Is Your Business Blog Readable? How About Useful?


So you’re blogging. Awesome. Once you’ve gotten the hang of managing a business blog, it’s time to start asking yourself the tough questions.

Is your business blog readable? Is it attracting positive attention – heck, is it worthy of attention? Is it useful? Accurate? Purposeful? Persuasive?

In other words, does your company’s blog rock? Yes, we’re asking you to ask yourself the tough questions because there’s no such thing as successful business blogging without introspection.

The fact is, the importance of regular infusions of content cannot be overstated. Not just any old content, however. We’re talking top quality, original content that positions you as a thought leader in your industry.

It’s time to take your blogging efforts to the next level. Let’s dive in.

The Basics of Blogging While Prioritizing Readability and Usefulness

Having great ideas and extensive knowledge on a particular subject is only half of the battle. If you can’t clearly articulate those thoughts and put them into words that are easy for readers to understand, then your content is going to be useless.

At the bare minimum, you need to be creating and sharing content that is:

  • Interesting
  • Original
  • Creative
  • Free from (most) errors
  • Posted regularly
  • Leveraged across all platforms

We would love to assume that you’re doing all that and more on your business blog, but we’ve looked at enough company blogs to know that too many otherwise awesome businesses are failing themselves and their customers by scrimping on content development.

Why the Best Blogs Are Readable and Useful

You can’t just have one or the other here. It needs to be both.

When you master the art of blending readability and usefulness, the success of your blog will grow exponentially. Here’s why.

Readability ensures that your content is easy to comprehend. It’s about using the right formatting, words, and language to get your point across in a way that’s enjoyable for anyone who lands on the page.

But just because something is easy to read, doesn’t automatically make it useful. If you’re just regurgitating the same basic ideas that everyone else is sharing, nobody has any reason to read on. Your business blog must add value to the reader for it to be considered useful.

We can take any topic from any industry and use it as an example.

Let’s say people are searching for something like “How to Make YouTube Video Private” or “How to Prepare For a Job Interview.” Whatever the case may be, they’re expecting an answer when they land on a page. If you can’t deliver that answer, your blog will fail.

Make Sure Your Blogs Are Skim-and-Scan-Friendly

Short attention spans are the norm among blog readers, and I recommend keeping that in mind when you’re composing your blog posts. It’s much more common for readers to scan blog posts than it is for them to actually read blog posts from start to finish.

Browsing, rather than reading, might be a better way to describe how people interact with text on the web. Readers jump from page to page, from site to site, so even if you do want to get deeper into a subject you know about, your text STILL needs to be scan and skim friendly.

In fact, a recent survey from Ahrefs found that 73% of readers skim blog posts, while just 27% read them word for word.

So what makes a blog scan and skim-friendly?

Write short, to-the-point paragraphs that are no longer than five lines. That’s where that straightforward and uncomplicated writing style I recommend comes in handy—it’s a lot easier to keep paragraphs short when you’re using simple vocabulary.

Headers, lists, and bullet points are your friends.

  • Make your headlines descriptive and to the point so the reader knows what your content is about without having to read the post.
  • Make your subheads similarly descriptive so a reader can jump down to the section in a post that interests them the most.
  • Put your conclusions or main points UP FRONT—this makes your topic and slant clear, while also making your copy more enticing to the reader.
  • Condense copy into bulleted lists or itemized lists.
  • Underline or highlight important ideas in the text so readers don’t have to go looking for them.

Not only does this make your blog easier to read, but it also makes it easier for you to write.

6 Tips to Make Your Business Blog Readable and Useful

What else should you be doing, right now, to maximize the return you get for your content creation efforts – particularly on your business blog?

Here are six simple hacks to keep in mind as you’re blogging:

1. Think critically about your real intended audience and what they want to read.

This might be different from what you and your colleagues like to read. Facts and figures can be interesting but probably aren’t going to cut it these days unless interspersed with a whole lot of meaningful stories that actually engage your audience.

2. Share your expertise passionately while putting a real face on your company.

We’re not saying it has to be your face – we get that some folks have a face perfect for radio – but it should be someone real vs. a stock image. Maybe your partner has a great headshot. Or the marketing manager. Whoever it is, your blog is going to get a lot more attention if it is, or at least appears to be, written by a real person. Hello, AuthorRank!

3. Eliminate large blocks of text and use bullets, lists, headers, and images to break up your content.

Give people something to look at so they can take a break from all that reading every few paragraphs or so. Infographics and infodoodles can punctuate your point and give your audience something fun to share with their friends on Facebook.

4. Address the reader using an active voice.

Pretend you’re writing directly to your favorite client – but stop short of addressing every other sentence to Jim personally. Don’t be boring. On the other hand, don’t try to be too clever, either. Keep it real.

5. Stop blogging for SEO and start blogging because you legitimately want to share what you have learned over the years.

Blogging for SEO used to be the way to go, but now we all know the marketing tricks and seeing all those obvious keywords is just plain annoying. If you really want to get your blog noticed – and shared – don’t write until you have something of value to talk about. The SEO will take care of itself.

6. Never, ever, ever use your blog as a sales promo vehicle.

Your business blog should be where you pass on the kind of amazing insider information that your clients and potential clients aren’t going to find on your competitors’ sites. That is the whole point of business blogging, after all. You’re giving customers a little to earn their trust and loyalty by proving that you are the ultimate authority.

Final Thoughts

Let’s say you’re worried that you’re doing all of the above and your business blog is still not as interesting as you think it is.

The simple solution – and the main way to reassure yourself or your writer – is to run your blog past a few people, whether that means sharing a few posts with your husband, sister, or an intelligent friend.

Make sure your readers understand they can be as critical as they want to so you don’t get sucked into the alluring world of empty praise. For the purposes of this exercise, you want the straightest of straight dope.

How would you rate the readability of your business blog?

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