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Jun
05

How To Improve Your Blog Image With Just One Blog Feature.

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How is your blog image?  How does your blog immediately appear to those who log in to take a look?  Do they stay long enough to read your blog content… or do they scurry away.  There are many blog components we could discuss today… but I’m going to focus on just one blog feature today:

“White Space!”

When you log on to a blog, the general appearance either invites readers to stay or causes visitors to click off after just a few seconds.  They say you have to grab your viewer’s attention in the first 3 seconds… or they’re gone.

One area that can causes your readers to jump ship is not enough “White Space.”  White space is the space between paragraphs or sentences.

If you squint your eyes and look at your blog text… what do you see?  The text will form masses of gray or black.  If you have large compact sections of text with no white space, your readers will become overwhelmed, “I don’t have time to read all this now!”

Even though your content may be long, if it’s broken down into chunks… your readers will will stay longer and read your material.  It’s like biting off small pieces of a hot dog rather than having to swallow the whole thing at one time.

4 “White Space” Tips To Enhance Your Blog Image

1. Forget what you learned in school. Forget what you learned about writing correct  paragraphs.   Yes… I said, “Ignore what you learned in English class.”  Reading content on the internet is different than reading material offline.

2.  Don’t use over 5 lines. Avoid using over 5 lines of text before you add “white space.”  4 lines is actually better. I try and stay in the 4 line arena as much as possible.  Sometimes image placement will cause the lines to increase… that’s okay because of the image break.   Fudge to 6 lines?  On occasion… but I wouldn’t make it a habit.

3.  Use one word. Use only one word or just one sentence to emphasis a point.

4.  Add images.  Use images  to break up the text space.

There you go… did I follow the rules?  More importantly… how are you doing?

Til Later,

Kathryn Griffiths

P.S.  Using “white space” effectively is the one blog feature you can use today to make your readers feel more comfortable and increase your blog image.

Technorati Tags: blog, blog image, blogging

Categories : Blogging

Comments

  1. I noticed you use numbers to break up the space and give emphasis to the main points. Using bullet points also works for this. Internet readers are scanners,

    Using these two methods also keeps them on your site. They can quickly decide if they want to read more of your article.

    I also use white space when commenting on blogs.

  2. Rob Horlock says:

    Yes, good advice. And following on from Sheila’s comments about ‘scanners’, that’s why I prefer the written word over video. You can’t scan a video. So add the written version of the video – and use plenty of white space!

  3. Sue White says:

    Kathryn – thanks for the reminder. This is something that I was taught some time ago, but it is easy to just keep going on and one and forget to break up the text. As Sheila mentioned, numbers and bullets are a great way to break up a long text block and make it easy to read.

    People are busy today and then tend to scan, so putting key points in bold or a different color can help them pick up the “gest” of your post. If you catch their attention, they will read on.

  4. great tips!

    I only sorta noticed that writing is different on the interwebs. But you hammered the point home for me. Thanks!

    –PK

  5. Kathy, I love this tip, well said. I’ve always been a big fan of bullet points too, ’cause they make blogs faster to read and scan for necessary information.

  6. Yes, gotta love that white space! One other trick I use (and you did too) is BOLD the copy between the white spaces. Gives a little more creative interest. Am enjoying your posts 🙂

  7. Jeff says:

    Great point Kathryn, same thing goes for writing sales pages or any informational page on your website. People far prefer to read in short-choppy bites rather than text-heavy, long paragraphs.

    I’ve tested this on many of my sales letters and found that less text, more white space enhances the impact your text or image has.

    Thanks,

    Jeff

  8. Kathryn,

    Thank for the reminders especially about white space. The internet is not English class and sometimes it is hard to forget all I learned while earning my Masters degree.

    April M. Williams

  9. Kathryn ~

    White space is a MUST if you want readers to hang around. During the previous blogging challenge, I shared the “white space” concept with Martha Giffen. In her gracious Southern style, she was so thankful for the information. However, here’s the funny part. Martha was ALREADY implementing the white space rule for blogging and didn’t even realize it! 🙂

    I’m a pretty big fan of bullet points, too. When I’m reading someone else’s blog, bullet points help my eyes to glide through the content and down the page.

    My eyes have a little bit of a problem focusing on certain things (been that way my whole life even with 20/20 vision). I absolutely CANNOT read a blog with light-colored text on a BLACK background! Drives me and my eyes nuts!!

    Melanie
    #blog30

  10. So true, Kathy. And I will extend that to what’s on the entire blog. If there is too much going on I get confused and am not sure what to look at first so thanks for the reminders.

    Warm regards,
    Yvonne

  11. The tip about leaving white space will be really helpful! You made a very good point about forgetting what we learned at school, as the internet is different. I never really thought about it, and you are absolutely right!

  12. Excellent post! I recently started to use images in my posts and it had made a drastic difference. As you point out, Less is More! Thanks for the reminders…

  13. Hey Kathryn, Great article! I loved the “squint your eyes and look at your blog text”. Really great advice and I totally agree with Melanie. I find it difficult to read a blog with a dark background! Thanks,

    Michele

  14. Hello Kathryn..

    This is a great piece about space. I’m guilty of insufficient space, I’m sure, though I do use bold and italics to break things up. And one technique I’ve noticed on other blogs is the use of frequent headlines, which aids in SEO, as the spiders apparently like H tags. [H1,H2,etc] (no flies on the net, I guess). I’m trying to follow that lead, and will watch my paragraph length!

    Thanks for this post, Kathryn..
    Anthony

  15. Tina says:

    Thanks for the tips! I can remember last year taking an Internet writing course and one of the first things they talked about was “forget what you learned in school.” It is so true how writing online is very different than the material you read offline.
    Tina
    #Blog30

  16. […] sure you have enough white space throughout your content.   If your message is over 400 words… you may want save some of the […]

  17. I’m catching up on some reading of my favorite blogs this morning, and this post is very informative. I need to go back and check my white space…off I go!

    Gratefully,
    Jeanne

  18. Angela says:

    I have used this tip just lately in my blogging – and I find that it makes it easier for me to check what I have written! I always figure if it is easier for me to read something because of the spacing it must be easier for my readers. I also just started using the numbering and bulleting – and I have to say I am pleased with the results. Thanks for another great post! 🙂

  19. Kathryn says:

    Thanks Angela…. I find that this to be one of the greatest improvements for blog content. Using “white space” in your blog content can be the difference between folks immediately clicking off or staying and reading what you have to say.

    Too much text mass can looking over-whelming and people feel they don’t have time to wade through all the information. Using “white space” really helps!

  20. Thanks for this pointer!
    Patricia