Studies show that not only does the average user not stay long on a web page (most web pages are boring), they also don’t read much of it.
Rather than read word for word – web users ’scan’ pages for information – looking for key words, phrases and visual cues.
With this in mind, how can you structure your articles so that visitors can read and absorb more information?
- Lists – Posts with bullet point lists in them get more links and more comments than similar length posts written in an essay style. Lists allow you to break down information into digestable chunks (points), giving your readers maximum opportunity to absorb as much information as possible.
- Formatting – Reading blocks of similar looking text allow readers to get easily distracted and thus miss the point of your article. Use bold, CAPITALS, italics and underlining to emphasize key points. [Learn how to bold, italicize etc] Don’t go overboard as you run the risk of annoying your reader. If you think it might look too busy, it probably is.
- Headings and Sub Headings – Using headings midway through posts helps with post structure and they are also great for drawing your readers’ eyes down the page and helping them find the parts of your article that will interest them most.
- Pictures – We use pictures a lot on Soccerlens – the idea is not only to provide images ‘relevant’ to the discussion but also to use them to deliver a subtle message that’s closely related to the article. Try to use images in your posts; they grab attention, emphasize points and they also act as a branding tool (using images in the news business is generally the realm of the mainstream media). [Learn how to add images.]
- Blockquotes – If you are picking up a one line quote from somewhere, use italics to highlight it. If you’re picking a long quote, consider using the ‘blockquote’ tag to emphasize the quote.
- Short Paragraphs – Web users tend to get lost in (and bored with) large blocks of text – break it into smaller bites and your readers stick with it for longer.
- Link to older articles – Link back to your older posts as much as you can. A lot of times I have people commenting on articles without context – i.e. they don’t know what I’ve said on this topic in the past. Linking back to older articles provides context AND sends more eyeballs deeper into your blog. [Learn how to link.]
- Topic Selection
- Strong Introductions
- Article Length
- Spelling and Grammar
- How to Get More Links
- How to Get More Comments
- General Writing Tips
Back to the Soccerlens Writers Guide.