Hello, hello! What’s happening with you lovely lot today? Have you blogged lately?
Speaking of blogging, let’s talk about blog readability. Or, rather, how to make your blog posts more readable. If you’re worried about things like search engine optimisation, blog DA, or bounce rate, learning about blog readability is vital. The more readable your posts are, the more readers you’re going to have. Not only that, the more those readers are going to come back, become long-term readers, read lots of different blog posts, and possibly lure in new readers, too.
Ooooh, sounds good, right?
What is Blog Readability?
I actually talk about the basics of blog readability a lot more in one of my previous posts:
In short, blog readability is exactly what it sounds like — how readable your blog is to readers. Posts that are not readable are not likely to be popular ones — they’ll have long chunks of text that are difficult to read, long sentences that don’t flow together well, and no/very few images. Readers might click on the page, but they’ll click right back off it very quickly afterwards. (Mostly — I’m generalising.)
In order to stop that from happening, you’ll want to make your blog more readable — approachable, friendly, and easy-to-read — as you can.
And I’ve got a few tricks that’ll help you do just that …
How to Make Your Blog Posts More Readable – 10 Top Tips
1 – ADD IMAGES
I talk about inserting images into your blog posts a lot. Too much, probably. But I’m gonna say it again …
USE MORE/BETTER/BRIGHTER IMAGES IN YOUR BLOG POSTS.
Use images to prove a point, to break up long chunks of text, and to make the page look better. On my vape website, I create vape device and eliquid reviews that have a lot of photos. And we’re talking about 10-20 images or so in each review, along with 1,500-3,000 words of text. It’s all separated up with sub-headings, and I use photos to show that a tank leaked/an eliquid looked a funny colour/a tank didn’t sit right on a box >>> to prove the points I’m trying to make.
The more detail and information you can offer readers — and the easier you make that information to read, understand and digest — the happier your blog readers are going to be.
2 – USE HEADINGS
Headings are important. Sub-headings are also important. If you don’t have headings or sub-headings in your blog posts, you have too much text bunched together.
Don’t just use headings as headings, though; use them to make a statement or as a way of inserting a quote.
When I have too much text bunched together in a paragraph, I find one particular sentence — a witty one-liner, usually — that I can use as a paragraph-breaker-upper. I’ll use that witty one-liner as a “heading”, even though it isn’t a heading.
Heading 1 — main headings.
(I always repeat the title underneath the introduction — it helps for SEO purposes and I just like it.)
Heading 2 — the little points/sub-headings.
(I use this heading type/size for individual points — 1,2,3,etc.)
Heading 3 – for the witty one-liners.
(I use this one for statements/quotes/witty one-liners used to break up a longer paragraph.)
I recommend playing around [using ‘preview’] with different headings in your WordPress theme to see how the different size/types look on a published page. In fact, I actually recommend playing around with all the little boxes and tools that WordPress has to offer. Use those boxes and tools to your advantage!
3 – USE SUB-HEADINGS
Yoast SEO recommends that you only have a maximum of 300 words between sub-headings to make the post easier to read. If you have more text than that, the page can seem overwhelming for someone who just wants to find some quick information. They won’t want to read through everything on the page for just one tiny detail and by using sub-headings, you’re making it easier for people to skim through your blogs (most people do this), using the sub-headings to find exactly the right section.
This blog post has used both headings and sub-headings. The sub-headings are each individual point I’m trying to make. If you’re a blogger reading this, you’ll likely have skimmed through the sub-headings, ignoring the stuff/points you already know about, focusing right on the sub-headings that you ARE interested in.
It’s cool. I don’t mind if you skim-read … much.
Oh, and since I mentioned Yoast …
4 – YOAST SEO PLUGIN FOR WORDPRESS
I talk about the Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress much more than any normal person/blogger, but I honestly can’t talk about the benefits enough. It literally talks you through the readability AND search engine optimisation process for every blog post, giving you a nice green light when you get it wrong. (And a horrible red/orange light when you don’t.)
I haven’t met a single blogger who downloaded Yoast and then bashed it. Everyone loves it. After a while, you’ll find that it becomes second nature to write the blog post the way Yoast suggests. That happened to me, anyway. Lots o’ green lights. I love it!
P.S. I sorted out that consecutive sentence-red light issue.
5 – USE A REALLY GOOD, CLEAR FONT
You see those fancy, script-like fonts that everyone’s digging right now? Yeah, well, I don’t like ‘em. I’m sorry. I just don’t.
I find fancy script-like lettering really difficult to read. They’re great fonts for Pinterest Pins or fancy stuff, but for blog posts … No. They’re not good.
