This is about readability. Content is king and relevancy is queen, but the easier you make it for people to manoeuvre through your posts the more readers will stick with you and get to all that great content you've created. Often people overlook the simplest of things. They plough ahead with more complex enhancements without first taking care of the easiest steps to implement, those small things that will make the greatest difference for the time you give to your blog posts.
1. Use the More Tag
So simple and yet so many still don't do it. It allows people to scan through your blog roll easily to find articles of interest. If they have to scroll through each entire article many will get fed up and leave. If you give them an opening paragraph or two and maybe an image, it's a teaser and can entice them in. It also just looks neater and more manageable to the eye.
You can change the wording to 'continue reading' or other variations if you prefer. Newspapers and magazines list their articles with a paragraph blurb about them on the content page to whet the browser's appetite. So should you.
2. Add Images
A good image can transform your text into something that bit more approachable. It breaks up what would otherwise be quite dull blocks of text. Regardless of how good your prose might be, an occasional image can make it look more accessible and appealing. Just make sure they are copyright free, you attribute where they came from or you're legally allowed use the images. You can pay a small fee per image at places like iStockPhoto but there are free alternatives.
You can search on Creative Commons on Wikipedia or search on other photo sharing sites such as the free sxc.hu. Or click here on Flickr and tick the box for "Only search within Creative Commons-licensed content". It depends on what you're looking for, but there are a wealth of usable images available to you.
3. Put In Plenty of Sub-Headings
TimThumb.php is a great open-source script that web developers can use to help speed up sites by doing some clever image caching and resizing.
Unfortunately it's been discovered that there is a security hole in older versions of the script. If you are using this script on your site - it may be part of a premium theme - then you need to upgrade it to the latest version.
To know if you've been affected, you need to do a search for a file called "timthumb.php" - if you downloaded your theme files to your desktop before uploading, then you can do instant search by typing the filename into Voidtools Search Everything - watch the video for a full walkthrough.
Fortunately, the fix is easy. (more…)