Body Toning for Your Blog Posts and Newsletters

The Wrong Way

You know what hurts my eyes and the eyes of lots of people? Pages of text resembling brain vomit. While it is absolutely vital that you mind your content, it is EQUALLY important that you also mind how the body of your text is visually arranged on the page. Otherwise, the following will happen – When someone arrives at your blog post or newsletter, the recipient sees a skyscraper of text, gets overwhelmed and then figures, “Eh, I’ll finish reading that later” which you and I both know means maybe never.

As an example, take a quick glimpse at the dummy text below.


Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Aenean commodo ligula eget dolor. Aenean massa. Cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Donec quam felis, ultricies nec, pellentesque eu, pretium quis, sem. Nulla consequat massa quis enim. Donec pede justo, fringilla vel, aliquet nec, vulputate eget, arcu. In enim justo, rhoncus ut, imperdiet a, venenatis vitae, justo. Nullam dictum felis eu pede mollis pretium. Integer tincidunt. Cras dapibus. Vivamus elementum semper nisi. Aenean vulputate eleifend tellus. Aenean leo ligula, porttitor eu, consequat vitae, eleifend ac, enim. Aliquam lorem ante, dapibus in, viverra quis, feugiat a, tellus. Phasellus viverra nulla ut metus varius laoreet. Quisque rutrum. Aenean imperdiet. Etiam ultricies nisi vel augue. Curabitur ullamcorper ultricies nisi. Nam eget dui. Etiam rhoncus. Maecenas tempus, tellus eget condimentum rhoncus, sem quam semper libero, sit amet adipiscing sem neque sed ipsum. Nam quam nunc, blandit vel, luctus pulvinar, hendrerit id, lorem. Maecenas nec odio et ante tincidunt tempus. Donec vitae sapien ut libero venenatis faucibus. Nullam quis ante. Etiam sit amet orci eget eros faucibus tincidunt. Duis leo. Sed fringilla mauris sit amet nibh. Donec sodales sagittis magna.


The Right Way

In this fast-paced world, getting someone to read your message right away is the right way! Or at least, getting them to understand the gist of your message so that they will actually make good on reading it in full later.

An important fact: The Internet has trained people’s eyes to process information at a faster rate but also at the cost of a shorter attention span. This means your readers aren’t necessarily taking in words linearly. Instead, they are most likely “scanning”. That is, they are quickly darting up and down the page to capture relevant information to determine the proper next actions: Read on, Save for later, or Delete.

Now view this sample.


Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit.

Aenean commodo ligula eget dolor. Aenean massa. Cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Donec quam felis, ultricies nec, pellentesque eu, pretium quis, sem. Nulla consequat massa quis enim. Donec pede justo, fringilla vel, aliquet nec, vulputate eget, arcu. In enim justo, rhoncus ut, imperdiet a, venenatis vitae, justo. Nullam dictum felis eu pede mollis pretium.

Integer tincidunt.

  • Cras dapibus.
  • Vivamus elementum semper nisi.
  • Aenean vulputate eleifend tellus.

Aenean leo ligula, porttitor eu, consequat vitae, eleifend ac, enim. Aliquam lorem ante, dapibus in, viverra quis, feugiat a, tellus. Phasellus viverra nulla ut metus varius laoreet. Quisque rutrum. Aenean imperdiet. Etiam ultricies nisi vel augue.

Curabitur ullamcorper ultricies nisi.

Nam eget dui. Etiam rhoncus. Maecenas tempus, tellus eget condimentum rhoncus, sem quam semper libero, sit amet adipiscing sem neque sed ipsum. Nam quam nunc, blandit vel, luctus pulvinar, hendrerit id, lorem. Maecenas nec odio et ante tincidunt tempus. Donec vitae sapien ut libero venenatis faucibus. Nullam quis ante. Etiam sit amet orci eget eros faucibus tincidunt. Duis leo. Sed fringilla mauris sit amet nibh. Donec sodales sagittis magna.


The Big Difference

The content in the first and second boxes is identical. But do you see, even if you’re not literate in Lorem Ipsum (The text purposely bears no meaning), how one’s eyes in the latter sample are allowed to jump through entire sections and land at specific parts of the message?

By contrast, try looking again at the first sample and notice the sense of physical and mental overwhelm – the tightness in your chest and shoulders and in your breath when you try to take it in. The ‘block’ of text actually feels like how it looks – Weighty, dragging, and hard to digest. Worse, imagine that text at two or three or even four times that length which, as ridiculous as it sounds, does happen. Readable? Unlikely. And unfortunately, also a waste of time for the well-intentioned author.

To make sure your blog posts and emails get read, try these simple but powerful tips:

  • Use paragraph breaks to chunk down the message
  • Create headers in long posts that help people get the key points before diving in
  • Use bullets where appropriate to highlight lists
  • Try not to use more than two different: font sizes, font types, font colors. Even then, use these variations sparingly and with purpose.
  • Lastly, if your article turns out reeeally long, you’re better off scheduling a multi-part series, or writing a short message supplemented by an attachment, or heck, seriously, just call some sort of meeting and talk it over in real time.

Do yourself and your audience a favor by giving these suggestions a whirl, and see what a huge difference it makes in your readers’ participation!

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One response to “Body Toning for Your Blog Posts and Newsletters”

  1. […] out to Anthem Salgado for his recent Art of Hustle post on utilizing those headings formats to break up chunky block of text! How's it […]

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