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How to make people stay and read your blog posts

When you succeed in getting visitors to one of your blog posts, you want them to stay and read your work. Readers (and especially first time visiting readers) are bored quickly. You should grab their attention fast and help them understand the main message of your blog. In this post, I give five tips on getting people to stay on your site and read your post.

Limit the Length of Your Posts

You should limit the length of your text as people tend to stop reading (or don’t even start) if web text is too long. However, for SEO purposes, your blogs or articles shouldn’t be too short either (minimum of 300 words). A lengthy article has more chances to rank in search engines. We advise writing blog posts between 300-400 words for inexperienced bloggers and 700-800 for more advanced bloggers. Also make sure you write short paragraphs. A bunch of short paragraphs is much more pleasant to read than one big lump of copy.
(At Yoast we tend to break the do-not-write-lengthy-posts rule every now and then, producing blog posts which are much longer. If you choose to write a lengthy article, you should focus even more on style and structure!)

Make Sure Your Post is Readable

Make sure people can read your text properly. Reading from screens is hard, so make sure you don’t make it any harder. Use a decent font size: at least 14 px and preferably 16 px, with an appropriate white space (1.5em for the larger font sizes, more toward 2em for smaller font sizes). Using more white space (to a degree, obviously) has been found to actually increase comprehension of the text. Make sure the lines of your text aren’t too long. Try to keep it limited to 50 or 75 characters per line. The longer the lines, the harder it is for people to understand your message. And last but not least, choose contrasting colors for your text and your background. Green text on a yellow background tends to read quite hard.

Write About One Topic

Your blog post should have one subject. It should have one main message, or point, you want to make. Every blog and piece of content on your website has some kind of a message. This message is the purpose of that piece of writing: what do you want to tell your readers? You should be able to put the message of your post in one sentence. That sentence should contain one topic, not two. If you have a message containing two topics, use that second topic for your next blog post!

by Marieke van de Rakt