In my years of using the internet, I have developed a keen sense (as I?m sure many of you have) of what constitutes easy-to-read content. Most of us that are online marketing every day know exactly how credible a website is after looking at it for about 3 seconds. When it comes to blogs posts however, there are other annoying factors. For example when you happen on a page that may have useful information at the beginning but then there are blocks and blocks of text with no clear structure or organization. When people read things online they are typically in a hurry, quickly scanning for information and organizing your blog post in a way that makes this easy for them will ensure they see the value you have to offer. Headings Make sure you have headings over your sections in your blog post. They make the entire blog post easier to navigate and people can skip to information they find useful. Headings are also great places to put keywords. Short paragraphs It doesn?t matter if you have a lot of information to convey in a blog post, but make sure you break long sections of text into small paragraphs. When people see large blocks of text, they may read the first few lines but then they start skimming through and if its way too long, they move on. Images You should use images in a variety of ways any time you can. Images break up text and also serve as valuable visual cues, representations and enhancements for your content. -Breaking up text: An image aligned to the right or left of a paragraph (especially in the first paragraph of a post) helps make the lines shorter. When your lines are shorter, people are more likely to read them and assuming your content is interesting, they will read further once past the initial hurdle. -Images as enhancements: Any time you are describing a process, talking about a product, writing a tutorial or any other instance where images can help, you should use them. Not only can they make your blog post more interesting but they are very valuable to readers. They help illustrate your points and processes much more clearly. Video Embedded videos are also a great way to enhance a blog post however use them sparingly. If a video can help further enhance your post by providing extra information or conveying it in a more easy to understand way, then go for it. Internal linking You should always take the opportunity to link to other posts or pages on your website. Do at least two links per post and use themes in your current post to link to other relevant pages on your site. This is an excellent way to get more traffic to older blog posts or pages of your site that could use a boost. Keywords Not every post on your site has to target a keyword however the ones that do should be structured in a very specific way. When targeting a keyword in a blog post, you should be focusing on one keyword only along with its variants. The main keyword should be in the title of the post and at least one of the headers as well as the copy underneath that header. The variants of the main keyword should then be in subsequent headers and copy. Keep it at about 2% density for the keyword. Social plugins You should always provide a way on every one of your posts for readers to share your content. If you are using Wordpress or another popular CMS, there are already dozens of different plugins that are super easy to install and can do this for you. While there is no conclusive evidence of this that I have seen, I feel it?s best to have your social sharing plugin at the top of your post. This ensures that people see it first and know it?s there and can also see that people have already been sharing your content. Having a floating sidebar is good too although these can be sort of annoying. Threaded comments As long as you have some kind of comment system you should be good but a threaded one is best. This is an ideal format for engaging readers of your blog. When people ask questions or respond to your content, you can respond in turn to their comments and they will be organized in an easy to read thread. It also makes all comments easier to sift through when you get a lot of engagement on a post. Author Bio This is important to have for a couple reasons. People relate better with content when they can see who has written it. The bio can also put some authority behind the post if it describes the authors professional experience. Another reason the bio is important is for Google Author Rank. This is a primary way that you can link the post to Google search results. Assuming the content is good, gets shared a lot and ranks well, the author bio will continue to help down the road in SERP?s. Sidebar There are a lot of effective elements that could be placed in the side bar however there are some must haves. You should have a way for people to subscribe to your content. This could be a link to an RSS feed or a box where people can sign up via email. The sidebar is also a great place to market your services with a button or call to action. You don?t have to beat people over the head with it but a subtle reminder of what you can offer is great. You should also have links to the other categories of content that your blog can provide. What are some elements that you have found to be effective in your blog posts?