As we discuss in the Intro to Blogging lesson on Content design, the written word is incredibly important and powerful for bloggers.
But enhancing your content with visuals, layout variations, and media can vastly improve your ability to attract repeat visitors and new readers while also making the content more shareable and engaging.
In the lesson mentioned above, several important visual aspects of posts are covered including:
- Working with blocks
- Layout variations
- Embedding content
Each of these elements can help make your content more engaging, but there are several other surprisingly simple – though often overlooked – elements that can strengthen your content’s visual appeal and readability:
There are many benefits to incorporating Heading blocks into your post content, including improved SEO, but perhaps the most important is content organization. The Heading block allows you to visually and conceptually divide your content, and, by extension, your ideas. This makes it clear to your readers what each section is about and where each begins and ends.
Readers who tend to skim-read will appreciate your headings as they scan your content to find the information that is of most interest to them. For this reason, you’ll want to prioritize clarity over cleverness with your headings – even if it seems less fun!
Headings come in different styles and sizes, with various presets to explore, ranging from preset H1 (the largest) to H6 (the smallest). Presets H2 and H3 are the most commonly used within a post, as H1 is usually reserved for top level headings or titles, but feel free to play around with them!
Also, be sure to keep your paragraphs short.
You’re more than welcome to create long-form content if desired, (it’s even encouraged) but breaking large chunks of text up for easy reading is a plus. Paragraphs that are too long can easily turn into an overwhelming wall of text, especially on mobile devices.
The Block Editor now offers more control over your text than ever before with lots of features to take advantage of. Several blocks have Typography options available to change the look of your text, so be sure to do a bit of exploring in the block settings. While we favor clarity when it comes to Headings, Typography can be a good avenue to express your creativity with size, color, alignment, and more.
Give your readers’ eyes a break.
When you’re presenting a large amount of information, using the List block is another way to break up walls of text and to provide emphasis and clarity.
Pretty much any information can be broken up into a list. The list at the beginning of this article was originally part of the first paragraph. A little editing is often all it takes to pull items out of a paragraph and into a list. Just like that, key points are made to stand out rather than getting lost in the mix.
Quotes don’t have to be famous
Who says quotes can only come from famous people? The Quote block can be used to highlight any piece of information you think your users will find particularly useful – even if it didn’t come from a celebrity or a philosopher. In fact, many posts use the Quote block to repeat a line of the post verbatim (these are known as pull quotes). Others use it like a Hint or Tip feature (like the Pro Tip in the previous section).
Additionally, it’s yet another way to break up the monotony of paragraph after paragraph of plain text without getting too fancy. (Did you notice that this particular post doesn’t have any images throughout it?)
We’ve covered a few simple ways to dress up a blog post to make it more clear and engaging:
There are actually two more tips sneakily hidden within this post – did you notice? First, in the recap list above, each of the bullet points have been given an internal Page Jump link that takes you straight to the corresponding section. Second, at the top of the article is a row of Buttons that also link to their respective sections.
These navigation tools make it easier for readers to move around longer posts covering many different points. They can be placed at the top, bottom, or anywhere you think makes the most sense for the content.So, what’s next? Research the available blocks, learn what they’re capable of doing, and come up with new and interesting ways to use them to make your content more engaging. It’s time to get creative!
Photo by ima Miroshnichenko on Pexels