Within the blogosphere, it seems that our visitors are giving our blogs less and less time. But we still want visitors to come around, read what we have written for them, and share their thoughts. However, to accomplish this goal one of the things we as blog writers can do is create scannable content.
It’s not always easy and it’s not right for every post but taking the time to format your posts to enable scanning will help your readers get the information they want and move on.
Creating list posts is probably one of the easiest things to do and is the ultimate for creating a post that can easily be scanned for information.
There are two types of lists: ordered (numbered) and unordered (bullet points) as displayed below:
How to Use Lists
Pack punch with your lists. Whatever is your list item should be grabbing and provide information. A good example of this within my own work is what to write in a blog.
When using numbered lists, including the number of items you’re listing in your post title. It helps to grab attention and lets your readers know you’ve created something that is scannable and based on the number may even be a quick read.
Lists are often overdone so use this sparingly and choose when you can pack punch with a list or when it’d be best to elaborate on list items.
The use of headings can break up paragraphs of information; large or small. Headings are often my choice to use in posts and it is because as a blog reader, I appreciate them.
How to Use Headings
Most (WordPress) themes provide a styling for < h3 > (without spaces) which will give your post heading titles. I commonly use < h3 > and < h4 > to create separation within my posts. Test it out when formatting your posts and see how it looks for you!
Test it out when formatting your posts and see how it looks for you!
Why is Scannable Content Important?
Think about it for a second, how many blogs do you read? Do you always read word for word of every single post? Probably not.
Chances are you scan the posts, grab the information you need, comment on a single point, and move on. A lot of people do it and while most of us would appreciate readers slowing down it just won’t happen.
Enabling your readers to get your point and quickly will ensure that they keep coming back. You don’t want readers to say “that site had really good information but I never have the time to read all of it.” That will create a subscriber who unsubscribes and grabs their information elsewhere.
How do you create content that is easily scannable for your readers? Do you scan content or are you a word-for-word post reader? What do you enjoy seeing with post formatting?