How to Format Your Blog Post to Make It Easy to Read

Write Blog Post

You put a lot of work into making sure that your posts are engaging and informative. You can hardly wait for people to comment and share.

Did you get any shares or comments?

How horrified would you be if you found out that your content was very off-putting simply because you didn’t know how to format it to appeal to your readers?

Your writing might be impressive, but if your formatting turns people away, people won’t read enough to take advantage of your content. Long paragraphs and large blocks of text send readers away before they have time to find the gems in the content.

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The Internet Has Changed Reading Habits

The good news is that today’s readers have far more information at their fingertips than ever before in history.

The bad news is that today’s readers have far more information at their fingertips than ever before in history.

That’s right. The overwhelming amount of information available to us is both good and bad. It means that today’s average person is more well informed than previous generations. When someone needs to research a topic for a school paper or find an answer to a question, he can probably find what he needs online.

Suggested Reading: Tips to Write Engaging Blog Posts

But don’t think he reads huge blocks of text to get the needed information. No. Instead, he scans the text in order to focus on just the part that he needs. So, you need to make your text easy to scan.

Short Paragraphs

Readers find short paragraphs less daunting to read than large blocks of text. Remember, this is not academic writing where long paragraphs are the norm.

Try the following experiment.

Grab one of your long paragraphs and copy and paste it just below the original. Don’t take any words out, but divide the paragraph into two or three shorter paragraphs.

Now take a look at both of them and decide which one you’d rather read. You can probably see right away that the shorter paragraphs are more inviting. So, in the future, keep your paragraphs under four or five lines.

Suggested Reading: Increase Sales: How to Use Storytelling on Your Business Website

Blogger Blog Post

Subheadings

If you drove along a main street looking for a side street, but there were no street signs, you’d have a difficult time finding the street you wanted.

Subheadings serve that kind of function in your writing.
  • They help readers find specific information that they are scanning for.
  • They prevent readers who are reading the entire post from getting lost.
You can make subheadings bold, underline them, and/or put them in a larger font.

Bold or Highlighted Text

You can highlight specific text inside a paragraph by making it bold, italics, or colored. Don’t overuse this technique or your page will begin to look like a cartoon.

Lists

Bulleted or numbered lists provide another way to organize your text so that readers can scan for particular information.

List items can be short phrases, or they can be complete sentences, but each list should have items in the same format. If you use a short phrase for the first item in the list, then they should all be short phrases. Don't forget to use a numbered list if you want to have a certain order.

Now, you're ready to publish your blog post.

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Author: Kate Benzin

5 Creative Ways You Can Use a Domain Name for Personal Branding

Personal Branding

Personal branding is more crucial today than ever before. If you are looking for a job, you can influence your recruiters with an impressive online presence. If you are pitching yourself as an industry thought leader, it’s your online brand that will set the ball rolling for you! So, what do you need to build a killer virtual persona for yourself? Here are 5 things you can do right away.

Brand Your LinkedIn Profile

Did you know that you don’t need to share the long and awkward LinkedIn URL with recruiters anymore. Simply pick a domain name that is memorable and set up a redirect to your LinkedIn profile. In future, you can develop this domain name into a professional website with your work portfolio.

It may be impossible to get your firstname.com domain name now. Some of the most popular domain extensions on which you can find your firstname-website are .SITE, .WEBSITE and.ONLINE.

Get Your Website Here!

Create a Futuristic Resum

How do you share your resume with potential employers and recruiters? Instead of sharing a Word doc or a PDF file as an attachment, you can simply share a live website that links to your resume. For example, look at one of SimpleSite's templates which you can use to let recruiters know who you really are.

Get a <fullname>.site or <fullname>.website domain name for your resume and be on your way to making a great first impression on your future employers!

Share Branded Links

Did you know that everytime you share a link on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook or even in your emails, you can brand them with your name? Simply use a custom URL shortner and never share a link that looks like this https://goo.gl/nKnQ2Y. Such links are complicated and unpronounceable. What if this link could be firstname.site/abc

If you want to share information on technology, secure a domain name on .TECH. Then, you may choose a domain name such as newideas.tech.

Social Media Links

Bring All Your Links at One Place

Are you a budding professional and want to showcase all your work at one place? Why not create a simple landing page with links to your GitHub, Behance, Etsy, Devpost, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and all the other profiles? All you need to share is your website name and the user will get access to everything that you do!

