How to Engage Blog Readers Who Are in a Rush

By: | September 20, 2015 | Tags: , , , , , | 72 comments

Keep Blog Readers at your site longerYou have a problem.

You have more and more decisions to make due to the increasing number of choices the Internet gives you.

Imagine how busy your readers are.

This post is for people with busy readers, readers too busy to read your blog posts.

That means this post is for you.

According to CoSchedule, reading information on the Internet takes 25% longer than reading it on the printed page.  However, your readers don’t have 25% more time.

Your goal has to be to create the maximum amount of information but format it in a way that will take less time to read.

Research shows that when people land on a post, they rarely make it all the way down the page. Most people don’t even make it halfway.

That means your bounce rate is higher than it has to be.  Readers will bounce right off your page and land on another page, on another blog.

How many other choices will they have?

[bctt tweet=”2015 statistics state there are over 450 million blogs. This article will keep your readers on your blog.”]

This post is designed to stop them from leaving, no matter how busy they are, no matter how many choices they have.


How to Keep Busy Readers Reading Your Blog


  • Write Short Headings and Subheads  Your headings should be a minimum of four words and a maximum of eight words. When you tag your post, you use key words.  Make sure you use those key words in your headings.
  • Write Short Lists  Bullet the list if the sequence is not important.  Use a numbered list if it is.
  • Write a Short Introduction  Your introduction should be one sentence long that states the point of your post.
  • Write Short Sentences  Your sentences should not be longer than 25 words.
  • Write Short Paragraphs  Your first sentence should be one sentence long. Your second paragraph should be no more than two sentences long. If your other paragraphs are longer than three sentences, they are too long; break them down into smaller chunks.
  • Write a Short Conclusion  Your last paragraph should not be longer than 50 words.
  • Write a Short Post  CouchPotahto offers five-line movie reviews. Have content with only one key point. According to CoSchedule‘s Julie Neidlinger, “Scanning a small paragraph is easier than a long one.”
  • Write a Post with a Short Main Idea  Complex topics generally are written in longer posts which would take longer to read.


  • Write Headings  If readers are in rush, they can just read the headings as if they were reading an outline. What is important is that they get to the bottom in order to share the article with their followers.
  • Write Your Best Tip First  Your readers will be more inclined to stick around if you start strong.
  • Put Important Elements on the Left  This helps readers who read left to write. If you have readers that read right to left, put the important elements on the right.
  • Use Bold  This should be followed by text that isn’t bold.
  • Use Infographics  Readers process information in visuals quicker than text.
  • Use Graphics  Text that is too close together slows readers down.  Breaking text up with graphics expedites their reading.
  • Use Quotes  The change in formatting makes it easier to skim your information, keeping readers on your post longer.


According to, “Web users scan for information rather than reading content word-by-word, so we need to break down the text.” This post explained how to do that.

Are you too busy to count your words and sentences? Your readers are busy too.  Blogging is about helping them.

So, help them. You will meet their needs if you follow the tips in this post.

[bctt tweet=”This post is designed to stop readers from leaving, no matter how busy they are.”]

You will stop them– if you take the advice in this post.

Readers, before you go, please share, so other bloggers have this list of how to help their busy readers.

Bloggers, did I miss any? Any other tips for helping busy people read blogs? Any you disagree with? I look forward to your views.

Related Post:

How to Engage Your Blog Readers

5 Simple Ways to Increase Your Readers’ Time at Your Blog

How to Build the Perfect Blog Even if You Don’t Know How



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  1. Janice, Of all your many very helpful lessons, my assessment is that this one is the most important!
    Hundreds of millions of bloggers in your traffic lane. Remember, “It’s not the bear that you have to out-run”!
    Janice Academy is a jewel-on-the-net. ccr
    Charles Rogers recently posted…Reincarnation? Maybe We Are a Universal Spirit of Infinite TimeMy Profile

  2. Another useful post. I agree with keeping posts short and too the point to many are far to long and cover too much. You can only get away with it if the post is so interesting it’s worth carry on. Occasionally I do find posts like that.

