Writing Posts that People (Like Me) Will Read

I posted this on another blog, but a friend suggested I also post it here where I actually get a little traffic. So here it is:

I have some tips on making it more likely that people will read the contents of your posts, but I can’t say that these tips are universal because they are just based on my preferences. So, here are some ideas that will make (at least) me more likely to read your posts:

  • First of all, shorter is better. I don’t have all day. If it’s really long I probably won’t read it. Usually you can say whatever you’re trying to say in a much more concise way. Try that. If that doesn’t work, you should break it into more than one post.
  • Also I like short paragraphs. It breaks up the post and makes me feel like I’m getting somewhere. One long chunk of text is quite daunting. It’s like looking up at a cliff. Is it worth getting to the top (or, in this case, the end of the post)?
  • Something I like is lists. They are normally very concise and make you feel like you are breezing through the post.
  • I also like it when people Bold and/or underline main points, especially when they do the paragraph type list where the main bullet point is highlighted (through bold and/or underline) and the explanation follows in regular formatting.
  • At the same time don’t go crazy with font formatting. It looks annoying and I don’t know how to interpret all the different font formats. Why is one section in italics and another bold? Should I whisper one and shout the other? Maybe I should yell one in an angry voice and the other in an excited voice? Keep it simple; don’t overdo it.

So that is what I like. I can’t say for sure that anyone else agrees with me. I am lazy so this whole list basically boils down to: make it easy for me to read and to read quickly.

What about you? What draws you into a blog post? What turns you away from one?

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About Dan Allen

Just some guy trying to figure stuff out... View all posts by Dan Allen

6 responses to “Writing Posts that People (Like Me) Will Read

  • Bob

    Since you like lists…

    – Use brief easy to digest paragraphs.
    – Find the balance between style and substance. – Don’t use a lot of words that don’t actually say anything.
    – A little humor is always welcome.

    I enjoy your open style of writing and your honesty. The way you end many of your post’s with questions also invites feedback from your readers.

    • Dan Allen

      Bob

      Those are also great points! I appreciate your compliments on my writing. The questions thing I picked up from Alan Knox and I think it is a great way to get people involved and commenting.

  • esztertun

    Helpful, Dan! Of course, I think your preferences reflect the fact that you’re not female; but I bet most of us, both men and women, prefer clarity to frills.

    • Dan Allen

      I never even thought about the gender thing. That is a really good point. How do you think the list would look different from a woman’s perspective?

      • esztertun

        Well, I said it’s helpful, because I think alot of us girls (yeah, me) need to slow down on the word flow, and just simplify. My perspective might include going a little easier on those who enjoy dressing it up with fonts, or at least exploring all their options for making it unique.

      • Dan Allen

        Esther

        Thanks for the reply! I can definitely see that difference between men and women. Probably why guy’s apartments (usually) have bare walls.

        Dan

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