That stunk, sorry! Hopefully, it got your attention. Dan Zarrella has an excellent post on chunking your content. I'm repeating some of his advice and throwing in a little of my own.
There has been a tremendous amount of research on web visitor behavior and how they read and transverse articles and pages in a web browser. A common method for web visitors is to read data or headlines in chunks rather than reading an article top down. Personally, I've struggled myself writing this way, but I continue to try. Separating pieces of content with headings that may be bolded, colored differently, or sized larger will allow your visitors to scan your content quickly. Additionally, separating your paragraphs enables users to quickly scan, sometimes jumping from opening sentence to opening sentence rather than reading all the details in between.
Did you get all of that?
Maybe… maybe not! You may have jumped directly to this chunk. Write your articles and posts in a certain way for easier navigation and comprehension:
- Use Bolded Text – stands out, doesn't it?
- Use Subheadings – subheadings allow folks to quickly scan the content.
- Use Paragraph Spacing – spacing separates the content and allows visitors to quickly read opening sentences.
- Use Bulleted and Numbered Lists – this is organized and easy to read.
- Write 5 to 10 Chunks – try to both limit and remain consistent on the number of paragraphs (i.e. chunks) in your content. Consistency will assist in reader retention because you're setting expectations with readers.
I didn't chunk the first half of this topic on purpose, and it showed, didn't it? The chances are that you didn't read that full paragraph.
It's not just for blogs!
I'm as guilty as anyone on not chunking, but I'm going to work harder at it. You should, too… be it your website or your blog, visitors will retain more about your site and its articles than if you don't chunk. When they remember more, they'll be back for more!