Having something to say and knowing how to say it are both important for building an audience. But it’s also important that you know how to present what you write so that people will be compelled to read. Here are four tips for making what you write on LinkedIn and your blog more visually appealing.
1. Avoid long paragraphs.
You want your article to appear easy, breezy to read, not overwhelming. One way to do that is to keep each paragraph short — about four sentences max.
2. Think subheads and bullets.
You also want to avoid big, uninterrupted blocks of copy. Think of organizing your writing into chunks and then writing subheads that sum up the paragraphs in each section. Think about it as giving people a little break while reading — much like chapters in a book.
3. Add art to your articles.
Of course, you need to illustrate your article. At the minimum, you want a primary photograph. And then you might also think about dropping secondary images into the body of your article. This is another way to break up text and give your reader something besides words to process or think about.
Be careful not to grab just any image online as you might infringe on copyrights. Instead, search for royalty-free stock art. I can often find what I need for free at Pexels.com, Pixabay.com or Unsplash.com.
4. You don’t have to say everything in one article.
My rule of thumb is to keep articles between 350 and 900 words. The 500-750 range is kind of the sweet spot. If you find your articles going long, that’s good news; it means you have enough for two or more articles.
Don’t feel like you have to say everything in one article. Think of having one main idea per article, or having a series of articles that explore different angles of your original idea. Of course, you will want to link to those and other previously published articles when you write newer ones.
You want your writing to inform, but to do that your audience must actually read it. Having well-organized, scannable and otherwise visually appealing articles helps attract more eyes on your articles and blog posts.
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.