    • Hi Eric,
      I wrote you tonight. Thank you for inclusion in your honorable list. I will be linking back to you Monday in my weekly recap. The honor you gave me definitely merits mention! Thanks for writing.
      Janice Wald recently posted…Inspire Me Monday Linky Party #51My Profile

  3. Janice, you also surprise me with how much I don’t know!!
    450 million blogs?? I don’t know if I’d have the courage to start mine if I’d known that!
    Melinda recently posted…So So SorryMy Profile

    • Hi Melinda,
      Thanks for writing.
      I wrote Charles I agreed with you–Janice Academy, too funny. As far as your comment, I’m glad the timing worked out the way it did–you’re a great blogger!
      Janice Wald recently posted…Inspire Me Monday Linky Party #51My Profile

  4. First of all, thank you so much for the link back to my post! It’s because of people like you that us bloggers find the motivation to keep writing more, always trying to be better than before 🙂
    And what fine points you’ve shared here! I too have a tendency to drone on a subject sometimes but I’ve found that I always perform better on a post that was to-the-point. I’ll be sure to keep following your advice in the future 🙂

    • Hi A.B.,
      What kind words. I motivate people? That’s great! How very nice to hear. Thank you!
      Thank you as well for the compliments on my article. I am glad you found it helpful. Thanks for writing.
      Janice Wald recently posted…Inspire Me Monday Linky Party #51My Profile

  5. Because of the kind of blog I write, some of these affect me more than others. Keeping paragraphs short definitely seems to help, for example. It’s interesting that there are 450 million blogs. I see I still have some way to go with my reading. 🙂
    Bun Karyudo recently posted…Still Green with the Guitar BluesMy Profile

    • Hi Bun Karyudo,
      When I saw your name on the Comment list, I had a feeling there would be a joke somewhere in your comments. You did not disappoint! Thanks for reading what I wrote and writing me. Thanks also for visiting my blog this weekend.
      Janice Wald recently posted…How to Engage Blog Readers Who Are in a RushMy Profile

  6. Once again you have proven why you and I mean you should be getting out a degree in blogging I’m so glad now that other people are seeing the same thing that I said months ago you are the blogging guru

  7. Agree agree agree that long posts have more significant bounce rates! A short post is so much more readable today. I always shudder when I read advice that tells folks to write long. No no no!

    • Hi Carol!
      Thank you for reading what I wrote and commenting. Word count is a double-edged sword. If it’s long enough to help increase SEO, readers may get bored and leave. Conversely, if it’s short enough for readers to get to the bottom to share, it may not be long enough for SEO. Nice to see you.
      Janice Wald recently posted…How to Engage Blog Readers Who Are in a RushMy Profile

  8. Great advice, as usual. When I was writing for the Florida Times Union, I was told to write as if I were addressing an intelligent high school freshman — i,e., be clear, brief and not too complex. Make it simple enough so that even a Donald Trump could understand it. I’d also suggest photos: one picture is worth a thousand words. If you can find a compelling photo that coincides with your topic, use it up front!

  9. I agree that paragraphs should short and concise, however, I do not think that making every sentence a separate paragraph is a good idea. It may make the reader wonder if the write has a good grasp of the rules of English and grammar. I make my paragraphs at least three sentences, which is between 5 and 6 lines. JMO! 🙂

    • Hi Tracey,
      As you might have seen, I did not use Jon Morrow as a source for this article. However, he does agree with the sources I did use that say the first paragraph is only one ling long–the point of the article. The rest are up to 3 sentences maximum. That is your minimum, so there is some comonality between the philosophies. Thank you so much for clicking my link and coming on over, and again for retweeting my link at Twitter.
      Janice Wald recently posted…How to Engage Blog Readers Who Are in a RushMy Profile

  10. As always, you give great tips Janice
    Carol Graham recently posted…Where to Look if Your Dog Goes MissingMy Profile

  11. Thanks for these pointers. Your tips are really helping me.
    Lbeth recently posted…Dear Auntie Linda, Septenber 19, 2015My Profile

  12. This great info should be able to help many on short time. 🙂 PS I’m still having to fill in all my info to comment 🙁

    • I don’t think Merri was able to duplicate the problem. She said she could turn off Comment Luv temporarily, but that seems extreme. Maybe if they have a plugin update, it will fix itself then.
      Thanks for writing, the compliments on the post, and the kind words you wrote me today. I appreciate your friendship too,, so much. I am actually glad they killed off Dr. Shephard. Becoming friends with you was a high point of this year.
      Janice Wald recently posted…Inspire Me Monday Linky Party #51My Profile

