Two-tenths of a second.
According to a study by Missouri University of Science and Technology that is how long websites have to make a first impression. Attention spans are short online.
Blogging used to be new and exciting. How did it all begin?
It’s generally recognized that the first blog was Links.net, created by Justin Hall, while he was a Swarthmore College student in 1994. Of course, at that time they weren’t called blogs, and he just referred to it as his personal homepage. WebDesignerDepot
Now we are so bombarded with articles and information that it is overwhelming. But all hope is not lost. Massive amounts of people are still turning to blogs to grab needed information. To become informed and entertained. To learn new skills.Blogs are part of our culture. But the web is full of them. How do you create digestible and engaging content? #contentmarketing #blogging Click To Tweet
But, you can no longer just throw some words on a blog page with run together paragraphs. People want the best information and they want it fast. Thanks Google.
So, how do keep readers on your content?
One of the simplest ways to add flavor—not to mention, a more impressive presentation—to your home cooking repertoire is to reduce braising liquid and pan drippings into lush, thick, spoon-coating sauces. via Bon Appetit
In blogging, when you cut the fluff, reduce the excess, you are left with easy to digest content that readers can grab and implement making their lives better. And making them want to return to your content again and again.
Concentrated, powerful, flavorful content.
You can make these seven tweaks to your content right in your blog platform to make your posts easier to digest and engage with.
1.Begin with a Purpose
Start with your ideal reader. You could write them a Love Letter like Melanie Sparks to discover what you have been missing with your content. Or use The Client Clarity Methodology from Rising Tide. Or even revisit that famous Ted Talk from Simon Sinek. Just get a great purpose for your content.
2.Create Engaging Headlines
Engaging headlines invoke emotion and often make promises or ask questions. Create a headline that draws readers in. But, make sure your content fulfills your headline. Clickbait will not do.
Keep a swipe file of great headline ideas like this one:
And try a tool like this one: CoSchedule Headline Analyzer
3.Format With Headings
Headings within your posts create an outline for your reader and can help draw in skimmers. Make your headings interesting but clear. You can see that I am using numbered headings with the H3 tag here in this post to make it easy for you to skim sections that interest you.
4.Format With Quotes and Bullet Points
Just like with headings, quotes and bullet points in your posts help break up text, create more whitespace (see #7) and keep readers going through your content for the main points.
Check out this post from ProBlogger for an example,
Or watch this lesson of the Skillshare class for examples. Keep in mind that many readers are now on small mobile devices so breaking up text is even more important.
5.Use Hooks and Cliffhangers
A hook is way for you to draw your readers in and get their attention. We can see examples of hooks used on popular blogs like Neil Patel’s and in classic literature like Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven. A cliffhanger is a type of hook bloggers can use. One of my favorite resources on the topic is Enchanting Marketing’s Post: How To Write Tiny Cliffhangers (And Keep Readers Hooked)
6.Mix Up Your Post Types
I learned this one from some Digital Marketer training. Maybe you have a classic post type that is easy for you to write. Maybe it is even a great fit for your audience, but sometimes you need to mix things up!
Add some “spice.” So if you always write productivity posts, why not try throwing in a lifestyle post of how greater productivity has improved your personal life. Or how about a behind-the-scenes post. How-To-Post? Or an expert roundup where you pick a topic and round up the best posts on that topic from around the web! Round up posts can be super engaging and give you some extra SEO juice from having quality links on your site.
Sometimes viewers leave your content because it all just looks way too overwhelming! Make sure you leave some whitespace and breathing room for readers within your blog and content.
Whether you choose to use a more minimal design like the ones I adore from Station Seven or just adjust your content to leave more space, make sure viewers are not overwhelmed with so much they give up. Remember attention spans are short online!
Here is an example of some of these tips in action from a post I wrote with ClearVoice:
I hope this post has given you a great overview to get started. But, if you would rather watch these tips and see the examples you can get two free months of Skillshare Premium and check out the class!