There’s a lot of focus on creativity when it comes to content production.
That’s all well and good, but what happens to all that amazing creative work if your content isn’t particularly…readable?
Today, I’d like to step back a bit from more alluring aspects of content creation, and offer up some technical tips and best practices that I see often going overlooked in the digital space.
Let’s jump right in:
Here are four technical tips for making a great, digestible piece of content.
The optimal line length for web readability is 50-60 characters, with up to 85 generally considered to be acceptable. For creators new to writing for screens instead of pages, this is something that can often go overlooked.
Unlike physical pages, the brightness and deep contrast of a digital screen makes it more difficult to read. And since web content isn’t doubled spaced like a college essay or some books, the importance of shorter, more easily consumable copy cannot be understated.
Similar to line length, creating shorter paragraphs instead of large text blocks will help articles feel easier to consume, and reduce eye strain for your users.
It’s a common misconception that content should be jam-packed in order to reduce the vertical length of the piece—however this just makes a relatively short piece of content appear visually daunting as it fills the screen, and in the age of social media and infinite scrolling users aren’t particularly concerned with scrolling further to continue reading something that’s compelling.
Great content should be actionable, and leave users with a place to go and something to think about. Whether it’s further exploring a topic of interest, contacting your brand, or following a particular Instagram account, the best way to grow your audience and build excitement around an idea is to keep your content purposeful and actionable.
Internal Link Building
You should always be encouraging users to engage further with your content, and building off of the “actionability” theory, the process of internal link building is about framing calls to action that keep users engaged with you specifically.
Why send someone away from your page to explore a topic you have expertise in? Why not offer your own, fresh take on the subject matter and encourage users to contact you directly with questions or comments? In the age of unlimited content, you don’t need to hinge on creating “100% original” content (hint: it doesn’t really exist in any medium, anyways).
Creating your own foundation of rich content will not only be beneficial to your production skills, it’ll cement you as a thought leader and encourage users to look to you for new content and ideas.
This may not be the most inspiring of topics, but these simple ideas are tactics that anybody can (and should) implement. You might just be shocked at the results you get.
What did you think of this post? Love it? Hate it? Let me know in the comments down below, and feel free to shoot me an email if you’ve got more questions you’d like answered!
Be sure to also check out:
➤ Email Marketing in 2019: The foundations you should know
➤ The Budgeter's Guide to Starting a Podcast