If your blog covers an industry or area that requires an in-depth look at subjects, you may find that, more often than not, your posts number thousands rather than the hundreds of words. In a world in which people like to digest information quickly, it is hard to keep the attention of the reader with a 3,000 word post – regardless of how well written it is.
The obvious thing to do with lengthy content is to break it up into a series of articles; however, this is not always appropriate. If what you have written needs to be kept together in one long post, you are going to need to look at ways to optimize it so that it is easier for the reader to take in. Here are a few ways that this can be done.
Create a Table of Contents
One of the easiest ways to make your content more reader-friendly is to use the tried and trusted table of contents technique. This can be done manually by making anchor sub-headings, but, as always with WordPress, a plugin is the preferred method.
Table of Contents Plus is a great plugin for the job and lets you link to sub-headings on the same page without any of the manual work. There are a few pre-defined designs available, but you may need to tinker around with the CSS a little create something suited to your theme.
Tabs are a fantastic way of optimizing content and can turn an off-putting long page into one that is simple to navigate. There are plenty of great tab plugins out there; some of our favorites are Easy Responsive Tabs, WordPress Post Tabs and Post UI Tabs.
All three allow tabs to be placed at the top or to the side of your content so that posts can be clicked through rather than scrolled through.
Paginate Your Posts
Pagination helps break content up into a series of pages to make it easier to digest in chunks. Plugins like Advanced Post Pagination do not actually create separate pages for posts; they just make it look that way by placing a page slider at the bottom of each page.
Finally, content can be optimized for better clarity with the use of images. Okay, so images will make a page longer than it already is, but they’ll also help break up blocks of text to make content more readable. Using images throughout your content creates a kind of stopping point for readers – a place where they can grab a breather and take stock of what they have read so far.
If you are wondering where to find images for your content, check out our post on the subject.