I know you LOVE that new fancy font you found, but it’s not going to do you any favours. Fancy writing is much more difficult to read, especially on a smaller screen. Opt for something a bit more sensible and a touch less fancy.
6 – USE A BIG FONT
(But not too big.)
I have uhm’ed and ah’ed about the font on my own website(s) so many times, it’s not even funny. I like quite a small font, although I know it’s not preferable. Most people like a slightly larger font, although there IS such a thing as too large.
(People are just NEVER happy!)
Go with a font size YOU love, but take your target audience into consideration too. Really small fonts are very difficult to read and can put potential readers off. Very large fonts are annoying, take up too much of the page, and can make a small amount of text seem much larger.
7 – SHORTER PARAGRAPHS, PLEASE
Yoast recommends a paragraph length of 150 words. It doesn’t sound like an awful lot of words, but I definitely agree that shorter paragraphs help to make a blog look easy to read and more aesthetically pleasing.
8 – BACKGROUND STUFF
Okay, so, I’m not bashing anyone else’s blog. Nope. Not at all. I know that blogs are hard work and take a lot of time and effort, so I wouldn’t dream of bashing anyone else’s way of doing it.
A fussy background is the most annoying thing in the world, especially when the blog post itself contains information that I want to read. Really bright colours are touch-and-go. They either work or they don’t. Some colours, such as yellow, can have a habit of heading into garish territory. A lot of this stuff is simply a matter of taste, of course, but something that attracts attention in the background is going to detract attention from the brilliant content.
9 – SHORTER SENTENCES
Yes, it’s another little thing that Yoast recommends, but since using the plugin for WordPress my blog traffic has definitely increased … and my bounce rate has gone down. So … yeah, I’m pretty confident that paying attention to readability in your blog posts will make a MASSIVE difference.
Yoast gives you a warning to shorten your sentence length when more than 25% of the sentences in that blog post are longer than 20 words. It is generally understood that longer sentences are just as difficult to read as long paragraphs are, so it makes sense to shorten both.
Although constantly reviewing sentence length because Yoast gave me another red light is frustrating, it’s taught me to pay more attention to the way that I write. Before I used Yoast, over sixty percent of sentences in ALL of my blog posts were 20/25 words or more. I read those blog posts out loud and realised that they didn’t read brilliantly. I rewrote a few of the longer sentences, cutting them down and actually reading them out loud, and everything flowed together much better. Yoast gave me the green light, I republished them, and they’ve been much popular since.
10 – I, I, I …
Another thing I did A LOT before Yoast came into my life was start consecutive sentences with the same word.
“I like this …”
“I found myself doing that …”
“I think …”
Yoast gives you a red (bad) light when you have 3 or more consecutive sentences that start with the same word because it means you don’t have enough variety in your writing.
Again, this is really frustrating if you’re an I-er like I am, but it’s taught me to take a good, hard look at my writing and tweak it for the better. (I think.)
Tweaking your blog posts to make them more readable also does something else at the same time — it helps to bump up SEO. I’m not going to bombard you with information today, but if you check out the blog posts below, you’ll see how changing something simple like the name of your blog images can MASSIVELY boost the amount of traffic you get from Google and other search engines.
✪ Do you see how I used capital letters there? It’s a new revelation for me and my blog, but after reading a bunch of other bloggers’ posts, I’ve decided that capital letter headings are definitely easier to read. It’s my latest blog experiment, but what do you think? Like? Hate?
✪ Don’t be afraid to throw an emoji or two in there. Honestly, I can’t get enough of ‘em, but I think an emoji addict. Oh well 🤷🏼♀️
✪ Add more white space. Press ‘enter/return’ an extra time to spread out text more. Make it actually easier for people to skim over your post, and also read it thoroughly, too.
Plenty of white space = prettier, easier-to-read blog post.
✪ As you’ve probably already guessed (as I’ve mentioned it a hundred times) I use (free) Yoast for both readability and SEO. You should definitely download it and check it out. It basically walks you through the steps to get it right — green lights across the board — and I can personally confirm that it does work to increase blog traffic.
Begrudgingly, I’ll also admit that it’s made my writing better, too.
If you could advise ONE WordPress plugin for a brand new blogger, which one would it be and why? Mine’s Yoast. I honestly couldn’t live without it!
Thanks for reading my blog today. Now show me your blog links so I can come and take a peek at yours 👇🏻📲
FURTHER RESOURCES + READING:
- What Is a Compounding Blog Post?
- 111 Christmas Blog Post Ideas for Blogmas
- 21 Ways You Can Promote Your Blog on the Commute to Work