  13. Thanks again for the tips. This seems daunting!
    Hil recently posted…Mabon WreathMy Profile

  14. Janice, as everyone has already said, this one is gold! Won’t be surprised if this does not go viral! Admittedly, I love me a short blog post. If it is about a photo or quote on an exceptionally busy day, I will definitely click and read! I want to be supportive of other bloggers and continue the sense of community by reading as many as I can. When I see a post has 1000 words or 800 photos I have to scroll through I am leaving, or don’t stop by at all. People don’t all read blogs on the WordPress reader, and many read on mobile devices. Not sure what I am trying to say here, other than I love this post 🙂

    • Wow Terri,
      High praise! Thank you so much! Whether or not it goes viral, it is thrilling just to hear you say those words. Thank you!

    • Yes!! No more thousand word posts! We’d buy a book if that’s what we wanted! My biggest pet peeve or posting a dozen times a day!

      • Hi Anna,
        1. How did you find the post? It’s older now.
        2. I had to review what I wrote. Honestly, I’m a huge fan of 1000+ posts. Our readers get more thorough information, people will be more likely to share, and apparently it gets found easier on SEO.
        3. That said, I definitely wrote people are successful with shorter posts. Clearly, there are bloggers that are. Thank you for writing and for the visit.
        It sounds like blog post length is a controversial issue. Those are always fun discussing.
        Janice Wald recently posted…How to Quickly and Easily Get Hundreds of Twitter Followers Part IIMy Profile

  15. I know that I don’t like long blog posts unless it is something that I really, really want to read…thanks for the information

  16. These are really good tips. I try to keep my posts under 750 words, but I don’t use bullets or subheads enough. I’ll look for more opportunities to use those. I also struggle with headline writing – that’s definitely something I need to keep working on.
    Katy Kozee recently posted…5 Great Life Lessons From Yogi BerraMy Profile

    • Hi Katy,
      Thank you so much for reading what I wrote and writing me. Nice to meet you. There are so many sites that help with headline writing today. They have really removed the “struggles” for me.
      Bullets and subheads do break up the monotony of the text. Think of it like writing an outline of your post. Thanks for your visit.
      Janice Wald recently posted…Weekly Roundup #8My Profile

  17. I really like your post and your points. In reality that is the sort of post I like. I do stop and read posts, usually right through.
    I am a bit confused in that I have just read that the most shared posts are around 2000 words. I guess it all depends on the subject and your audience.
    I would like you to come and share this on Fridays Blog Booster Party, link attached. We take blogging seriously on this party and we would benefit from your wisdom.
    Kind regards, Kathleen
    Kathleen recently posted…Fridays Blog Booster Party #25My Profile

    • Hi Kathleen,
      Thank you for the compliments and the invitation. I am definitely interested and will join you.
      As far as word count, I agree that longer is better for SEO purposes. Google can find you easier. However, whether readers stick with you through the longer posts, as you said may be hit and miss. Other factors like formatting, for example, may determine those things.
      On my way to your party. See you there!
      Janice Wald recently posted…Weekly Roundup #8My Profile

    • Hi Kathleen,
      I just returned from the party and I like the rationale very much. Do you have a mailing list you can add me to, so I get apprised weekly about the party?
      Please add me if you have one. My Email is [email protected]. Thanks for everything–the visit, reading what I wrote, the comments, and the invitation to your linky party.
      Janice Wald recently posted…Weekly Roundup #8My Profile

  18. As a relative newbie to the blogosphere, I found these tips to be immensely helpful. And your post itself demonstrates that you walk the walk! Thanks for sharing.

  19. Great suggestions. I am blown away by the estimated number of blogs out there. No wonder things are competitive!

    • Hi Helene,
      Did you read the other comments on this post? Other reacted to the overwhelming number of blogs out there as well. Thank you for visiting my site, reading what I wrote, and writing me.
      Janice Wald recently posted…Weekly Roundup #8My Profile

    • Thank you again for the kind words. I wanted you to know I tried to visit your site as well, but I couldn’t find a link.

