News, news, news, read all about it! Online or in a newspaper? Let’s read that broadsheet with the black ink on your fingers and yesterday’s news. Imagine if you had a newspaper delivered every time there was new news to report?!
A few shortcomings aside, newspapers are easy to read because the layout works well for the travelling eye – columns of text with images or photos are familiar to the reader. Doing the same online can be trickier, but there are some formatting rules you can employ to make your blog posts easier to read.
Here are 5 ways to make your blog more readable and sharable:
1. A format easy on the eyes and using headers
Make your blog post easy to scan and read so there are visual cues of where the reader is and what’s coming next. Use headings like the one above to break up paragraphs of text.
2. Use of lists
I’m a big fan of using bullets or numbers as they help to make your points across effectively. It also helps people find the information they need to get to quickly.
3. Paragraphs and punctuation break up text
Using paragraphs, commas, dashes and new sentences break up long text and help make sense of what’s being said. Write out text as you would speak, but edit, edit and edit again to be sure you are making sense and use punctuation correctly.
4. An easy to read font and size
Where serif fonts like Times New Roman are preferred reading for print, sans serif fonts are easier to read on screen, particularly when learning new information. Remember also to make your font a reasonable size for the screen, not too big and not too small.
5. Good use of white space and images
When consuming a lot of information online, you often want to rest your eyes at times, so make use of white space on your page. You don’t have to fill every bit all with text and images and make it too busy. But using images is will draw people to articles so make sure they are relevant to what you are writing about, as they can often be the reason people visit in the first place.
Newspapers will be around for a while yet. Sundays sprawled out with an iPad is quite the same as the Observer and all its supplements. In the meantime, I hope blogs continue to be formatted and laid out so they’re as easy to read as newspapers.