This article is part of the Newbie Blogger Initiative (NBI) and meant for advice for new bloggers! Find out more about NBI.
While I wouldn’t recommend you totally throw out what you know about writing essays as it probably is a good idea your post has a basic topic that you are talking about and have supporting paragraphs but there is one thing you need to know when writing for a post on the web.
People Don’t Read – They Scan
There may be a few folks who will actually read your entire article word for word but the reality is most will not. I can attest to this in the number of questions I get on guides I write where the answer to their question is in the guide, they just didn’t read it.
In the first couple seconds of opening your article, your reader will judge if they will actually read your article. They will look at your opening paragraph and scan down the page and see if this is something of interest to them.
How do you capture the scanner’s attention?
- Headers separating your thoughts into categories to grab attention
- Bulleted lists to quickly scan details in an organized fashion.
- Stress important words and phrases with tools such as bold, italics, highlights or color (avoid using underlines as in the web world that = hyperlink)
- Keep your paragraphs short.
- Images! Draw people’s eyes to a topic by using appropriate images that enhance your story or subject
Re-arrange Your Paragraphs
Start your paragraphs with your most impactful statement. If a scanner is going to read any part of a paragraph, it’s going to be the first sentence. Especially if the paragraph is near the top of the page or the start of a new sub-header. Let the reader know what you’re trying to tell them in that paragraph and you could capture their attention to read the rest.
It’s Your Blog – You Decide
Now I certainly am not a writing wizard with all the answers. To be perfectly honest, one of the most difficult classes I’ve ever taken in school was Creative Writing which you would think would be pretty good skill to have for a blog owner.
Just because someone took the time to give you “rules” for writing on the web doesn’t mean you need to follow them all. Your content and your blog are yours and it should reflect your unique style. If something here simply doesn’t jive with you and your style, I advise to forget it. You are the boss of your blog!