  20. I’ve learned over time what works and what doesn’t work because people don’t have time to read entire posts. I love reading your tips – on all your posts – and this one is so useful and valuable. Many thanks.
    Cathy Chester recently posted…How To Be A Really, Really, Really Good ListenerMy Profile

    • Hi Cathy,
      I saw your picture with your comment and smiled. So great to see you!
      I agree with what you wrote about lack of time. That’s the beauty of the bold subheads and the headings–people in a hurry can read it like an outline, still get the main points, and still get to the bottom to share. Thank you so much for the kind words.
      Janice Wald recently posted…Weekly Roundup #8My Profile

  21. I was laughing as I was reading this because, of course, I was scanning it! Ha! Great tips, thank you!
    Kimberly recently posted…Labeling Suicide ‘Selfish’ is Just StupidMy Profile

    • Hi Kimberly,
      Thank you so much for coming over to visit my site and read my article.
      I am LOVING your Facebook group. I had fun this week. Except… I don’t think I ever found out what an Oxford comma is LOL. Thanks again for the visit and the kind words about what I wrote.
      Janice Wald recently posted…Weekly Roundup #8My Profile

  22. Great tips! It’s so hard to get that bounce rate down, but you have to make sure your writing isn’t turning away your readers! Found your post on SITS Sharefest, will be pinning!
    Janelle recently posted…10 Reasons to Love Running in the FallMy Profile

    • Hi Janelle, Nice to see you again. I believe we’ve met before. Thanks for clicking my link over at SITS. I’m glad you enjoyed my article. Janice

  23. I’m going to look at all my first paragraphs and shorten them to one sentence. I do try to keep paragraphs short but know I could improve. And I am adament about keeping posts 500 words or less. I use coschedule too. These were great tips and I’m going to apply them as you have demonstrated in your post. Thanks for the help!
    Molly Stevens recently posted…Seven New Sponsors for The ViewMy Profile

    • Hi Molly,
      I am so glad you enjoyed the article. I do know that my page views increased when I followed this instruction. I’m an English (and history) teacher and would never tell students to make a whole paragraph one sentence, but in blogging, it does seem to help. Thank you for reading what I wrote and writing me.
      Janice Wald recently posted…How to Be Memorable in a Sea of BloggersMy Profile

  24. SUCH good tips and YES, my bounce rate is always a concern. Anything I can learn to up my blogging game is a good thing 🙂 Stopping by from the SITS Sharefest!
    Rebecca Flansburg recently posted…9 Places you Will Encounter on Your Freelance JourneyMy Profile

    • Hi Rebecca, I’m glad you enjoyed my article about helping readers who are in a rush. Thank you for clicking my link over at SITS.

  25. What a great post Janice. Engagement and bounce rate are very real issues for bloggers. Lots of great tips that I can use here. Thank you for linking your post to #MidLifeLuv.
    Elena Peters recently posted…#MidLifeLuv Linky Party September 25/15My Profile

  26. Great tips for blog traffic. I know that we are such an instant generation so we need to catch readers attention quick. Appreciate you sharing.
    Rebecca recently posted…No, No I Did Not Want to be a Coder !!!My Profile

  27. Hi Janice,This post was in the TOP SIX most clicked on Fridays Blog Booster Party #25. It will be FEATURED on Friday. It was great to have you at the party.
    Kathleen recently posted…Banana Fritters Gluten FreeMy Profile

    • Hi Kathleen, since going to your linky party, I am thrilled to say I have consistently received traffic from your site. And now to hear I am being featured! I am sincerely grateful for this honor. Can’t wait for Friday! Thanks for letting me know. I am thrilled!

  28. Good advice, Janice. If I come across a very lengthy read, and including long paragraphs, as well, I move on. Even, extremely long poems lose my attention.

    • Hi Eugenia,
      Thanks for clicking my link and commenting on the article.
      Many people are used to the way they taught paragraph writing in school– 5 to 8 sentences. Today’s info consumers don’t have time for that and will be turned off.
      Thanks for your testimonial that sometimes, less is more.
      Janice Wald recently posted…Why You Need to Start Visual Blogging Today to See ResultsMy Profile

  29. Hi,
    Thank you for featuring me. I am honored.
    Janice Wald recently posted…Weekly Roundup #9My Profile

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