Register a domain name on new domain extensions such as .SPACE (if you are the creative kind), .TECH (if you are into technology), .PRESS (if you are into media and publication) and .FUN (if you are into entertainment).

Get a Branded Email Address

Your email ID says a lot about you! Make sure you use an email id that makes you seem professional and evolved.

Register a me@firstname.tech  or me@firstname.space to create an extension of your virtual persona and make for a memorable email address too!

So, invest in a domain name that empowers your online presence and gives you a memorable online persona for building a great first impression in your professional endeavors.

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Want to Be a Thought Leader in Your Industry? Here Are 3 Actionable Tips!

Thought Leader

The value of personal branding for industry thought leaders cannot be understated. By definition, personal branding implies being authentic in thoughts and ideas as you market yourself and your career to the network of people around you in addition to maintaining your originality.

In a world where your thought leadership can influence someone thousands of miles away in a matter of seconds, building an online brand is more crucial today than ever before.

In this post, we will discuss some tactical ways to build a strong personal brand on the Internet.

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Build an Identity with a Website

Are you wondering what you’d put on a website for yourself? There are many things. For example, your story. Make it a crisp, emotional tale of your life. This is a good way to showcase your personality and character. You can add a section about your professional achievements, the books and people that inspire you, the principles you live by and your life’s biggest lessons. You can add a blog section too and update it as often as you can with your thoughts and ideas about anything that you find interesting or simply focus on your work-related topics.

Use a simple platform such as SimpleSite to build your website. Choosing the website name is also important. You want a name that is descriptive and an extension of your online identity. You can register a website with your name and a domain extension that describes your field of interest. For example, www.pete.tech, a first name with a .TECH domain extension for someone who wants to build influence in technology.  Remember to add all your social links on the website and track your visitors to make it your window to the world outside.

Remember to include a straightforward way for readers to reach you. Overtime, the website can get you requests for quotes from journalists when they are working on industry stories. It can also get you invites from industry events to be a keynote speaker or a panelist.

Trust

Build Trust by Branding Everything You Share Online

As a leader, it is important for you to build credibility with your growing follower base and an effective way to do that is by establishing link-trust. What is link-trust? It is the perception a user has of the link they are about to click on - whether positive or mistrustful. Nobody wants to click on anything that may be suspicious or unverified. Not only that, with every link that you share, you have an opportunity to brand it with your name! Simply register a domain name and sign up for a custom URL shortner service.

For example, assume you are a thought leader in the eCommerce space and your domain name is www.ecomstory.online. Now, if you wish to share an article about SEO for eCommerce and the link is long and awkward, you can brand it with your own domain name and make it look like this: www.ecomstory.online/seo-best-practice. Your followers will know that what they are about to click on has your stamp of approval. Their trust in you would strengthen overtime as they continue to see only quality content coming their way through your branded links.

Build Originality by Choosing a Website Name that Describes You

Now that you know you can amplify your leadership and influence by taking your brand online with a dedicated website and branded links, read 6 Things To Keep In Mind When Choosing The Right Domain Name to know more about choosing the most effective website name.

Keep in mind that you should choose a descriptive new domain extension too. For example, use .PRESS if you wish to build a brand in citizen journalism or use .FUN if you wish to talk about entertainment and recreation.

Ready to build your own website and get your unique domain name?

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Improve the Visual Content Strategy for Your Site

Images for website

You already know that images will dramatically enhance your website. Having visual content is a powerful tool to develop loyalty in your readers.

That’s right. Your visitors don’t want to read lines and lines of text. Getting the meaning of an idea is easier when images demonstrate the theme of your writing. And in this technological age, people are getting more visual than ever.

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Have you started using images? Or are you having trouble knowing how to leverage the power of visual content? Don’t worry. Here are some tips to help you enhance your website with visually stunning images.

Publish Relevant, High-Quality Images

The first question is always where to find photos that aren’t outrageously expensive. Here are a few places with beautiful free images – Morguefile, Pixabay, and StockSnap.

With some of the images, you’ll need to give credit to the photographer. Giving credit is easy. Just put ‘photo credit – name of photographer’ below the photo. Be sure to read the requirements on each site.
Make sure that the images are relevant to what you’re writing about. If you’re writing about dog training, what kind of images should you use?

