When you’re posting to your blog, you have ONE initial goal:
To get your post read.
Everyone knows your first step is to craft a compelling headline. After that, you want your reader to actually read the article.
Let’s be honest. There are a lot of factors that go in to getting people to read your stuff: Interest in the subject matter, proper wording etc…
But a great place to start is using The Brief Paragraph technique, as I like to call it.
Simply put, it’s NOT using paragraphs…but breaking them up in to 1, 2 or 3 sentence chunks.
Yes, technically, even one sentence is considered a paragraph…although I’ve read some that say it’s five sentences.
I don’t care.
What I care about is making it EASIER for people to read my posts, and large paragraph chunks make it harder and irritate me.
Breaking my posts up (like I am doing here right now) make it easier to scan…and read it.
I do not use a set number, but I generally do not put more than three sentences in a paragraph. Four if they’re short.
Often, I use only one. The key here is to make it flow with the reader. If you feel a paragraph needs more then do more. But always try to make it easy to read.
I’m not using The Brief Paragraph Technique in this paragraph, and although this is not overly long, it still makes it a bit more challenging to read. I know a lot of bloggers who’s paragraphs are rather clunky and large. And although I read some of them (because they’re good bloggers), I don’t enjoy battling their layout. This paragraph is only five sentences long, but it’s already too much for my eye. I would have broken this up more to make the post more ‘punchy’.
There are those who disagree with this and say it can lead to improper grammar. I don’t care about grammar. Spelling…yes. Everything else is to improve ease of reading.
If you’re the grammar gestapo, go attend Harvard.
Again, whatever it takes to covey your message. Don’t get hung up on the number.
Here’s The Brief Paragraph Technique in action. Seth Godin is a genius at it. He never writes more than is needed and his paragraphs are as long (or as short) as they need to be.
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