Every blogger knows that content is king and that long-form content has the best chance of being useful to readers and ranked highly on search engines.
The longer the piece of writing, though, the harder it can be to retain your reader’s interest and make sure they make it all the way to the end. Fortunately, though, there are a few simple editing and formatting techniques that will make the process easier for you and the finished article much more appealing to your reader.
Here’s how to make sure your blog post is the best it can possibly be:
1. Wait before you edit
Just as it’s hard to proofread your own writing, it’s also hard to edit it. You know what you meant to say, so your post will make perfect sense to you. This is especially true if you’ve just finished writing it and the ideas you were trying to convey are still fresh in your mind. Most bloggers can’t afford to pay professional editors, and family and friends will get tired of playing editor pretty quickly. So the next best thing is to leave some time between writing your post and editing it so that you can come to it with reasonably fresh eyes.
2. Preview the post on the blog
If you’re using WordPress, you’ll find a “preview” option in your text editor, which allows you to see what the post will look like when it’s published. Always, always preview your post before publishing it: it can look quite different in the preview than in the text editor, and any mistakes will be more apparent, too.
3. Use short paragraphs
People may be willing to read long posts, but they don’t normally like to read long paragraphs. Long blocks of text are difficult to read online, so use shorter paragraphs than you might use in other forms of writing. They’re easier on the eye and make people more likely to read to the end. You can check out this writer’s post for a good example of short paragraphs.
4. Consider font and formatting
When it comes to choosing fonts and colors, accessibility is of the utmost importance. Solid blocks of text, tiny fonts, and pale colors can be very hard to read. And, in some cases, they can render a post totally unreadable. Similarly, light text on dark backgrounds can cause migraines and eye strain, so choose fonts and colors that are easy to read rather than the ones you simply like the look of.
5. Use images to break up text
Like it or not, the internet is a highly visual medium. Gone are the days when you could just empty your brain onto a blank page and trust people to read it. Even if your blog isn’t image-based, it can be helpful to break up long passages with images, which will minimize the “wall of text” effect and make the post more visually appealing.
6. Use headings and subheadings
As with the images, headings and subheadings help break up the text and also make it easier for skim-readers to go directly to the part of the post they’re most interested in. They’re good for search engine optimization, too.
7, Be consistent
Don’t make your readers work to find the information they’re after. If you tend to write the same types of posts regularly, it can be helpful to make sure you always use the same rough format, so people know what to expect. So, always put things like links, product information, and images in the same place. And consider using things like block quotes and info boxes to make the most important information stand out.
Although none of these tips will magically turn a bad article into a good one, they do have the power to turn a good piece of content into a successful one that people will want to read and, hopefully, share. So take your time to work through them, and make your next blog post one of your best.