Long posts or short posts, I’m sure you’ve encountered the question. Longer means more content to reed the spiders and the deep readers. Shorter means casual readers are more likely to stay longer and read deeper.
Readers, those readers, unlike spiders, can’t be configured to do what we think they are supposed to.
When readers glance or glimpse our blog page, we’ve got a blink to draw them in. A blink isn’t long enough to read, or even sample, the content. A blink is exactly that – a blink. We’re talking a matter of seconds.
Being Blind to the Old
If we’ve been with a blog for more than two weeks, unless we’re in a redesign, we’re used to how it looks. Our brain filters out what is no longer new, so that we can concentrate the changes in our blog environment that are useful to us.
This filtering is critical to survival. It keeps us from being over-stimulated by everyday information that would be disruptive –- it’s counter-productive to be as impressed with our template or our new cotton sweater as we were the moment we first saw it. If we were, we would constantly be being bombarded by information — never able to sort the old from the new.
Unfortunately that also means that we quickly become blind to how the things we see every day actually look.
Blink Test Your Blog
So how do you get a fresh look at your blog? Do a blink test. That’s what I call it. Read all of the directions below before you do the blink test. That’s so that you can concentrate on noticing where your eye goes and what your reactions are.
- Open your blog fully on your computer in front of you.
- Look away at the ceiling or a neutral color wall –- white is the best if you’ve got it. Try to look for 2 or 3 minutes so that you’re completely clearing your mind of any “cached” images.
- When you look back at the screen notice where your eyes go, and notice how easy or hard it is to draw your eyes elsewhere.
Where did your eyes go? Most folks will find that their eyes went to some visual element. Often that element is the big orange feed button. It’s good that people notice your feed, but is it really what you want them to remember most?
I would think the visually strongest pull on your blog should be your blog’s title. Now, don’t necessarily make your feed button smaller, but rather make your title visually more prominent.
Using the blink test. Find the 3 strongest visuals on your blog. Make sure that they are in order that supports your goals. Next Week, I’ll be showing you a blog on which we did just what I’m talking about.
Meanwhile if you blink your blog and have questions, c’mon let’s talk.