It’s not good enough to use pictures of cute puppies – unless you also display an image of a vicious dog in order to make the point that cute puppies can turn into fierce adult dogs without correct training.

Also use images of dogs that are in the process of being trained either at obedience school or by an individual in the back yard.

Make sure that the photos are in sharp focus – not blurry or pixelated.

Consider Using Quote Posters

What are quote posters? They’re sometimes called memes. Basically, you can make one by putting the text of a quote on top of a picture that is relevant both to the quote and to the content of your article.

The text can be –
  • funny
  • inspirational
  • unexpected
  • thought-provoking
  • motivational
Quote posters or memes can add a light-hearted tone to your article. They have become a very popular way to impart information and entertain at the same time.

Infographics

Make Statistics Easy to Understand

Making sense of numbers and percentages can be very difficult. But when you put those statistics into visual format, the meaning is much easier for your readers to grasp.

You can make regular bar charts or pie charts, but today’s popular way to present data is to put the information into an infographic that makes the data easy to understand and visually appealing.

Don’t let the idea of making an infographic scare you. There are free programs online to make it easy for you. Here are just a few.
These programs are free to use although some of them have paid premium features. In each case, the free service is enough to get started and present complicated concepts in a format that’s easy to understand. Be sure to use a variety of colors to make the data easy to assimilate.

Wrapping it Up

Visual content will make your website more attractive and boost engagement on your site. Do your best to take advantage of the various ways that visual content will work to keep your viewers coming back for more.

Ready to build your SimpleSite? Just click the green button to get started for FREE.

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Author: Kate Benzin

How to Create a Simple Video Using PowerPoint

Create Video with PowerPoint

Do you like videos? Do you like to learn new processes through video rather than text explanations?

Your answer is probably yes. Most people learn better from visual explanations. With video, you can see each and every step you need to take, and that makes it so much easier than trying to imagine what the writer is describing. And if you don’t have video on your website yet, you’re behind the times.

No matter what your website or blog focuses on, you need to stay up to date or your visitors will spend more time at the sites of your competitors.

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You’re probably saying that creating a video is too expensive and difficult. You may even feel overwhelmed if you think about the process of making a video.

Not any longer. Using PowerPoint to make a video is easier than you ever thought possible.

Step 1:

Create your PowerPoint presentation and save it. You can use animations on the slides or not – it’s up to you.

But you should take advantage of the transitions available in PowerPoint. They smooth movement from one slide to the next.

PowerPoint Transitions

Step 2a:

Most videos have either narration or music – sometimes both. Let’s take a look at adding narration first.

You can record the narration right inside PowerPoint. Print your script or have it ready on your tablet.
  1. Open PowerPoint and the slide presentation you want to narrate.
  2. Choose the Slide Show tab on top, and click the small black arrow in the Record Slide Show
  3. Click Start Recording from Beginning.
  4. Make sure that the small boxes to the right are checked so that the resulting video will play with correct timing.
  5. Click the button Start Recording.
  6. Narrate the presentation for the slide that is showing.
  7. Click the arrow to the right of the slide to advance to the next slide.
  8. Repeat steps 5 and 6 until you come to the end.
  9. Click on the last slide to end recording.

PowerPoint Slide Show

Step 2b:

Here’s the process if you use music.
  1. Open PowerPoint and the slide presentation you want to narrate.
  2. Choose the Insert tab on top, and click the small black arrow in the Audio
  3. Click Audio on my PC/from File.
  4. A new window will appear so you can choose the audio you want to use.

PowerPoint Audio

Then:

  1. Drag the sound icon off to the right side.
  2. Choose the Animations tab on top and click Animation Pane.
  3. Drag the sound file to the top, click the small arrow to the right of the sound file, and choose Start with Previous.

PowerPoint Animation

Step 3:

To finalize –
  1. Click File in the upper left corner.
  2. Choose Export then Create a Video
  3. If you can't find it, click Save As then Windows Media Video.
  4. Wait until it’s finished and check that it plays smoothly.

PowerPoint Export and Save As

Now you can publish the video on your website.

If you haven’t built your SimpleSite yet, don’t wait. Just click the green button to get started for FREE.

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Author: Kate Benzin