Creating and publishing (long form) blog content is one part of the story.
The other part you should actually pay close attention to is how well your readers take your blog posts!
Do they click on your links? Do they check out your social media updates and do they find it to be interesting?
Do they share your blog posts? Do they leave a comment?
Do they read through your blog posts? Or do they just skim and leave?
These are the things you have to pay attention to after you have published a blog post.
But the thing is you cannot “worry” about how well your readers take your blog post after publishing it.
You should start thinking about even before publishing your blog post – to be precise, even before writing it.
You should do all that you can to get everything right before you publish so that after you publish your content, people read it fully.
“You should do all that you can” – so, what can you do to make people read your long form blog posts fully?What should you do to make your readers read your long form content fully?Click To Tweet
Write easily digestible posts
When something is hard, people ignore it. Especially on the internet, people want things to be easy, light (yet, attractive), and give them fast results.
They are not ready to spend time on understanding something that’s quite complex.
If someone else can explain the same thing much easier (than you), then your readers will prefer that someone instead of yours.
The concept could be the same, the tips could be the same – yet, if it is hard to digest on your site and if someone else explains it easier, people will prefer that.
So how can you make your post easily digestible? Talk in plain, simple language.
This is highly important.
No matter how much of an expert you are on the topic, you should expect your reader to be a dummy on the topic – which is why you are creating that piece of content in the first place, right?
If your reader is an expert, he/she will not need to read that piece of content, right?
So get plain, simple. Explain everything in as much detail as you can.
Avoid jargons or industry words – if you have to use such words, introduce them in the post.
Here’s an example of a jargon loaded paragraph:
Explain complex concepts by breaking them down, adding appropriate screenshots or explanatory images, or show them how to do stuff in a video.
Here’s a tutorial that explains how to bake a cake from scratch and the author does a very good job of explaining stuff pictorially:
Rather than simply explaining the steps in text, this pictorial representation helps make the content much easily digestible.
When the reader is trying out this recipe at home, he/she can check out how his own progress matches with that explained in the post, right?
Break up content into small paragraphs
You could be speaking in plain simple language. But if your blog post is visually too much to digest, again, people will ignore it.
How can your content be too much to digest, when you are talking simple language?
Well, it is not enough if you speak simple language, but you have to present it in a simple way – visually.
As I said, adding images, screenshots or videos matter a lot.
But even if you do that, breaking your content into small, digestible paragraphs matter a lot.
Here’s an example of a boring, long paragraph:
No matter how much useful information is there on that piece of content, it is highly hard for people to keep the attention throughout such a long paragraph.
You have to split the bunch of sentences into paragraphs. Make them short. Easy to digest.
Something like this:
Use eye-catching images (videos or slides) when screenshots are out of question
I’ve already talked about adding screenshots. But what if your blog post explains a theory or something concrete that doesn’t need a screenshot?
Even if your blog post is a kind of post that won’t fit in a screenshot, try adding engaging images to make it eye-catching, entertaining.
Also adding such images provide a break to your readers from reading the text.
Embedding accompanying videos, or slides is also a great idea!
Here’s an example (from this post):
Use varying patterns (quotes, highlights, etc.)
Just text – plain text – won’t cut it (even if you break it into small paragraphs). You have to add variety (apart from images, and screenshots).
So what can you add?
You can add supporting quotes.
You can highlight certain important parts of text – like using italics, bold, underline.
You can add tweetables.
You can add bullet points.
You can add content in standalone boxes.
Here’s an example of bullet points in a content box:
Taking the pattern from plain text to variety matters a lot!
I cannot emphasise the importance of adding sub-headings to your blog post.
Apart from helping your readers skim your blog post, sub-headings do a lot more!
For one, sub-headings give Google and other search engines an idea about the content you have on site because they are embedded in h2 or h3 title tags.
And this is very important for SEO.
The keywords and phrases you include in your sub-headings count and they help you rank for long tail keywords.
And I’m not simply talking about SEO and ranking here.
The more your search engine visibility is, the better your chances are to be found out by the right people. So in turn this helps your readers find your content.
And if your readers like to skim the main points, having sub-headings helps.
But you want your readers to read your full posts, right? So can you avoid sub-headings?
Nope! That won’t work.
Having interesting, and important sub-headings will make your readers read your full blog posts.
Here’s a wonderful post that helps you write sub-headings that work.
Present long form blog posts like a pro
What if you have super long blog posts?
Can you simply choose to write short blog posts just because you are afraid people will jump off the wagon?
It is true that people have a very short attention span, especially on the internet.
But that doesn’t mean you should avoid writing long form content.
In fact, you should be writing quite some (in fact a lot of, if you can) long form content as it boosts your search engine rankings, makes your blog highly useful for your readers and so on.
So how do you make your readers stick to your long form blog post?The essential tips you need to make your readers read your long form content fullyClick To Tweet
Apply all these above-mentioned tips. Plus, if appropriate add a table of content at the beginning of the post if that’s appropriate.
You can also add a compact cheatsheet or some form of downloadable content that can accompany your blog post.
Ready to try these tips out? Go ahead and implement them in your long form blog posts (and regular blog posts too).