Four Ways to Make Your Blog Posts More Readable
Whether you’re newcomer to online writing or have been in the field for a while there are many great insights to glean from the book, Writing for the Internet: A Guide to Real Communication by Craig Baehr and Bob Schaller. The book addresses issues applicable to writers of all types of online content, but as a blogger I found it particularly helpful to apply the messages to the writing of blog posts.
The authors point out that there are many challenges for writers of online content and that by being aware and paying attention to the readability and usability of your material, the overall experience for readers will be improved. For purposes of this post, I’m going to stay focused more specifically on good practices for bloggers.
1) Content is not limited to the written word
2) Keeping up with new technologies
3) Characteristics of online writing
4) Blog Commenting
1. Content is Not Limited to the Written Word, It’s Also Mixed Media
Content is composed of mixed media forms, and it is the Internet writer’s challenge to make them work together seamlessly. This means that including images, video and audio clips, and staples such as hyperlinks can all work in sync with one another within a blog post.
The authors point out, “Web users have become increasingly savvy in their electronic literacy and have adapted to switching back and forth between these different content types and forms in their searching and browsing.” In fact, when done well the blog visitor will experience even more knowledge and understanding of the topic. As writers we can impact the information findability for our readers.
Let’s say you’ve come across a video on YouTube e.g. Article Copywriting: Writing Web Content: Part I which you think exemplifies points readers would also want to know, by embedding the video right into your post or linking to the video, you’ve taken away the need for them to search for other information. You’ve done the research for them. You provided supplemental information. You increased their knowledge-base and also are helping to improve the odds that the video will be seen by more people. Who knows by being included in your post, the video has an even greater chance of going viral.
2. Keeping up with new technologies?
Bloggers know all too well that it becomes impossible to keep up with every possible technology, tool, language, and technique for the job at hand. I agree with the author’s perspective that we should at least strive to have a “surface awareness of the latest technologies, new trends and tools that may improve the quality of written products.” In addition, a familiarity with a variety of tools is also necessary. What’s here today will be old technology before you know it. Find ways to keep up and work it into your week and workload. I recently wrote about six resources to keep up with social media that I use on a regular basis to keep up with social media. Make a list of your go-to places and visit them regularly.