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Alan Woods. How can I use this format? Log in to rate this item. You must be logged in to post a review. Please log in. By Rodney A. Report as inappropriate. There are no reviews for previous versions of this product. First Name. Last Name. Internal links back to your own cornerstone content will keep people on your site and reading your best material.
Another advantage of internal links is they make it less frustrating when some dirtbag scrapes your content cuts and pastes it to their own site without attribution.
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Add emphasis to your content by bolding important concepts. You reader will be able to scan through and pick out the most important information at a glance. Instead, emphasize the key points so the scanner can quickly pick them out. Think those numbered list posts are tired? Think again. Does the reader get the gist?
Have you pulled out the most interesting and relevant words, the words that will pull your scanner in and turn her into a reader? How about you? What are your favorite techniques for getting readers to lean in to your content? Grab her free marketing, design, and business-building resources. The same elements you bought up for blogs, also apply to B2C copy — with a few added touches. People scan the main points and short paragraphs. They usually look at the headlines and PS first. Write in conversational tone. Think of talking to a friend — over a drink — in the bar.
Numbers also apply to copy. I got this tidbit from renown, direct response copywriter and marketer Ben Hart. I know I took a thing or two from your comment. Actually, your comments usually add value, so thanks. Best article I have read on the topic. Throughout you showed us how to do it by doing it as much as you could.
I will be printing this one. Thanks Renee. Great tips on the issue. It is a good plan but there are many external or unknown factors also which contribute largely to traffic and visitors. Let us be comfortable with whatever we do.
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Great article. Great stuff! Otherwise, when they first land on your post, they will scan, scan, scan. So, the first sentence of a paragraph is very important. When you draw the readers in, you slow them down, and then only will they really read your post. He invented many things — like Blue Blocker sunglasses — and was a multimillionaire entrepreneur, marketer and copywriter.
He said the purpose of the first paragraph of copy, is to get you to read the second paragraph. The purpose of the second paragraph is to get you to read the third paragraph. Yada, yada, yada reminds me of a Seinfeld episode.
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If my limited knowledge of marketing is close to accurate, that repeat exposure should increase engagement. I agree with getting to the point and being succinct. I started writing shorter blog posts—about words instead of People like them and they are much easier for me to write on a regular basis … speaking of which, I have fallen out of that habit.
Gotta go blog! I third that! And since mobile is such a big deal today, I think you have an advantage, too. Thank you Pamela, great article. It felt really odd to do but it looks SO much better! I will try and write like that next time, instead of trying to do it retrospectively. Thanks for another great post. Copyblogger really helps me refocus and deliver better and better content to my readers.
Not just bloggers and content marketers. It just makes good business sense to make it easy for people to find what they want. It makes your website a credibility tool for you, at the very least. Thanks for the article. It shines a light on the aspects of web as a medium, in itself: wholly different from print, radio, and television. Fabulous tips and great reminders! I have been getting a little tired of list-type approaches in my own humble blog. I write all the time about how to make your content stand out so people can read them better.
With great blogging formatting for your content..
8 Incredibly Simple Ways to Get More People to Read Your Content - Copyblogger
Good writing is the hard part. But this is the nice easy part that makes our good writing more accessible. Great post! I will refer to it frequently and look forward to monitoring improved results. Thank you! Nothing makes me click away from a blog faster than a giant block of text. Yet so many people still write blog posts this way! Next time I see that I should post a link to this article. When important information is straggled out into multiple pages, or forces me return day after day, leaving me hanging until tomorrow…. Between having to load multiple pages, wasting all that extra paper while printing useless pages, etc.
They certainly are not considering user experience. Even the major News sites that do this give the option of One Page view. As for writing style, that really depends on the type of people your information attracts. It would make a better white paper or special report delivered as a PDF, so the reader can sit down and address it start to finish. Sonia may have an idea of how many words is the cut off, but I can share a low-tech designer trick you can use that might help.
Push back from your screen a ways and squint your eyes. If you see big, uninterrupted blocks of grey that go on and on, it might be time to take it to another format, break it into a series, or do something else to make it easier to digest. I recall a blog post where Chris Brogan mentioned words as the point where people start bookmarking instead of reading. Those who prefer a bite at a time are happy, and those who prefer to have it all in one spot are happy assuming are patient enough to wait for the end of the series.
Some years ago I took a writing course from a professional article writer. His entire career was built on writing short high interest articles for periodicals and newspapers. He had thousands of articles in print and clearly was an expert in his field. Most of what you said here mirrored what we learned in our course in terms of style.
All those writing techniques mentioned worked well for print publications, and obviously also apply to writing for the web. What you have added is however also important to note. Writing for the web really is a different animal in many respects to writing for print. I believe that, attention spans really are shorter for most readers these days. That combined with the different nature of reading which comes with surfing the web. The huge volume of material available really does encourage, in fact demand, that readers scan rather than read. There is simply to much to cover to allow one to spend much time on things which have no interest.
