5 tips for writing readable real estate blog posts
Be honest with yourself: When was the last time you read an article online word for word? If you’re like me, you probably scan for important points, decide if the article is worth sharing, and click to the next article or hit the share button. If you can’t focus on articles online, then it’s likely that your blog readers can’t either. This is whyhow you write is as important as what you write when it comes to capturing readers’ attention. Here are five tips for writing readable real estate blog posts.
1. Make lists
See what we did there? How often do you see or share a post on Facebook that links to a BuzzFeed article about “23 Things You Didn’t Know About X Topic” (Number 14 will blow your mind.) List posts or “listicles” are taking over the Internet, because our attention span online keeps getting shorter and shorter - it turns out we’reno more focused than a goldfish.
By writing a listicle, you’re able to tell your readers exactly what they’ll discover in your blog post, and give them easy points to scan in a hurry. Most online users read at most 28% of the words on the average web page. Highlighting the main points of your article by numbering or bulleting allows the reader to process the most important parts of your blog post and quickly decide if it’s valuable.
2. Use simple words and phrases (and make it brief)
Your high school English teacher taught you to never use basic adjectives and adverbs. You weren’t supposed to use sad when you could use melancholy or morose.
Forget this rule.
The best word is the one that your readers would actually use. When you’re communicating in e-mail with past and potential customers, pay attention to the words and phrases they use. By reflecting this tone in your blog, it’s easier to establish a connection.
You also want to show your readers you value their time by making your point as quickly as possible. This isn’t a college essay where you check your word count and look for ways to increase it. It’s the opposite.
Once you finish an article, look back for words and sentences you can trim. This article was originally over 1,000 words. After editing, I cut it down to 844. If my wordy self can make serious edits, you can too.
3. Write shorter paragraphs
Here’s one thing your high school English teacher did get right - limit the length of your paragraphs. By stringing together dozens of lines of text, your readers can get overwhelmed and it can make your post appear longer than it really is.
Don’t be afraid to separate a key sentence into its own paragraph.
These short paragraphs are punchy and powerful. Use them to draw attention to the most important parts of your blog post.
4. Break up your text with images
Your readers’ eyes may need a break while reading your blog post. Break up your posts with images, infographics, or even highlighted quotes. If you can find a graphic that backs up your key points, like this eye tracking study from Jakob Nielsen below, use it. This graphic proves the benefits of highlighting key points and breaking up text. It shows that readers now scan in an F shape, rather than reading line-by-line.
If you need to create a quick infographic or visual element of your own, try using Piktochart or Canva. If you’re putting together stats on a particular neighborhood or type of loan for example, you can quickly make an infographic to visually explain your points. Readers can quickly scan your post and get information from your images.
5. Place a call to action in your post
A CTA at the bottom of a blog post tells your readers what action to take next, whether it’s reading a related post, leaving their feedback in the comments section, or downloading a piece of content. A great blog post without a CTA leaves your reader thinking: Now what?
If a reader makes it to the bottom of your post, they’re interested in what you have to say and might want to find out more if you tell them where to go. Try adding a button or hyperlink to related blog posts or downloadable content.
Even if you don’t have additional content to direct them to, try adding a line at the bottom of the post that asks for your readers opinion. One of my favorite social media blogs, The Buffer Blog, does a great job of handing the conversation to the reader at the end of every post. Here’s what their closing sections often look like:
You can try ending your post with several questions for your audience to answer. This can help spark conversations.