Creating quality content is about so much more than just the process of writing, itself.
If you’re writing for humans and robots, there are a few different steps that you’ll have to take to transform a rough draft into something that’s worth publishing.
After finishing a first draft, this might include:
- Editing for spelling and grammar.
Reading the piece out loud to find awkward phrasing.
Following an SEO checklist for incorporating a primary keyword, internal/external links, and so on.
I also do a round of edits around readability and formatting. Putting the effort forth to improve both contributes to a better user experience for my reader.
But how exactly do you make content more readable/improve formatting?
These tips can help you establish a process for creating a user-friendly content consumption experience:
- Add a table of contents at the beginning of the article to allow people to easily find what they’re looking for. Install a table of contents WordPress plugin to automatically generate a table of contents on each blog post.
- Use descriptive subheadings to set expectations around what people can expect to read about in each section.
- Use short sentences and paragraphs to keep people scrolling. Avoid/rewrite run-on sentences and try to keep most paragraphs to a maximum of three sentences.
- Break up the text and help people understand your content from a different perspective by including media at least every other subheading. This could be an image, screenshot, video, embedded Tweet, GIF, infographic, or anything else that adds dimension to your words.
- Emphasis important points with text decorations: bold, italic, and underline.
- Use bullet points to make lists easier to read (they create more whitespace).
TL:DR; Create white space whenever possible so that people aren’t overwhelmed with walls of text.
By taking the time to make your content more enjoyable to consume, you’re making it worth the investment of time it takes to produce in the first place.
Do you have any tips you’d add to improve the user experience around consuming blog and other website content? I’d love to hear what’s working for you!
Until next time,
Maddy Osman, The Blogsmith
P.S. Have other questions about content? Book one of my available office hours for a free 30-minute mentoring session!