Improve The Effectiveness of Your
Emails & Posts With These Structure Tips
Here’s a tip for bloggers and email marketers alike!
The web isn’t your Grandmother’s schoolbook!
While we are taught in school to write in paragraph blocks, that format is actually challenging to read on the screen. It causes what we call a “wall o’text” impact on the reader and their eyes don’t even bother to skim it effectively.
Any time readers are faced with a “wall o’text” you will lose most of them because there is little opportunity to pre-sell them on what you’re about to say.
Structuring Your Content For Web Readers
If, instead of that mess, you will read your paragraphs aloud (or aloud in your head) and find the natural cadence/rhythm of them… you will find the right place to create additional line breaks. Generally this is after two to three sentences.
Once you’ve split your paragraphs up (as I’m doing here), then you go back through your writing and you use bold and italic (sometimes at the same time and sometimes independently) to make key phrases, in particular emotion inducing words and “power words” pop from the page. You also add emphasis to key points this way.
Bullets can also help a lot – but not all themes support bullets well. If your bullets are cramped/smooshed together, they will not help you. (See the image above.) Problems with bullets is almost always a theme issue. You can either have your theme customized – or find a new theme – but don’t just ignore the issue.
You’ll know you’ve accomplished this effectively when your eyes can quickly scan from the top to the bottom and, based on the bold/italics, pick out all the key points and main emotive words almost instantly.
While, yes, you will encourage skimming of your content – people actually WANT to be able to do that before they decide if they will read it. When you learn to use this formatting, you’ll see that your engagement goes up – AND – in emails you send, you tend to get more action. People will not take the time to read, but will skim, and often will click your links if they already trust you.
This works hand in hand with a theme that has good structure, font size (not too tiny), line spacing (not too cramped) and font color (black on white rather than grey on white) to improve the ease of use of your site for your reader. That results in your site becomes less of a chore to read!
(And that, results in more of the things you desire… like time on site and social shares!)
So remember… beware of the wall o’text!
Have you encountered blogs that – either intentionally or due to their theme – have a tendency to have the wall o’text effect going on?
How do you feel about blogs that are tightly spaced?
What tip can you give other bloggers regarding making their content easier for your to enjoy?
~ Kim ~
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