A blog is an indispensable part of your company’s public image. It helps you strengthen your brand, connect with prospects, and demonstrate your unique value. A successful blog is an immense asset in both B2B and B2C industries. Still, even with a clear brand and strong product portfolio, blog formatting issues can prevent people from enjoying your content.
Let’s consider some of the biggest blog formatting mistakes that can stop readers cold:
Poor Choice of Headlines
Headlines are widely regarded as one of the most important parts of any blog post – if not the most important. That’s because a headline establishes interest and determines whether the post will be read. Titles that try too hard to be intriguing or funny will often be overlooked in favor of those that get right to the point. When in doubt, be clear, not coy.
Not Enough Images
Visual content is becoming more popular on the Internet at large and has many roles to fill in any business. In the context of a blog, images help structure posts and break up text. When bite-sized sections are coupled with enticing imagery, readers will find it easier to read your post even if it happens to be longer than average.
Sections too Long
No matter what your strategy for using images is, however, long paragraphs can cause a reader’s attention to slide right off your post. On the Internet, people are far more likely to skim a page than read it from beginning to end – short sections with concise headers help them zero in on the content they’re most interested in.
Formatted text – like the subheadings in this very post, or the bold introductory sentences some blogs use – is easier to read than plain text. When readers see plain text in an undifferentiated mass, it’s harder for them to discover a post’s key points. Without these context clues, they’re likely to give up in frustration.
In the U.S., the average newspaper is written at an 11th grade level. Far from being something to fear, this indicates clarity and concision making it easier to connect with your readers. Research has shown some of the greatest works of literature in English were written at a 4th grade level! When writing for the Web, aim for sophistication without complexity.
Even if your blog is not delivering the results you expect, it’s never too late to introduce best practices in the way you manage it. Don’t feel intimidated when writing for a company blog. The more you practice, the better your posts will be and the more readers will engage.