Do you have a blog? If so, then it’s important that you acknowledge and appreciate blog readability. Put simply, the term “readability” speaks to how easy or enjoyable something is to read. The readability of your blog is a critical factor in determining whether you gain fans, subscribers, customers, and shares. With that in mind, here are 10 tips to help you improve the readability of your blog.
1. Write for an 8th-grade reading level
To better connect with a general audience, it’s recommended that you write for an 8th-grade reading level. Once you start writing beyond this point, less than 50% of Americans will be able to understand your writing, according to the Washington Post.
So, unless your blog is highly technical (if you’re targeting nuclear physicists, for example), keep your writing style simple. You can check the grade level and readability of your writing for free.
2. Use simple sentence structure
The more colons, semicolons, em-dashes, and commas you use in your sentences, the harder they are to follow.
When you’re writing or proofreading your work, always ask yourself how you can simplify and streamline your sentence structure.
3. Use shorter sentences
Along with a simple structure, you’ll want to keep sentences succinct. Generally speaking, if a sentence can be broken into two sentences, do it.
A period gives the reader’s brain a brief break. It also allows their brain more room to pick up the next line of thought.
Consider this rewording: a period gives the reader’s brain a brief break and also allows their brain more room to pick up the next line of thought.
See how the two-sentence version was more readable?
4. Use varied sentence structure and length
All that said, monotony puts the brain to sleep. So, make sure to vary your sentence structure and length.
5. Write conversationally
Remember, you’re writing for your blog, not for an English literature journal. One advantage that blogs offer is the opportunity to foster a sense of intimacy with your audience.
The most popular blogs are written as if the authors are having a casual conversation, not writing a thesis.
6. Use shorter paragraphs
Blogging is its own style of writing. And shorter paragraphs are a style of writing you’ll see on virtually every popular blog.
One to two sentences is the typical paragraph length you’ll see in most popular blogs because:
- It visually parcels the content so it seems less daunting.
- It moves the reader along.
- For bloggers who monetize their blogs, it allows for more ads to be displayed on the same page.
7. Use larger fonts
The font size in your body text should be large to maximize readability.
How large? At least a 16 point font, although bloggers such as Chris Lema use and recommend 18 point font.
8. Break it up with headers
Headers help break up text sections and transition readers to the next idea. So, don’t be afraid to use them on your blog.
Numbered lists and bullet points also improve readability in the body sections under each header.
9. Use more pictures
Relevant, entertaining, original, and informative pictures keep your blog readers engaged. They also help you appear in search engines’ image search results, directing more readers to your page.
10. Ask more questions
Are you finding this article helpful? We hope so!
Every so often, ask a question. This is the same trick teachers used when calling on you in class if they saw you daydreaming. Are you drawn back in now?
11. Use stories
Thog of the Stone Age could speak well, but he never learned to read or write. Neither did the other members of his tribe. To convey important messages from person to person, generation to generation, Thog and his gang sat around the communal fire at night sharing stories. Today, we’re all still wired for storytelling and story listening. Where possible in your blog, use stories to convey important messages.
12. Feel it
Passionate writing attracts passionate readers.
Don’t expect to grow an audience if your writing seems bland or detached. Writing with feeling makes your blog more readable because it will emotionally connect with people.
13. LMBO (laugh my butt off)
Use humor when and where appropriate. Humor not only makes your blog more enjoyable, engaging, and readable, but it also makes it more shareable. How many times have you seen someone on social media share a blog link by introducing it with some variation of LMBO?
Now, it’s time to get going! Put these 13 blog readability tips to work in your blog today, and watch your audience and shares grow.