If you want to be successful with your content marketing strategy, every one of your posts needs to be a home-run. That means offering unique content in a unique voice, being detailed and scannable, and distributing your content in a way that makes it more accessible to your target demographics. Still, it’s hard to pin down precisely what makes a blog post “good.”
What Makes a Good Blog Post
Though there are thousands of factors, tangible and intangible, that can affect how impactful or successful your blog posts are, they can be categorized as one of three distinct types:
- Availability elements. Availability elements center on how easy it is for users to access your material. For example, is your post shareable? Is it available to audiences outside your existing following? Can it sustain itself?
- Written elements. The written elements of your post are relatively straightforward, and deal with the overall quality of your material. From top to bottom, they include your subject matter, your headline, your presentation depth, and the eloquence of your writing style.
- Visual elements. Visual elements have a few different effects; they make your posts more “scannable” to users who only want information at a glance, and more engaging for users on mobile devices, or those who crave more visual stimulation. They include things like images and videos, but also relate to formatting.
Of the three, visual elements are by far the most neglected, but are vital if you want your post to perform well.
How to Make More Visually Approachable Posts
With visual elements being some of the most important, yet most overlooked, it’s in your best interest to optimize every one of your content posts for visual approachability.
Here’s how to do it:
- Use lists and bullet points. First, maximize the visual accessibility of your post by including more lists and bullet points. You can do this as the central point of the article, or as an aside for a specific section; however you do it, this will help guide readers’ eyes and give them tangible takeaways they can retrieve at a glance. It helps in-depth readers better process your information and recap the main points at the end of the article, and at a distance, it makes your article more aesthetically pleasing—not to mention it lends itself to catchier headline titles if you use numbered lists. It’s no wonder why BuzzFeed has grown to be so popular.
- Segment your sections with sub-headers. This is another way to make your blog post more aesthetically pleasing, but it also carries an important functional role. It gives your readers visual cues to where your article is headed, serving as a kind of high-level outline that traces your trajectory. Skimmers could theoretically glean your main points from these headlines (along with your first sentence or two), and hardcore readers gain more context for every new section they enter.
- Keep your paragraphs concise and pointed. Don’t become a rambler. It’s good to delve into some level of detail in your article (because otherwise, what’s the point?), but keep your details concise and to-the-point. Don’t let any of your paragraphs spiral into a long block of text-these will be intimidating to skimmers and in-depth readers alike. Instead, break your paragraphs up into only the concise forms you need.
- Offer photos and videos. Try to include more photos and videos in your posts. As a first-line measure, make sure there’s at least a “featured” image for your post to include when you share it on social media. You’ll also want to embed photos and videos throughout your post, especially if they serve the function of complementing or illustrating your main content. The blog at Buffer is full of great examples, but there are few examples better than Visually.
- Include illustrations and diagrams. If you don’t have access to real photos, or if you don’t have the capacity to create your own videos, try making simple illustrations, charts, graphs, or diagrams to include with your work. These don’t have to be top-of-the-line professional, as long as they help your readers visualize some key piece of data, or provide entertainment value. You could even use a comic strip or panel to make a topic more approachable-take a look at how Monder Law Group does this for an otherwise heavy topic.
With these five strategies in mind for every post, you’ll greatly enhance the visual elements of your blog. With better visuals, you’ll increase reader retention, maximize content engagement, and you might even earn more conversions as a result.
There’s no downside to making your posts more visual, other than a slightly higher initial investment, so pour your effort in!