I've been working on the MyDL help section, which means compiling a bunch of information on how to blog effectively.
One interesting thing I found in my research is a study that showed people don't read websites word-for-word. Rather they scan. I thought that some of the web-design principles that were suggested here based on this research could be applied to blogging.
The article, by Jakob Nielsen suggests that you:
- Highlight (by hyperlinking, underlining, bolding or changing the colours of words)
- Break stuff into sections with meaningful subheadings
- Summarise complex information using bullets
- Use the "inverted pyramid" style of writing, where the most important questions the reader has are answered in the first few lines and you gradually expand on information
- Break your story into paragraphs, starting with a lead sentence. That way readers can skip the rest of the paragraph and still have a good idea of what's going on.
- Use as few words as possible. Online we're all ADD