6 Clever Ways to Make Easy-to-Read Content

A good headline should always come paired up with awesome content, but unfortunately many bloggers forget this. People click your links because the titles catch their attention, so you should make sure that interest keeps intact while they're reading your post. How can this be done? Scannable content.

Scannable content is nothing more but organized content that is easy on the eye of the reader. It might sound simple, but many bloggers don't know how they can improve this.
Keep reading for these six great tips on how to make your content easier to read.

But first...

Why do you need scannable content?

1. Looks more professional and less intimidating too. You sure don't want to scare your readers away with endless and uninterrupted text, but you also want to keep a professional position.

2. Easier to find answers. Believe it or not, a 2008 study has shown that only about 20% of a website's content is read. People don't read, they scan. This means they want to find answers for their questions as quickly as possible, without reading the whole thing.

3. More appealing. You probably know this by personal experience: people are put off by incredibly long and dull texts. Your readers are no different, of course, so make sure you give them appealing articles that won't make them leave your site because it's just way too many words together.

On a personal note, I'm one of the people who will leave a site if there's an endless amount of text with no kind of visual aid whatsoever, or anything at all but text.

Here are some great tips used by many pro bloggers to make your content easier to read and keep your readers glued to your site, even if your posts are lengthy.


1. Lists

Advantages of using lists:
  • Brightens up your post. Lists are elegant and let your readers know that you're comfortable with what you're talking about. If you pair them up with the right fonts, your lists will certainly take your post to a whole new level.
  • They're a visual aid. Adding a list in the middle of a long piece of text lets your readers rest their eyes a little.
  • Everyone loves lists, even those who don't. They're super attention grabbing. See how I caught your attention with this list? I've proven my point!

2. Subheadings

See how I use subheadings in my posts? These are to separate your post into sections so the navigation through it is a lot easier. This will let your readers easily find the part of information they're looking for, and it will make them scroll down through your blog, which is exactly what you want them to do!

3. Visual Aids

We're in the visual era, and that means people are leaning more towards visuals than written information. This means the more images you use on your posts, the more your readers will enjoy reading your content, just make sure to keep the visuals relevant and high-quality! Not all images work for the desired effect.

Some visuals you can use:
  • Pictures
  • Charts
  • Slideshows
  • Videos
  • Infographics - There are highly used nowadays and tend to go viral!
Here's a great infographic that explains why visual aids are important and how they affect your content overall:

4. Readable Fonts

As I mentioned in one of my posts, fonts can and will dictate how well your content does among your readers. This goes from what kind of font you're using, to the color, size and consistency.

To correctly use fonts, make sure to:
  • Use readable fonts. Using the regular font families like Arial, Georgia, Verdana, etc, is a great start. Please, no Comic Sans MS.
  • Ditch decorative fonts. They're complicated to read, not to mention that not all browsers are able to decode them.
  • Use pixels for the size. Many people use points for this, which is wrong unless they're creating it for print stylesheet.
  • Minimum 12px in size is very important.
  • Make sure that your headings are bigger than the rest of the text.
  • Avoid using CapsLock. If you need to highlight something, choose a different method.
  • Set the line height of your text bigger than your font size as short line heights make the text a lot harder to read.
  • Be consistent. This means you should use the same fonts, sizes and spacings throughout your whole site or blog to avoid confusion and to keep a professional and clean look.
  • No more than 3 fonts. If you use more than this your site will look cluttered and unattractive.

5. Highlight Important Points

Pull quotes are also a smart and elegant way of emphasizing key points.

Think of when you're speaking. If you want to make a point, you tend to change the tone of your voice to highlight a certain word related to the point you're trying to make. The same happens with text.

Whenever you want to highlight an important point in your posts, don't hesitate on using italic or bold styles. You can also underline them.
6. Short Paragraphs

The most appealing texts are those that are rather short but have a lot of useful information. Keeping your paragraphs short but rich is key for successful content that your readers will love.

Keeping paragraphs with about 3-4 sentences is optimal, but there are no rules for this. It all comes down to you and how well you make your points when you're writing, though you should definitely consider this tip.
Have a look at this:

Given two choices of the same content, with different layouts, which one would you choose? Probably the one on the right, the easier and more appealing one.
Make sure to give this kind of content to your readers if you want them to read your whole posts.


Checklist: 22 Insanely Powerful Elements Your Blog Needs

Unless you're blogging just for fun or as a hobby, blogging these days is not as easy as it once was.
The truth is, most bloggers nowadays are blogging to promote their businesses, so they have to work a lot more than those who blog to pass time.

The internet has become the #1 place for new entrepreneurs to promote their work and having a blog with low traffic is one of the worst things that can happen. So, apart from planning the layout, the content, etc, you have to come up with ways to attract readers AND make them loyal to your site.

