1. Create Eye Catching Headlines
The first part of being readable is getting your reader’s attention, which starts with the headline. Interestingly, while eight out of 10 people will read your headline, only two out of 10 will read the rest. Your goal from the start is to get people to read that first paragraph, so if they stop at the headline, the rest of your effort is wasted.
Your headline is like your personal appearance — it is the first impression people use to judge what is inside. For this reason, your headline should have some, if not all, of the following elements.
- Descriptive: Your reader should gain a general understanding about the topic of your content.
- Curiosity: While you are describing your content to your reader, you never want to give away too much. Provide the reader with just enough information to make them click-through to the first paragraph.
- Value: What reason do readers have for reading your content? In general, understand that value comes in two ways — making your reader happier or wealthier.
- Uniqueness: Unusual headlines, like a lady in red in a sea of black suits, stands out. How can you frame your headline in a way that is unique and more interesting?
- Urgency: Readers are more likely to read your content if it will no longer be relevant tomorrow.
Writing great headlines takes practice, but the effort is worth it! Well written headlines can increase your blog views by as much as 500 percent depending on how well you do!
2. Use that Persuasive Tone of Voice
Your style of writing has a big influence on your readability. Business blogs are typically very neutral, written in third person and dryer than a thesis paper. When writing professional correspondences, this voice might be appropriate, but if you want to deliver more entertaining, interesting and engaging content, consider getting a little creative and don’t be afraid of inserting yourself into the conversation.
Another important consideration is your audience’s intellectuality. If you want to appeal to a broader audience, remember that people like to read recreationally two grades below their actual reading level, and the average newspaper is written at the 11th grade level. In other words, avoid your inner F. Scott Fitzgerald (If you know who that is, Old Sport’s).
Finding your voice takes time and practice, and it helps greatly to find and follow regularly other writers you respect and enjoy reading.
3. Determine the Length of Your Post
First of all, there are two types: On one hand you have people who enjoy short, quick bursts of information delivered in bullet points and hyperlink, and on the other hand you have advocates who love longer content (usually between 1,500 to 3,000 words.)
Now the fix…? Find balance. Creating long and extensive content on a regular basis can be challenging, and many of your readers may not even want that. Create short pieces that will entertain and add value, but add to your mix longer and more thoughtful content.
4. Use Appealing Visuals
One of the most effective ways to make your content readable is by converting it to a visual format, such as an infographic, slide deck or even a video. Doing so requires that you break your content down to its absolute bare bones, which again, for readers makes it much easier to consume.
Also, while adding pictures to your content may not necessarily make content more readable, high impact visuals will help you differentiate and make it more noticeable.
See, we told….