19.4.12

How To Engage Readers With Interesting Content and Design

As we all know, not all websites or blogs are created equal.

It all boils down to the owner of the site - whether he knows what he's doing or he's just a tyro starting on his blogging journey.

Not everyone has the flair to create good design on his blog. Not everyone has a good understanding of typography. And not everyone is capable of writing good copy for posting. But everyone can learn through experience and learning from those who can show the way.

Some good advice on how to make your website or blog interesting with content that resonates well with readers - words or pictures - will certainly point you in the right direction.

I find Daniel Harbeck's article below very informative for beginners and those who feel they need to step up to the next level. He has succinctly explained some of the 'tricks' that will help you improve your website or blog and make it engaging for visitors. Read on...

How to Make a Website Interesting and Easy to Read

by Daniel Harbeck 

Almost anyone can learn how to make a website. Software programs that create the code for the user have turned what used to be a complex process into a simple task that even a child can master. However, just because you can make a website doesn’t guarantee that your website will be easy to read or interesting for the reader. Fortunately, with a few simple techniques, you can make your website content engaging.

Break up Content

Studies show that people read information differently on the web than they do in print. For example, website users only tend to read small amounts of information at a time, and they are less likely to read all of the information. For this reason, experts call the web a “non-sticky medium,” meaning that readers won’t stick around to read every last sentence, especially if the information is poorly organized or if there is too much text on a page.

As a result of these reading patterns, you must write small amounts of content for a single page rather than create a long, scrolling page. Users are less likely to read information that they must scroll down to find. Keep the amount of information small, and get to the point quickly to ensure that the users read and understand the essential points.

Use Headings and Subheadings

In addition to placing only a small amount of text on each page, use headings and subheadings to label the content, especially if you must place more than a few paragraphs of text on a single page. Headings and subheadings facilitate skimming and help the user find the information he or she is looking for, which makes them more likely to stay on your website until they have gathered the information they need.

Make Content Stand Alone

One common mistake made by people who are learning how to make a website is to write content for each page on the website that assumes that the user has read the other pages. Instead, the content on each page should make sense when read by itself, even if the user does not visit any of the other pages on the website.

Many users will only visit one or two links on your site, so you can’t assume that the user has read any of your other pages. If a user lands on your page and can’t understand the content, or if the content refers to information on other pages that they haven’t read, the user might leave the website without reading any of your other information or visiting any other links.

Consider the Audience

Some website authors assume that they are writing for a general audience, or that because the web is available to anyone with internet access that they don’t have to think about their audience’s needs and reasons for visiting their website.

This is a mistake. While your website is technically available to a wide audience, people will visit your website for specific reasons. For example, if your website is about cooking and wine, your audience will probably consist of readers who are adults who like to cook and have a sufficient level of income to afford to buy wine.

Cater to your audience by choosing topics that might interest them. For instance, if your audience is primarily youth and young adults who are interested in motocross, feature a motocross athlete that has been in the news lately. Then, update your content and add new content frequently to ensure that the audience keeps coming back to your site to read more.

* Article courtesy SiteProNews


8.4.12

When You Get the Blogging Blues...



Well, it's more than five years now that yours truly has been blogging on this site. Sometimes with bountiful energy and passion. Other times I did feel like a blogging laggard, probably brought about by this malady called writer's block. I'm sure many of you bloggers have been hit by this, too.

Nevertheless, we plod on if we believe our blogs still have the rejuvenating juice to keep it going. Oh yes, I've overcome the writer's block many times and I've discussed some ways to get around it in other articles.

Two years ago I had that nagging feeling that I was putting my nose to the blogging grindstone. Truth be told, I was getting a bit jaded by it all then. That was when I realised one need not have to blog like a runaway train...or run around like a headless chicken!  

Now we are into 2012 and we have reached April - yet a whole new year is still right ahead of us. Strangely, I'm getting that same old feeling again that I'm running out of steam as far as blogging is concerned, unlike some of those professional bloggers or so-called A-list bloggers. For those who have been blogging long enough you'll know who I'm talking about.   


I've slacken a bit in the last few months because my interest has been diverted elsewhere. I still care about this blog which, I think, has matured to a certain extent after six years with web traffic driving itself. I believe this blog has a pagerank of 2.  I'm happy for that but at times I feel like a letdown to those who look forward to my next post but find nothing new when they drop by to this site. 


Take it from me that I'll be slowing down my pace with new post. I'll write when something is worth posting but not otherwise.  


The blogosphere has come a long, long way. I read somewhere there are more than 1.5 billion bloggers (maybe, more by now) and that says a lot about people who want to get online either to impart information and knowledge, to communicate or just to flaunt themselves. 

 
Hey, didn't they tell you that blogging is as easy as eating apple pie and it's fun? Well, that depends on how you want to go about it. The truth is it takes passion, determination and true grit to really achieve some kind of notoriety as a blogger.  


We know bloggers come in all sizes, shapes and temperament. Some blog for fun, others for moolah.  But once you take the plunge, you'll soon realize that keeping a blog updated on a regular basis is different from having breakfast, lunch and dinner as a day-to-day routine. 


So, have you got what it takes to put your nose to the blogging grindstone? 


No doubt, the blogging terrain is full of potholes but if you know your way around, you might end up feeling like a blogging prima donna with your head in the clouds.  


But let's not forget those bloggers who, after the initial flourish of posts, would be going through a period of inertia. Sooner or later, this dysfunctional characteristic will creep into you and you'll be going through a period of non-productive angst. It happens to most of us.  


Blogging burnt-out has taken its toll on a great number of bloggers. But then, there are others who seem to be able to churn out post after post like they are coming out of a factory line. Are you one of them, or do you think it's crazy?   

 
Blogging is mental and addictive. It can be an obsession.  A full-time job. A business venture. A vehicle to rant and rave. A media for socializing. A playground. And what have you.  


And which category do you belong?  
--  Markk