Writing aesthetically pleasing articles can mean the difference between a viewer reading your article or skipping right over it. Just as when you are on a job interview, the first impression of your article is very important. This is especially true when people are looking for information, answers to questions, help, or instructions to complete a task. We want to spend as little time possible looking for the answers we need. Fortunately, for you as an author, there are several tools at your disposal that will make the lives easier for those seeking information and give yourself some credibility.
Aesthetically Pleasing Articles: The Quick-Scan Test
Consider the following examples. Don't worry about what the text says, just look quickly and determine which text you'd rather take the time to read:
1. Break Up Your Content Into Smaller Parts
In the examples above, the text on the right side is broken up into smaller paragraphs. This makes the content easier to search and read for information. In the text on the left side, I may feel a bit overwhelmed if I need to read that entire paragraph to get what I'm looking for. Especially since there is a chance that I may not even find what it is I'm looking for. I'm more likely to skip over a big block of text like this and find an article written by someone else, who presents the information in a manner that is easier for me to read. The content may be very well written and useful. However, if I've already determined I don't want to read the large block of text then I haven't even given it a chance, and probably never will. Breaking up your content will definitely contribute to more aesthetically pleasing articles.
2. Use Sub Headings
Using sub headings can significantly reduce the amount of time I have to spend searching for the information I'm looking for. It allows readers to scan your article and determine if this is really what they came here for. Sub headings prevent the need to read the entire article. It may seem beneficial to you if everyone is forced to read your entire article. However, if I can land on your article and find what little information I need instantly, I'd be more willing to come back to your article again in the future to read other parts of it. I may also be willing to link to it to refer more visitors. As you can see, a simple idea such as inserting sub headers will make your articles aesthetically pleasing and potentially drive more traffic in the long run.
Here is an example of some information being displayed with and without headers, you be the judge:
3. Add Images
Adding images to your article not only will break up your article to make it look more visually appealing, but it also provides readers with a visual that may be easier to commit to memory. Images can also boost the traffic of your articles by providing traffic from image searches.
4. Use Bold/Strong and Italicized/Emphasized Text
Using this text effects further enhances the reader's ability to find the content they're looking for. You can draw attention to key words, definitions, and any kind of important information. 79% of internet users scan articles instead of reading. With those kinds of statistics, you want to make sure they can find the information they want easily.
5. Insert Links
Links provide another way to break up text. Usually, links will be underlined or have some sort of obvious formatting that is different than the surrounding text. Linking to other pages also provides extra information and/or sources of your information. This not only makes the page more visually appealing (sort of like sprinkling a bit of parsley on the top of your food), but it also adds to your credibility. In the paragraph above, if I simply told you that 79% of users scan instead of read, would you trust me or wonder where I got that info from?
Go Forth and Create Great-Looking Articles
With these few tips, you should be on your way to creating aesthetically appealing articles. People will not only be willing, but will want to read your content. Making your article look nice goes a long way. Good luck, and I hope you're able to start implementing at least one new visually appealing element in your articles.