Readable Content: What Works?

Online content can be jumbled and frustrating to read. Look for the content that is easy to digest and search for those posts that catch your eye without overwhelming you!

Readable content is critical online.  If your work is jumbled and formatted incorrectly, page visitors will stop reading two sentences in.  You need to make sure your blog is polished and free of commotion to keep the reader’s attention.  Bulleted lists, small paragraphs, and large font can enhance a reader’s experience and make your content memorable.  With this in mind, I found two blog examples: one good and one bad. 

WORKS: Backporch Confessions

This blog is eye-catching right as you enter the website.  You feel welcomed by a personal, easy-going page.  Fun graphics and easy-to-read text allow readers’ eyes to find interesting moments.  The font is large and easy to read. 

Brittany’s blog layout. Neutral backgrounds and branding make the page easy on the eyes.

In ‘Outfits for the WAHM,’ blogger Brittany gives outfit suggestions for work-at-home mothers during the pandemic.  She gives the article a youthful touch by describing her home experience during COVID-19.  From there, she keeps things light-hearted by offering fashion tips and providing links to all recommended products. 

Hyperlinked products allow for fast shopping straight from Brittany’s post.

The paragraphs are short and sweet, making the content easy to digest if you are skimming.  I appreciate her mentioning that there are affiliate links in the post. Transparency builds Brittany up as a trusted, beloved blogger.  

Using a numbered list to describe each product lets readers locate specific items.  The small blurb about each item adds a touch of personal flair and allows readers to connect to the voice behind the font.

Brittany’s personality shines through as she recommends products to her readers.

This blog is a good example of readable content.  Well-formatted pages, personalized thoughts, and proper structure make this blog enjoyable to browse.

FAILS: Blueshirts Breakaway

As much as I love this Rangers podcast, the Blueshirts Breakaway blog has a few pieces that fall short.  The article that caught my eye was “Hangin’ with the Pack,” which provides a summary of the Rangers’ minor league team and its recent games.  

Within the first paragraph, writer Shawn Taggart creates a run-on sentence that is painful to read.

The wordy sentence from the beginning of the post. I love hockey as much as the next fan, but the excess wording makes me question my knowledge of the sport.

The way this sentence is structured makes it hard to understand the hockey terminology.  The second sentence recaps the entire weekend, not key takeaways from the game.  This structural issue can make readers click away.  

Other issues are the excess commas and strange word choices within the text.  Take a peek at the passage below:

Incorrect formatting can drive your readers to click away from the page. Always proofread!

Unnecessary commas cause the sentence to read awkwardly, and words like “really” and “probably” derail the thought. This comes off as filler to me, and the thought could have been more concise had this been removed.  

The font chosen for the article is questionable.  While the style is a good choice, the text is small.  Some readers may have to zoom in on their screens, which can be an inconvenience.  Online articles should be easy to read, but this one can cause strain.

Through all of the bad, there are nice elements to this blog.  Using pictures gives readers the chance to visualize players and the game as a whole. Bulleted thoughts keep passages short and focused.  Even with these moments, the blog still falls short of being quality readable content.

Colorful images break up the text and give readers a proper visual.

When posting online, make sure you analyze your work. Would you stop and read the content if you visited your page for the first time? If the answer is no, figure out where you can improve your readability.

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