❓Answering Common Questions: How do I get more Votes? - Part 6: Readability and Scanability

in steem-help •  10 months ago

Format your posts! Help your reader
by having an easy to read post!

Beware Walls of Text!!

Have any of you noticed that we've not really talked much about the actual Body of your post? But we did need to get people to actually open your post first though. There being SOOO many fantastic (Markdown) formatting guides out there (I'll provide a link to one below) I'd rather discuss ways of making a post easier to read and scan.

Excellent Markdown Formatting Guide! by @theMarkyMark

Q: What's makes posts easier to read? Does it really even matter?



Now, there are two ways you make posts readable:

  • In the writing style itself; explaining well, good flow, good grammar, etc
  • and Visually; differing text size, bold/italics, spacing, centering, etc

The writing style is still important, we'll just discuss it another time. I'm going to specifically talk on Visual readability in this guide. While you won't really get compliments for doing this, most people are repulsed on some level when it's not done well.

I'm sure you've all seen 'walls of text' before....a bunch of sentences or paragraphs that just seem to go on forever. Just like this:

While this may be a bit of an exaggeration, it still feels this way to the reader.

  • Did you get through reading the whole wall of text above?
    • Probably not (though I'm sure somebody will comment that they did).
  • Can you tell how hard it is to read after getting through a few sentences?
    • *More than likely!

Every day there are over 10,000 new Steemit posts. Having a wall of text in your post (especially starting from the beginning) WILL LOSE YOU VOTES for the one's that don't.

If you take nothing else away from this guide...take this! DON'T HAVE WALLS OF TEXT!!

OK...OK...I get it! So how can I break up the text?
This is one of the easier things to fix. Just pick and choose from:

  • Double space between paragraphs: I recommend doing this between every paragraph in your post. (see it in mine?)
  • Use headings for your sections. You have 6 different sizes to choose from. (Read the markdown formatting guide linked above)

This is a centered heading! :D

  • Put in a Picture: You all know how to put pictures in your posts already. If you find there too many paragraphs together, maybe you can move a picture around or put another in there (only if you think it adds to the post...don't just throw in random pictures.)
  • Use a divider to separate sections of your post: this can be anything from:
    • a 'horizontal rule' (by putting three *'s or <hr>at the beginning of a line.) which looks like this...

  • or a page divider image (make your own or find a free one on google)...you can see mine in this post
  • fill the line with emojis like these (which I centered)
    ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️

Alignment

Once you've gotten the text broken up, you'll find that you get more pleasing is choosing what things are on the left margin, centered, etc. You can also play with 'word wrapping' text around a picture using THIS POST.

You'll find how many paragraphs you're comfortable having together (without an image or divider) and what you actually use to accomplish this. This ends up being a part of your style and helps your branding (as discussed HERE.)

Q: What is Scanability? Does it really even matter?

This is a bigger deal for longer, especially written posts

It's hard to keep people's attention in general. But here on Steemit...its ten times harder. So many people here at writing, reading, commenting, chatting, etc! As much as I hate to say this to you...Many people start scrolling down after reading about two paragraphs!

There are some fantastic content consumers on here, that read posts in full! But they are in the minority...I guaranty you. Since this is a guide to get more VOTES versus more READERS...this matters. Have the expectations that your reader is going to scroll through large portions of your post...they're likely not going to read it all.

So use things like headings and pictures to let them follow along and get the gist of your point, while scrolling. You can think of them as being point 1, point 2, etc and writing the headings and choosing images with this in mind. You can also use ALL CAPS, bold or italicized words to make then stand out and/or give extra inflection.

If you look at any of my other posts you can see how easy it is find the questions you were wanting answers for. (Having the extra headings, page breaks, etc. make this post look a bit ugly to me.) If you try scrolling through your own posts, you should be able to see if things are in a good order and able to follow the point.

One additional option that some people like doing is to had a TL;DR (too long, didn't read) section. This takes your entire point of the post and explains it in 3-4 sentences. You can put this section either at the beginning or the end, which ever you prefer. Just make sure to label it TL;DR, summary, or something like that.

❓Answering Common Questions: How do I get more Votes?-
Part 1-Part 2-Part 3-Part 4-Part 5

❓Answering Common Questions: Why do my Post Payouts and Account Value go down ❓

Click HERE for a list of All my Guides!

Please Follow, Upvote and Resteem if you found this Guide Helpful.


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For me the visual with differing text size, bold/italics, spacing, centering is so important. When a post is in a wall of text I usually move on. Similarly to his listening to someone that talks in monatone it’s difficult to pay attention.

You have great writing skills and visually pleasing posts.

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You're spot one! In fact this made me notice I forgot to include the bold/italics in there. Fixed that now, lol.

Personally, I like to write like I talk...add the different pauses or emphasis like I'd do in a conversation with somebody. I'm sure it's not for everybody, but it lets me feel more like I'm conversing instead of writing a report.

Thank you! :D

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Agreed. You have a great writing style.

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Putting it simply. I agree with both of you. @sykochica @kp138
Just one question.
Is there anyway out than to type the username manually while quoting or tagging someone cuz chances of typos are there?

Thank you so much. I don't even know about formating in steemit. This will be help full in my future posts.

To be honest, I live very anarchically so it is difficult to adapt to readability rules, but I am trying. I have a bad habit, even with the music I produce, and that is to improvise, so everything is scattered. (meticulous people would probably burn my pc if they saw my desktop) Great to have influential members like yourself care for others with posts like this one that are very helpful to us newbies. So I will try even more to adapt my text so it could be more readable.

Nice, I agree! People too often forget formatting can make a big difference.

