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

Length

  • 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.

Formatting

  • 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.

Conclusion

According to kerryr.net, “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

Sources:

Coschedule.com

Kerryr.net

 

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  1. Eric Klingenberg at 3:50 am

    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.

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  3. Abeeha at 7:17 am

    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 🙂

  4. Bun Karyudo at 7:42 am

    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

  5. John Doe at 8:11 am

    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

  6. Carol Cassara at 9:06 am

    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!

  7. Bella Silverstein at 11:20 am

    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!

  8. Tracey at 11:21 am

    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! 🙂

    • Janice Wald at 10:09 pm

      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
      Janice Wald recently posted…How to Engage Blog Readers Who Are in a RushMy Profile

    • Janice Wald at 11:30 pm

      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
      Janice Wald recently posted…Inspire Me Monday Linky Party #51My Profile

  9. Terri Webster Schrandt at 8:49 pm

    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 🙂

      • Janice Wald at 4:31 pm

        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
        Janice Wald recently posted…How to Quickly and Easily Get Hundreds of Twitter Followers Part IIMy Profile

    • Janice Wald at 10:48 pm

      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
      Janice Wald recently posted…Weekly Roundup #8My Profile

  10. Kathleen at 6:45 am

    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

    • Janice Wald at 10:51 pm

      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
      Janice Wald recently posted…Weekly Roundup #8My Profile

    • Janice Wald at 11:20 pm

      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
      Janice Wald recently posted…Weekly Roundup #8My Profile

    • Janice Wald at 11:22 pm

      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
      Janice Wald recently posted…Weekly Roundup #8My Profile

  11. Molly Stevens at 4:06 am

    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

    • Janice Wald at 12:49 am

      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
      Janice Wald recently posted…How to Be Memorable in a Sea of BloggersMy Profile

    • Janice Wald at 11:16 pm

      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!
      Janice

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  15. Eugenia at 7:24 am

    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.

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