In our busy lives today, nobody has time or energy or interest in reading every word you write on your blog. But there are some things you can do to improve the chances of readers paying attention to your blog. But writing is writing and whether you’re a technical writer, marketing writer, article writer, or blog writer, there are three areas of your writing that you need to pay attention to.
Writers in the past often had the luxury of just focusing on their writing, but today’s writer needs to be concerned about all three of these areas:
- Writing (Create)
- Editing (Rewrite)
- Production Editing (Design)
The best blogs pay attention to all three points, although many bloggers out there only focus on point #1 or point #2. They may have some great content, but they throw it down there and don’t edit it. One or two typos doesn’t mean it wasn’t edited; sometimes you have to edit several times to remove all errors. Or they have some good content, they edit it, but they don’t focus on the design or format. By this I mean, they’ll write one long paragraph or have several paragraphs but don’t include a space above and below, blurring the paragraph breaks.
But the presentation is a very important piece of it all. It makes the difference between drawing your reader in and allowing them to receive the great information you have or turning the reader off in confusion as to what you were trying to say. Just as people make judgments based on first impressions when it comes to style and dress, so do they when it comes to your blog.
As an example, in my “Writing Reports” class, I received an “A” not just on the writing and editing, but also, I believe, on the presentation. When I presented my report to the class, everybody oohed and aahed when they saw it. Why? Because it had a pleasing design and I had used a color printer. Design is a crucial piece to conveying information to readers (search on “designing content for the web” for resource material).
“But it’s just a blog,” you might say. “I don’t have time to scrutinize my writing and edit it for hours.” True. How much time you spend on your blog may also depend on what your focus is and what kind of outcome you’re trying to achieve. If it’s a business blog, you’ll want to pay attention to the details. A personal blog? Well, that’s up to you.
But if you’re short on time, the biggest impact you can have on making it reader-friendly is to run a spell check and to:
- Use short paragraphs (shorter for blogs than for other types of writing)
- Add white space between paragraphs
- Add subheads if you have a long post or are covering several topics