If you're blogging only as a hobby, you certainly don't need all the fuss that will be discussed in this post, but if your goal is to make your blog a successful business then you should consider the tips below.


1. Logo. A logo is probably one of the most important aspects of a blog/site. It's the brand that identifies your blog among all the others out there, and it's one of the main things that your readers will remember it by. It should be subtle and unique.

2. Clear Navigation Bar. Make sure your navigation bar is simple and easy to use. Your readers don't care about pointless pages - or way too many pages - so keep your navigation as clean as you can.
3. Search Bar. You definitely need a search bar on your blog. A search bar lets your readers look for content on your blog that they need, so if there's no search bar, those readers will most likely leave and not come back. Make sure to include one in your blog and make it visible.
4. Typography. Let's talk fonts. This is yet another thing that will affect the way your blog is seen and the way your readers enjoy their experience on it. Make sure the fonts you use are easy to read, not too fancy, keep the size average so that it's not too big or too small, and never use more than three different fonts on all your blog!
5. Responsive Layout (mobile-friendly). Need reasons to go mobile-friendly? Here are three: 1. KeyNote tells us that "46% of mobile users are having difficulty interacting with a web page, and 44% complain that navigation was difficult." 2. Google recommends it. 3. It's 2015. The future is mobile.

6. Google Publisher Markup. Set up a Google+ account to increase your exposure by using Google Publisher Markup. This tool will link an entire website to your profile. This process may be quite difficult, so you may need some help.
7. Related Posts, Most Popular Posts and Latest Posts. These are often forgotten by bloggers, though they're definitely some of the most important elements a blog should have. These let your readers know which other posts you've written relate to the one they're reading, as well as what other readers are looking for the most and what you've been publishing lately.
8. Breadcrumbs. What are thoooose?! Noticed the links for other posts on my blog in this article? Those are breadcrumbs and they're a great way of giving useful tips for your readers while showing them other work you've done.

9. Tags. A blog/site shouldn't run without tags. These will keep your blog organized as well as help search engines redirect readers to your blog by the use of keywords relevant to your posts.

10. Comment Box. Why have a blog if your readers can't share their thoughts or even give you some additional tips for your posts? Make sure you include a comment box on all your posts so your readers can interact!
I'm using Disqus.

11. About Page & Contact Info. Not only will these pages increase traffic to your blog, but they will also grow your readers' trust on you and your business.
12. Privacy Policy / Terms and Conditions Page. If you're running a business online, you must include these two pages on your blog so that your readers know what they should expect from you when it comes to privacy of their personal information, and what the terms and conditions of working with you are exactly.

13. Social Sharing within Posts. Nothing more than those little social icons at the end of my posts which allow you to share the articles throughout social media. They're very important if you want a satisfied reader to share their awesome experience.

14. Follow Buttons or Social Media Widgets. If readers are happy with your work, they will want to follow your updates and the way to do that is through social media. Make sure to include your social media profiles on your blog.
Need help? I'll install your social media profiles on your blog for you!

15. RSS Feed. I often notice that bloggers don't realize the importance of RSS feeds. These will be a huge hand to keep your readers updated, without the need of sending newsletters.

16. Media Kit. Something that is slowly becoming a huge must-have for bloggers, media kits are basically a resume of your website. They let readers and potential business partners know how well your blog is doing, what it is all about, as well as your credentials in the field you're blogging about. It should be professional and appealing, easy to read and highlight the most important aspects of your blog - and yourself as an entrepreneur.

17. Services/Products Page. If you run a business, then you have to let people know what business it is and what you're offering. Make sure to have a page dedicated to the services you provide and/or the products you're selling. Keeping it organized and neat is very important.
Check my Services page for an example.

18. Newsletter Opt-In Form. This is what will let your readers subscribe to your newsletter. Make sure to include it somewhere your readers can find easily. Mine is located at the bottom of every post.
I'm using Mailchimp and I definitely recommend it.

19. Call-To-Action Elements. CATs are made to motivate readers, and motivated readers are potential customers, and happy customers will recommend your business to their friends. Make sure to include catchy CTAs on your blog for a great kick-start on your business.
20. Sitemap. This is something your readers won't see, but search engines definitely will. They need sitemaps to know what pages your blogs has and how they should search through them to give your pages a high rank.
21. Google Analytics. This awesome tool gives you a great insight on how your blog is doing, what is wrong or what is missing. It helps you improve it and once results start kicking in, you'll have numbers to give to potential advertisers as a reason to purchase banners in your blog.

22. SEO Tools. SEO has been put back a little in the past years, though it's undeniable that it plays an important role when it comes to how well your blog does about its ranking. You definitely should use tools to improve headings, keywords, etc, if you want a more effective job from search engines.

