The Importance of White Space
I took a graphic design class in college that talked about the importance of white space.
- White space is the area of a page (post, letter, document) without graphics or writing
It doesn’t have to be white either. