You’ve just written a blog post, and you can’t wait to publish it. It’s full of useful information and striking imagery that is bound to generate hundreds of shares and likes. In fact, it’s downright revolutionary.

But once you’ve posted it, and the days start going by, nobody seems to care about your legendary blog post. There aren’t any comments, no shares on Twitter or Facebook, and you begin to wonder why it’s not generating the buzz you expected.

So what happened? Well, nobody read it. Not necessarily because it wasn’t great writing—you just didn’t make it readable enough.

The fact is, people don’t really read articles from beginning to end on the internet.

They scan. They scroll and click. They skip over whole sentences and paragraphs until something pops out and grabs their attention. Only then do they read in depth.

Thankfully, with a few changes in the way you format a blog post, you can take advantage of the way your readers scan information. Here are 5 tips to make your blog instantly more readable:

1. Use plenty of subheads

Think of yourself as a blog guide. You want to craft the way readers experience your blog, simultaneously drawing them in and keeping them interested.

Nothing is more boring than a block of uniform text. You want to break up the monotony any way that you can, and the absolute best way is to add plenty of subheadings.

Subheads allow your reader to jump down, find little tidbits here and there, and see something that interests them. They draw your readers into the body of your text, giving them an entryway to the real meat—your great writing.

2. Add emphasis with bold and italics

Take advantage of all the tools a word processor offers you. If you want to emphasize a certain point, bold it. Spice things up with some italics.

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3. Take advantage of “white space”

For some reason, readers are intimidated by big blocks of text. People are naturally more attracted to articles with plenty of “white space.”

It takes more effort to sift through what you’re trying to say when you use long paragraphs. Here’s an easy fix: take those long, clunking paragraphs and break them up into several, short paragraphs. Your readers will thank you.

4. Include numbers whenever possible

It’s been proven time and time again—people love content with numbers. Take a quick glance at Buzzfeed’s home page on any given day and you’ll see a healthy dose of numbered lists.

If you can incorporate numbers into your headline or subheads, do it.

5. Make a bulleted list

Bulleted lists are irresistible to a person scanning through a blog post. Why?

  •   Because bulleted lists are visually appealing
  •   They provide multiple ideas in an easily-digestible format
  •   They break up your content, making things more interesting

Formatting is one way of optimizing your content, but you need great content to begin with. For tips on creating compelling content that’s worthy of being shared, check out Juan’s recent post on how to write an irresistible blog.

Photo credit: tonystl

Adam Fifield
Adam Fifield is the Content Marketing Manager at Big Leap. His background is in journalism, and you'll find him playing jazz piano in various Salt Lake City saloons and speakeasies until closing time. Connect with Adam on Twitter: @adamonthekeys