Your data might be GOLD, but if your presentation sucks people write it off before they even get started.

Nice post sis....

I'm a big fan of white space.

Spread it out I say, we have plenty of sheets of paper...

Compacted, dense posts are generally on my Skip to Next pile. Which is a shame as some may have really good content.

Do you have any feelings on optimal post length?

Of course it depends on the subject of the post but I do struggle with the big 3000 word end of term papers. There are always so many worthy posts to read some sacrifices have to be made. They often feel bad about missing out some posts but somewhere I do have to fit in my LBS.

Thank you for the offer on PYPT of your training materials for my steemit course. I will catch up with you soon on that.

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try night mode then its dark space
or outer space

Thanks for sharing such a valuable advices, I think I had never gone through the information, by reading you I have recognised my work. So thanks for the valuable information. Upvoted your sweet post, will please have a on mine.

This post has given me even more understanding of what we were discussing earlier! Thanks for this. I'd go through and read the previous parts and surely be resteeming this, I have a whole load of followers who needs this, lol! Thanks.

Many people start scrolling down after reading about two paragraphs!

Does it mean that I must to write the most interesting information in these two paragraphs ? :) :p

interesting thing's i came to know i will use all of these in my post's slowly :)

I have to say first that the text wall was horrible to go through. I'm never doing that in my post again. Lesson learnt.
Have been following this series and you don't fail to deliver.
Thank you so much, you have been more helpful than you know.

This is a great guide. When i started here on Steemit i found the editor quite daunting. It was like I had to become a programmer to make a post. I would suggest newcomers check out some of the editors in the steemit apps section . I also find it handy to make a template for my posts that I save as a text document.

Effective guide you have shared. Well, I mostly work on How to design my post so that it look amazing but as well as the depth of writing is necessary. I see many people post quality contents and their's pots are also well design but they do not create a high traffic of readers. There are many reasons why people are failing on steemit because steemit has become a business platform. I myself want to get maximum readers on my posts and I always try to post quality blogs but I always get myself failure.

thank you for the info

its time for me to scale up things

I agree, but i also think there is a lot of issues people in here are facing of, I've seen a lot of post with more upvotes than reads, it may be because of the strategy or those sorts of things, and still not knowing if that's good or bad or even how face it, amazing information, thank you so much!

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I definitely understand wanting to have views AND votes. Some people hold one more important than the other. However, I'm typically asked by people to get more votes (really, more money in their payouts.) Even if it isn't exactly ideal to get a vote but not a view..it's rare for me to get asked specifically how to get more views (being content with the payout levels.) This is a MUCH more difficult problem to solve.

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I understand your point here, but I think there's still a lot of people wanting to know what it's exactly steemit and that may complicate everything , I believe I'm one of those, thanks for doing it a bit easier!

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I don't think I'm understanding the question. This part specifically

I think there's still a lot of people wanting to know what it's exactly steemit and that may complicate everything

If it's about there being more votes than views this is caused by:

  • people upvoting a post without opening it (in a feed, on your blog, etc)
  • automated bot voting for specific people at specified times (after the post is created)
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Sorry, English is not my first language, I don't know if I explained myself well, it's not a question and I know there's many cases in what that can happend, what I'm trying to say is that not everyone who is here know what is steemit for and what will be its goal or purpose, some people say that it's a premium blog platform, other say it will replace mainstream social media and so on, but I believe there's probably a long way in front of us.

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Ahhh, I'm with you now. No worries, I just wanted to make sure I understood.

I totally agree. People view and use steemit differently already. But just wait until the smart media tokens launch. Then things will be extra interesting.

:-)

too long content is just boring until it don't have the spark but your suggestion is really nice

People of steemit use markdown styling guide which can be seen top right of your preview

It will take you to thewebsite filled with useful info to help you navigate to your desired layout and there is a simple helpful tool arangement avalable at steemit FAQ

Goodluck and do your research

its very nice also knowledgeable for me.thank for sharing with us. i think all people benefited from here...

I still have to learn how to center everything and work on the text , it seems difficult for me but it catches me eyes in others posts

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The centering is a big one for me too. I sticks out for me every time.

Do you use the Editor with the MS Word like buttons? or the Markdown/html one?

Using your latest post of an example... to center one of the pictures in there, just

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I will research more into it, I’ll never used the advanced keyboard settings at all

I try to do well with spacing things but have to admit I've been pretty lazy not using the markdown style. Need to step up my game!! And I've been working on a banner for the end of my posts, but that will have to wait till the kiddos are asleep! Haha.
As always, great advice! Thanks!!

One additional option that some people like doing is to had a TL;DR (too long, didn't read) section. This takes your entire point of the post and explains it in 3-4 sentences. You can put this section either at the beginning or the end, which ever you prefer. Just make sure to label it TL;DR, summary, or something like that.

Or just do the essay thing and have a summary built into the text.

I technically know all these things, but I so suck at remembering to do them. XD

I don't even do them at all really with my story, except the double spacing. Sometimes I place the image somewhere to break up the text though. I think I might try using some of those stylized line breaks though.

I've been focusing too much on the content, and not enough on the formatting. I do better on my normal posts though. I try to make headers and sections. I could do a lot better though. And I'm gonna try to do so. :)

Hello @sykochica, this is a very helpful and informative post. At least for me, someone writing walls of text.LOL
Thank you also for the link on the styling guide you provided.

great @sykocheia the content needs to be strong to make the presentation better. ...its good to see so many way to make content attractive. especially the @markymark markdown style guide.....

Resteeming the post for maximum exposure...

thnks
@steemflow

Wow.... I got something
Now I know how to make text easy to read 👍👍