People are looking for specific bits of information which is personal or important to them. Thanks for the great article.
Step 1: Choose From 3 Formats
Time to make sure I consistently implement your advice into my blog posts. I like to utilize CSS to design unique looking lists for different posts. I also have specific callout paragraphs designed for notes, info, downloads, alerts, etc. This post is really about structuring the words themselves so your reader finds them easier to get through, but using design to add pizzazz is another great way to draw them in. But many bloggers might have difficulty with the technical details.
True, but basic CSS is incredibly easy to learn. Thank you these were great tips. I was happy to see I already do some of them and they were a good reminder to focus my style content on our site. Excellent advice. Great advice. And I notice you ended with a question to inspire comments, another great tactic I use on my blog to inspire people to chime in. Excellent article — the tip about photo captions is a new one for me.
Please come back and let me know if it works, Rececca. Up until reading this article, I had been doing at least a few of the points in my content. Use a compelling image, and write a long caption to go with it: sentences is good. Allude to your content, and make the caption intriguing. That explanation help a lot and greatly appreciated.
Looking forward to the great tips and content at Big Brands. Just signed up ;-. It was great to get confirmation. Question: Is the attraction of the caption strongest when the caption is above the image — or below the image? Glad you liked the post, Dian. These are all great tips and I probably use them all, more or less.
I need to be reminded about this all the time. As an ex English school teacher I continually fall back into the exact opposite. I wish there was some way to flick the switch for good. I had no idea unlearning something was so much harder than learning something. I suspect following these tips to write your English papers would be a bad idea ….
I think most of these points apply to email as well. I just started writing more lists — I like the idea of breaking up paragraphs and writing shorter posts. I am going to have to try that. Maybe on days that there is a longer blog posts it could be broken into part one and part two? I submitted this with a boring headline and she jazzed it up! Brian has slowly managed to drum a few things into my head about headlines.
He still needs to tweak them for me at times, though.
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Most of the first commenters are scanners, not readers, although they may share a point related to the idea of the post. Striving after wind.. Nice post. I had slowly started to learn this by my own experience. You have put it quite succinctly. Pamela, quality points. Thanks Pamela. Thanks for the great reminders. We write for the benefit of our readers, so our focus should be on making our ideas more accessible. Writing is more about organizing ideas than about writing deathless prose. The disciplines that you mention force you to organize and tighten your writing, making it easier to write clearly, and easier for the reader to understand.
You have made a several good points. All good tricks to keep in mind, but nothing engages readers more than giving them the content they are looking for with personality. My favorite tips? People who think you sound cool and interesting in miniature sometimes wander over to see more of what you have to offer. My other favorite tip is to mix it up a bit. Add some pictures or video clips to your blog.
The Animaniacs ice cream song, even if you like it, is not appropriate unless you can tie it back into your content in a way that makes sense to your readers. Randy is incredible! Always the first to comment! Have you developped a software? No kidding! I know posting comments in a popular blog is a strategy to drive traffic to your own blog, but how that dude gets the first slot every single day is either genius or obsessively psychotic.
Keep it up, though, Randy… it would be weird without you. Great post. Once I mentioned to a client they needed more white space and they responded with larger margins and denser text. Will start using points 4 and 5 more often in my blog. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and expertise. Pamela, I agree heartily with all of your points, except 5.
I think links can be useful, but every link is a distraction for the reader. She has to decide whether or not to click on it, and even though it may take only a tenth of a second, it pulls her away from your content. So I say any links in a blog post should be there for a very good reason, and that bloggers should decide carefully whether or not adding the distraction of a particular link is worthwhile or not.
All those links leading the reader back to Copyblogger make it easier to tolerate the scrapers. There are lots of good reasons to put them there, though. PS: Your Design Course is great! Great tips! Breaking up content is so important. Grow up folks and learn how to read in-depth instead of expecting to be spoon fed on pap. Bulleted lists, oh puleeze. To each his own. Think of it as a version of PowerPoint. How many of those have you sat though? What I am seeing is folks are using the scannable-ness of an online document as an excuse.
Hence all of those urban legends proliferating becuase no one takes there time to read. It all depends on the purpose of your post. You might try an A-B test: one article formatted with block text and another formatted with all the dreadful, soul-killing devices cited here. Then check your analytics and see which one accomplished your goal. Pass the Metamucil, please! Just about any non-fiction is broken up with headers, images, and other little things. Great advice! When I come across a page on the web that has huge paragraphs and not enough white space…it hurts my eyes and head.
I leave and continue my search. All of these tips are excellent and are exactly what everyone should follow when creating content online. The best tips are subheadings and bullet points. A lot of commercial novelists follow some of these tips as well. Great tips Pamela. This is a great help for me to get my posts out into cyber world and hopefully more and more people will get to read them then, Thanks very much. This post nicely summarises the presentation aspects of a blog post. Our company blog is very technical, so this type of editing is really helpful for making the content more accessible.
