Back To Top
Hey guys, Deon here.
If you are reading this then you are probably a DeonVsEarth contributor who is seeking to learn how to become a successful blogger, writer, or contributor in general — not just on the DeonVsEarth platform.
But with that being said the purpose of this blog post is to teach you guys how to format your content in a way that makes it much easier to read and digest.
Lets face it, the attention-span of your average online surfer is smaller than than the attention of a squirrel. Think about it, We are so used to getting information at the speed of light that we run from any content that is not “mouth fed” to us using tools such as videos and images.
In the minds of most people in America, reading is considered to be hard work!
Do you remember being in a High-school literature course where your teacher would command that for homework, you guys had to read those long, annoying, and boring poems whose only real accomplishment was making you get sleepy in record time?
Did you enjoy that class? Furthermore did you actually do your homework?
For the vast majority of you reading this blog post, the answer to both of those questions is “Not Really”.
This is exactly what what we want to avoid as online bloggers/writers.
In school, students pretty much “Had” to read those poems in order to successfully complete the course and graduate from school.
This is not so online, our readers don’t “Have” to read the things that we write — they can just as easily hit the “Back” to leave your page or the “X” to close the browser entirely!
Therefore in order to succeed online as a blogger, we must learn from our handicapped cousin (Literature) and see everything that it did wrong in the classroom — we can then take the necessary steps to avoid making those same mistakes.
Do you remember being in a literature class and seeing an enormous paragraph that was so intimidating that you stared at it for 5 minutes just trying to find the courage to start reading the first sentence?
This is a no-no.
Look at the image below
Big blocks of text (such as in the image) have the tendency to scare readers, and as we have already stated — readers on our blog don’t “Have” to read a scary paragraph if they don’t want to (and most don’t want to).
Therefore in order to keep from intimidating readers, we want to break our content up into small “Sections” using paragraphs and titles. Doing so makes the content look less “painful” to read.
See the image below
When writing, it is important that you keep your readers so engaged with what you are saying that they essentially forget that they are actually reading to find out.
But with that being said, one way to lose a reader is if you start to stray away from the initial topic of the blog post. As a general rule of thumb (not law), remember that each blog post should be dedicated to discuss one topic.
Because all topics can indirectly lead to another topic, if you tried to capture all of the connections within one blog post you would be writing until — well until Jesus returns.
Besides, readers clicked to read more about the title of the blog post.
So if your title is “Why dogs make the best pets” your readers aren’t interested in learning about the talking goldfish you bought from the pet store (ok maybe if it can actually talk).
Have you ever flipped through the pages of a book hoping to find interesting pictures only to discover that there are none?
Were you disappointed?
Most people are. In fact, they are usually so disappointed that they decide not to even bother reading whatever the book is about.
When reading a large body of words, the eyes begin to get tired and the mind begins to become bored. Having pictures within your website content is similar to giving your brain a “Water-break” and allowing it to refresh itself before it continues reading your content.
As a writer, you want to do everything within your power to treat the brains of your readers like kings and queens so they don’t mind reading your content.
Can you imagine being thirsty at someone’s house yet they will not offer you a glass of water? How long will you stay there before you conclude that its time to go?
Not only that, but you will be hesitant to go back over next time.
Now compare that to going over the house of someone who bakes you cookies, and gives you a large glass of milk on top of an interesting conversation.
A person who treats their guests like that would have to fight people off their front porch with a broom-stick!
This is the same atmosphere you want to create while writing.
NOTE: Although images are helpful, you don’t want to over-use them. Too many images makes your content look “Cluttered”.
Imagine you are a guest in someone’s house. Although the person is nice and everything, you have to step over dirty clothes, toys, and cats just to get to the bathroom and back. Although this may be fine for a while, it won’t be long until it begins to get annoying.
So use images, but use them sparingly.
Do you remember reading “Romeo and Juliet” in High-school?
What about “Othello”?
If so then I am assured that thou art’est familiar with how annoying “old English” can be to thee.
Readers don’t have time to try to decipher what you are saying nor do they have time to spend re-reading a sentence that you meant to be a joke.
When you write, your message should be so clear that anyone with a 5th grade education can make sense of exactly what you are saying. Doing anything else, you risk putting your readers to sleep.
Sometimes beginning bloggers can allow themselves to become so infatuated with the art of making themselves appear to be intellectually competent that they often sacrifice clarity and simplicity for a plethora of ravishing words and clever (yet confusing) word-play.
TRANSLATION: It is better to sound AVERAGE and have everyone understand your point, than to sound intelligent and leave everyone saying… “Huh?”
Earlier in this blog post I expressed that because most people view reading as “work”, It is important to keep them so caught up in the topic of your writing that they essentially forget that they are reading.
With that being said, one way to fail at doing this is to use too many questions and/or extremely short sentences.
Have you ever tried to read a blog post? How did you feel? Was it a long blog post? How long was it? I have read many blog posts. Some were very long. Others were very short. I am a new blogger but I getting the hang of it.
As you can see, the example includes so many questions and short sentences that it is tiring (and annoying) to read.
People who come to your post are looking for you to provide information to them, they don’t want to feel like they are taking a survey from a gentleman who found their phone number in a phone book.
Keep your sentences as complete thoughts and use questions sparingly.
Armed with all of this information, I believe that anyone who is able to internalize these tips has the potential to become a successful writer/blogger in today’s fast moving cyber-world.
Remember that these are just general guidelines, and with every rule there is always an exception — but by understanding the logic behind these tips, you will be able to decide when those exceptions are appropriate.
But be sure to frequently check this page, new tips will be added as they are discovered/ realized.
Thanks for reading 🙂