Got any additional ideas? Share them in the comments below!

How to Plan a Blog the Right Way (Planner Included)

New blogs are published every day, all the time, and with how easy it is to create one, people often misunderstand the concept of actually running a blog.

There's no denial about that launching a blog is the easiest thing out there, especially with all the free blog-hosting services available, like Blogger, but is it really that easy to keep a blog running in a way that it's going to be worth all the time and work you put into it?

Unfortunately having a blog is not only making it public or merely having a blog. You have to plan the layout, the content, if you're going to work in a team or go solo, etc.


Bottom-line: it is NOT simple!
If you're thinking of creating a new blog, the steps below should be enough to help you plan everything you have to do.


Step 1: Gather Information

1. What is it all about? What will you be blogging about? Beauty, technology, etc?

2. What is your expertise? This is where some bloggers fail. You can only offer your readers quality content if you know what you're talking about, not to mention it will be a lot easier for you to plan future posts if you're comfortable with the topic you're working with.

3. Who's your target audience? Think of who you want to be writing to. What are they like, what do they need, who do they follow? The more specific you are about your audience, the easier it is to structure your blog content.

4. Who are your competitors? Make a list of some high-ranked blogs on your niche and investigate their work to find out why they're so successful (what kind of information they provide, etc). Think of these bloggers as role-models and use their work as inspiration for your own.

5. How often will you be posting new content? Updating your blog regularly is a very important aspect of having a blog. Create quality posts and publish them regularly to keep your readers hooked. I personally use Calendars 5 to schedule my blog updates.

Step 2: Do Your Research

1. Choose your domain name. If you want a blog, you should have a proper domain name. It should be catchy and easy to remember, so your readers don't forget it. Remeber, there's no right or wrong domain name but it should speak for what your blog is all about. Bear in mind that domains name aren't that cheap, so make sure your investment will be worth it.

2. Choose your platform. Go for a platform that you're comfortable with. I personally recommend Blogger as it's really easy to use, it's free, and it very well capable of doing anything other platforms do.

3. Choose your social media profiles. You're going to need to share your content somewhere, and social media is definitely the way to go. Think which social profile your audience uses the most and use it to share your posts. If you're just starting, go for 3 to 5 profiles so it's not too hard to manage it all together.

Step 3: Plan Your Blog

1. Choose the right theme. Your blog's layout will be one of the things your readers will remember about it, so make sure it's planned to detail. It should be easy on the eye and responsive - meaning it should adapt to other screen sizes, like phones and tablets.

2. Use CTAs or Call to Action tools. These will be e-newsletters, surveys, and others.

3. Use essential tools. RSS feeds will help you know what's going on in your niche, and give you inspiration for new content. Using Google Analytics is also a must-use tool if you want to make your blog successful, since it lets potential advertisers know how well your blog is doing. The higher your numbers are, the higher the probabilities of getting advertisers to invest in your blog!

As you see, running a blog is far from being only having a blog. It requires time, dedication, and money, but with the steps above I'm sure it all became a little easier!

Do you have any other tips? Leave your opinion in the comments below!

How-To: Use WD Elements Disk on Mac and PC

Owning an external disk is definitely a great perk, especially if you're someone who owns a wide range of information. In my case, I can't stick to watching movies online so I need to have them stored somewhere, hence I bought an external disk by WB Elements.

The only problem with external disks, however, is that some of them can't be used with both Mac and Windows unless you format them in the right way for doing so. Owning a MacBook Pro and a desktop PC, this wasn't good news for me.

Fortunately I found out how this specific formatting is done and I'll tell you how to do it!

The following process will delete all the data on your disk, so make sure to back it up before you start formatting it.

  • Step 1: Plug your external disk into your Mac.
  • Step 2: Go to Finder and open Applications.
  • Step 3: Scroll down and open the Utilities folder. Look for Disk Utility and open it.
  • Step 4: On the sidebar, click on your disk's name. Then click on the Erase tab.
  • Step 5: Next to Format, choose MS-DOS (FAT) from the dropdown menu.
    You can name your disk if you want, but it's not mandatory.
  • Step 6: Now click on Erase... and confirm.

  • Step 1: Plus your disk into your PC.
  • Step 2: Right-click on the Start menu and choose Disk Management.

    Got an older Windows version? You can access Disk Management through Control Panel. Just go to System > Administrative Tools > Computer Management.
  • Step 3: On Disk Management, right-click on your disk's name and choose Format....

  • Step 4: A small windows will pop up. Under File System, choose exFAT and click on OK.

And that's it! Your disk should now be formatted and ready to be used, both on Mac and Windows.
There are many ways of doing this but I found this one to be the easiest and fastest way to get it done.