7 Ways to Make Your Blog Posts More Readable

by Unmana Datta January 28th, 2013 

readable

Do us all yourself a favor and make your blog posts easier to read, okay?

How, you ask? I'm happy to tell you!

1: Break It Up

No one reads anymore: we skim. So give us headings and bulleted or numbered lists. Give us headings as numbered lists. Give us short paragraphs and sentences. Use words a ten-year-old would understand.

2: Really, Make It Readable

If you use font sizes of 9 or smaller – making me hit Ctrl++ each time I open your page – I'm going to stop coming over. Sorry if that hurts, but you know how to fix it.

And black (or dark grey) text on white (or really light) backgrounds, please. Ogilvy laid that down half a century ago, and it still holds! Black backgrounds make my head ache and my mouse reach for the x button.

3: Use Images Right

You can use images to illustrate your story, to catch attention and encourage the reader to read your post, and even to draw the eye to a specific passage. But remember to use good descriptive alt text, just in case your image doesn't show up.

4: Don't Use Jargon

Research your keywords to make sure you're using the same words as your audience to describe your product or business. Talk like a person and don't use insider-acronyms or jargon. We'll not only find your blog post easier to read, we'll like you better, too.

5: Keep It Clean

Don't clutter your blog with lots of ads and more than one sidebar, or a sidebar that takes up half the page. You want me to read, so take all those distractions away.

6: Use Links Judiciously

This is similar to #5: don't clutter up your post with too many links. Two links in a paragraph is on the outside of enough. And make sure you add titles to the links so the reader knows what they are clicking on.

7: Keep Focused

It's hard enough getting my attention in the first place: now don't lose it by rambling on and derailing your own point. A joke or two is all very well, but keep focused on the message and don't be the old uncle whose stories go on and on!

Now go ahead, write that brilliant blog post – and this time, make sure people can actually read it!

Unmana Datta

Unmana is the co-founder of Markitty, a tool that recommends actions to improve your online marketing. She writes about marketing for startups and small businesses on the Markitty blog and can be found on Twitter @Unmana.

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4 Responses to “7 Ways to Make Your Blog Posts More Readable”

  1. This post is a great example of what you are writing about: clear, clean articles with digestible information. I'd like to add that bloggers should watch out for skinny fonts and colours that make text blend with the background or make for a painful read!

  2. [...] look good, with an eye-catching image (with a call to action on top to buy relevant products) with well-formatted, interesting tips. The only thing they don't seem to be doing well is promoting their content: [...]

  3. [...] reading it because the design made it too difficult. (Black backgrounds, I'm looking at you.) Here are my suggestions for having a more user-friendly blog that will keep us [...]