trying to move away from that as research suggests that lighter colors are more attractive than darker colors.

bookTIP #3. Aspire to make your spelling and grammar perfect. Spelling and grammar are often overlooked in the blogosphere. Given my philosophy that everything we do, no matter how small, is a statement about ourselves, I strongly advise you to take the time to ensure that your spelling and grammar are as perfect as you can make them; you are thereby going one step further at conveying professionalism.

People like Shoemoney have made it almost trendy to not care about spelling and grammar, but please remember – he is an already successful and well-respected Internet personality. Most of us have not achieved that status yet.

TIP #4. Make sure your post frequency is aligned with your post length. Too often, I see posts that are either too short or too long for the blogger’s posting frequency. There is nothing wrong with either – if you already have a large, dedicated readership, then do what works. For some people, like Maki from Dosh Dosh, his readers have come to expect lengthy, detailed write-ups. Other people, like Shoemoney, get away with more frequent, shorter posts.

Since I am somewhere in-between them with respect to posting frequency, I like to post articles that are not super-lengthy, but not super-short. The rule to remember is that if you post more often (multiple times per day), then make your posts shorter, but if you post only a few times a week, your readers will appreciate lengthier and more detailed write-ups. My average word count for each post is 400-600 words.

TIP #5. Write a compelling introductory paragraph in a slightly larger font. You know how in magazines, they use a larger font size for the first paragraph or so and then transition to the normal-sized font? I adopted this technique earlier this month and it seems that I am getting more comments, which could indicate more people reading the articles. Of course, the idea behind this is to lure the readers in with the more readable larger font. I think it looks very magazine-like too.

Conclusion

Our blogs are like mini-magazines, and I think we should aspire to have them resemble how magazines are designed. Making your posts more readable is not difficult to do and it could well lead to a substantial increase in readership.

Several blogs that I admire for their “readability” include:

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56 thoughts on “5 Tips To Make Your Posts More Readable, Pt. 2”

  1. Nate,

    Thanks very much for this feature. It’s great to know you find my site readable. Poor legibility is probably the biggest turn-off when I’m checking out new sites.

    I’m in great company with the other three screenshots.

    I hope all’s well.

  2. The nice images you’ve been putting at the head of every post also make it more readable, and magazine-like

  3. Thanks for the mention Nate – I’ve dropped off the daily blogging scene for a little bit due to some health issues but I should be back shortly.

  4. I’ve been meaning to have a larger intro paragraph on single posts since noticing it on a few blogs, like Upstart Blogger, and finding out about pseudo-classes (I think that’s what they’re called). I’m glad to hear it seems to have increased your comments and readership.

  5. I agree with the first commenter Nate, nice pics you’ve been using in your entries. I have a couple posts with no images simply because I didn’t have any to use, but I like your creativeness!

  6. My earlier comment hasn’t seemed to get through.

    It said how grateful I am to be featured amongst fine company here, Nate, and you should commend yourself on very readable text too.

    I’m having some server issues being at number one on Digg’s homepage, so apologies for those of you greeted with a 500 server error. 🙁

  7. Hi Nate!

    Yes..Your posts are very readable, which is something i greatly appreciate!The key is to have excellence in everything we do..and pretty soon our blog has a life of its own…

  8. Great practical advice, Nate. I especially like the screen shots of the blogs you admire. That’s slick. So what do you think of as the optimum length for your blog? And why?

    I agree about that the banner images and am interested to hear where you are finding them. (My office uses photos.com, and I use wikicommons from time to time.)

  9. Hey Nate,
    I like the tip about the larger font for the intro, sounds like a good call and I’m going to try it.

    What do you think of my blog JobMob in terms of readability?

    1. Jacob, I really like your blog. It is very clean and easy to read. Nice job. Maybe it needs just a little bit more color in some places, but that is just my preference.

  10. I really like the part about breaking up the blog post. I once read a blog post and i only wanted to get a certain piece of information, but the post was like 5 long paragraphs. I didn’t feel like reading through every word b/c i knew most of the advice the user was giving.

    I ended up leaving a comment that the writer should use Subheads to break up information. As a blogger with a copywriting background (i was an english major and used to be a copywriter before i switched to project management) I know all to well that readers like to scan for information. Subheads make it easier for readers to scan.

    needless to say i never ended up reading that writers post, i just gave my comment and left….

  11. Great article. I especially like your tip on using visually interesting pictures.

    However, unless the pictures says it all, it should not cover the full first page. A smaller sized picture with text to describe or supplement the topic is much better.

    I’ve noticed posts with huge pictures and then the user has to scroll down a page or two to understand the whole point.

  12. Good article, I found your post by way of ProBlogger – Speedlinking post. I am relatively new to blogging, and it is this kind of information that I find to be very helpful.

    I have visited David Airey :: Creative Design blog and found it to be interesting and easy to read.

  13. Hey Nate, some great tips here!

    I particularly like #5. I’ve done an italicized starter-blurb a couple times, but I just might try something a little more “magazined” in the future.

    Spelling is very important. I’m not in any position to praise the importance of grammar though, because I exercise a lot of artistic lisence with that (not to mention making up words like “magazined”)!

  14. David – I was very impressed with your the face behind the blog collection. Browsing through your site you have some interesting content.

    I plan to participate – I need to get that going.

    This is one of the interesting facets of blogging, you find one good site such as Nate’s and that normally let’s you know about others.

  15. thanks for this article! I am interested in tip 5…about making the headline …i see that you use an image for each post…but will it not take too much time creating them? but I like th idea behind it….might give it a try soon…

  16. I’ve been trying to do this in some of my posts recently. The subheadings are easy and help quite a bit, but I really need to bring myself to fire up Photoshop and add an image here and there. Makes a big difference in the visual appeal of your site, Nate.

  17. I like Tips 3 & 5 especially.

    Spelling and grammar are very important and they are what ultimately give you credibility as a writer. You could have a lot of great things to say, but when you text is peppered is sloppy errors you just like asinine.

    I have never thought of making my blog posts look more like a layout in a magazine, but it’s a great point. There are hundreds of years of modern research in print media and we do need to borrow some of their best practices.

  18. Hi, I would really love to make the intro paragraph text larger on my blogs too.

    Any chance of a tutorial on how to do this? I looked at the source code and see that is used but I’m really no good at CSS other than just a little tweaking of colours etc.

    Thanks

  19. April – You might want to take a look at a desktop blogging editor such as Windows Live Writer. You use Live Writer locally as you would use Word to create your post. You can change colors, mix up the formatting, and add pictures all from within the editor. You then upload the post to your blog, and it is posted exactly the way you saw it.

    I have a post explaining the features of Windows Live Writer that you might find helpful.

  20. When I started my blog I just didn’t know about all these tricks. I just placed the blog and started with the content. Over the time I realized some blogs (this one included) are more pleasant to read and some are not. Little by little I also noticed my posts are a bit too hard to read. I already knew to not write huge paragraphs, but there was something missing too …

    The next steps were made afterwards: trying to put bolded subtitles and try to break the post and also use some nice images to give more life to the blog. I am still struggling with all this since some improvements are to be made, but I hope in time the blog’s readability would be way better.

  21. Few days ago,I read this article and after that I followed one instruction about “font size readable”.I did work on it and really currently i am getting good results to stay my blog visitor more at my blog.

    Thank You Very Much

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