One side effect of the information overload we’re all suffering from is that we scan. We don’t read. We scan. It takes seconds for us to skim over an article and decide whether or not we want to read it, tweet it, pin it, etc. If that post is nothing but a page of flat text, there’s nothing to stop that fleeting eyeball in its tracks. Click & Tweet!
There are tons of really simple ways to break up your blog posts, without the need for mad tech skills, expensive software, or even much effort:
A no-brainer, right? Visually appealing imagery is often the reason people click through to your blog post in the first place (thanks, Pinterest!).
Uploading a nice image is a great way to smash through blocks of text. As a minimum, in all my posts I have a skinny header image up top, and then a larger one part through (usually made in Canva).
If you need a little help creating unique images for your blog, I’d highly recommend tapping into these resources:
Reading on a screen can be challenging. After a while, all that text starts to bleed together… subheadings stop that from happening. They give your eyes something to lock onto.
It’s no secret that I love a list post – well using different headings is a great way to list out ideas you want to discuss further. It’s also perfect for longer form content that needs separating into mini-chapters.
Click to Tweet
Embedding ready made tweets is such a quick win. Not only do they help break up your blog posts, but they encourage social sharing. They promote the use of your branded hashtags. AND they make life easier for business owners that can’t be arsed to write their own tweets (aka me).
The appearance of your block quotes will vary greatly depending on your website’s theme, but regardless, they add a little variety to your witing.
I like using block quotes for:
- Embedding testimonials
- Adding sections of discussions I’m had elsewhere
- Starting the article with a question I’ve been asked
- Including a few lines of content sourced from elsewhere, that have sparked that particular blog post
Literally, ALL you have to do is highlight the text you’d like to include in the block quote, then hit the quote marks button at the top of your blog editor. Simples!
A mixture of media
We’ve already talked imagery, but there are so many other types of media that can be added to your blog posts. You can insert video clips, audio recordings, Slideshare presentations, playlists, Instagram updates, tweets, Pin boards…
Make the most of the content that has been created for other platforms, and use it to add variety to your written pieces. Always, always, remember to link with love to anything that you didn’t create yourself.
Bullet points (or numbered lists)
Bullet points are a great way to integrate shorter lists into your writing. I tend not to use them for whole list posts, as I don’t think it’s all that appealing for a bullet point to be longer than 3 or 4 lines. But that’s just my personal preference.
Sign up blocks
If you’re offering a content upgrade alongside your blog post, embed a nice neat sign up form. I’d say use this technique sparingly though – don’t just add a newsletter sign-up in every post. Keep it relevant.
You don’t see many people taking advantage of the good old horizontal line, but it really is too quick and too easy to miss off this list! I tend to use them to separate either the first or final section of a post, if it doesn’t directly relate to the main content. For example, I’ve used one at the end of this post to create a distinction between this blog post, and the overview of the blog series it’s part of.