I have a question: is there anything wrong with editing published posts? I wrote about this a few months ago and had the same suggestions except I suggested pictures, video, anything to break up the text. There are some great tips here that I can use immediately. I write my blog as a way to do some personal branding to emphasize my skills and experience in marketing. I am in the job market and am looking for ways to promote myself and give hiring managers a way to learn more about me. The bullets and bolding technique can be used today!
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Thanks for the info! Even before the introduction of the iPad, there were still people who read lengthy articles online, and I see that trend growing. And I do try to inform, persuade and entertain, but I also try to get to the damned point. Which is not, it must be faced, all that natural to me. Some really good, common sense advice here. All too often we forget the common sense and need to be reminded.
The bottom line is that we need to deliver content the way our target readers consume it …. A couple of minor additions …. Get creative with the title of the post. I use google reader to keep up, and my starting point is always the title. Of course, you walk a bit of a tightrope here as the title is important for SEO too, behind the scenes. Another suggestion is to simply add a picture or two. What a great article, breaks down the basics into simple digestible tips that actually do increase readership. It can certainly be defeating.
I love the tip about using deep captions, great call, I remember originally hearing about this tip in regard to the captions in newspapers. Great Article, It really makes a difference when you learn to use your H2,H3 tags in your post. It highlights the important copy as you stated. In most WordPress blog designs, you can change the color of the highlighted text to anything you want. Do this to make your highlighted text blend with the color scheme of your blog.
It seems to hold the readers attention longer instead of using standard black bold text. I began doing this after reading the Aweber blog and noticing the layout they use. Go deeper. Thx ;D. An editor used that term with me once years ago, and it stuck. Imagine your image is the first thing the viewer sees on your page. Great tips. These take discipline and an unrelenting desire to make it easier for the reader to connect with you.
Very true! Seems like you walk the walk and talk the talk since you have comments in response to your tips and most all of them favorable! Glad to have stumbled onto this blog and look forward to returning. Subheadings matters a lot in content. User can simply have an outlook of your theme by looking at subheadings. Very convincing points made Pamela. I really like how you lay them out so that they are easy to follow and grasp. Thanks again for the post. I look forward to more of your articles. Awesome tips! I love anything that makes me a more effective writer and blogger.
My more narrative posts seem to get less interactions than my bulleted ones do. Great article! I just recently discovered that I need to break up the text more and use sub headings to make it easier to read and better for those who just scan the articles. I tend to scan a lot myself My articles used to look just like when you open a book. Use a strong image, and write a long caption to go with it: sentences is good. Refer to your content in the caption, and make it intriguing. I frustrate myself for this reason!! Hi Pamela. I enjoyed the post. I agree with your tips. I posted a link to this article on my site.
I find that blogging is a different style of writing than normal. Probably the best posts are the ones where someone can scroll down and figure out exactly what your major points are by simply reading the headers. I guess simple truths like this needs to be retold again so we can always keep them at the back of our minds.
Thank you for the tips. Thanks a lot. Thinking about writing a word count blog post. I should probably cut my entry down eh? Paolo, you can still write long posts, just use these tips to break them up visually to make them easier to read on screen. Hi Pamela I am a sixty year brazialian author. It is very difficult for me to put into practise these teachings you post here. But in my deeper mind I know you are right. I know we are in a complete different era. Now the form is much more valuable then the content.
For while thanks for sharing your expertize with us. The reason I wrote this post is to give your valuable content the best chance at being read and understood. Does that make sense? I agree with your post completely. I think that one of the biggest problems with blogs is that people write too much. It really is quality over quantity. Nobody has the time to sit and read long posts when they are only looking for particular information.
I think that using some of these tips will increase the comments and shares of a blog. But even though I appreciate the trend toward tighter sentences and very short paragraphs, I think it comes with its own set of problems. I think a lot of writers get smug using the short-paragraph technique—kidding themselves that they are writing well, by snapping off clever one-liners.
I see the value of the shorter structures, yet I still question how I see it being applied. I agree with you, Gina. This post is about making already-good content more readable. I get the feeling a lot of people are using the sparser formatting to kid themselves they are writing well. If you turn one sentence into a paragraph, it better work. I can think of one blog that I must read. Great writing is rare regardless of the format.
I see so many one-line paragraphs that sound self-conscious—so sure they are witty or clever or delivering a punch. Discussions about how to truly write well and with substance are rare. I am going to use these tips on my company blog. I think the thing that might have been most helpful about this post is not actually the post but the link to an introduction to cornerstone content. That could really help at my company blog:. I used to do a lot better formatting like you suggest here with sub headings, etc.
I need to get back to writing in this fashion.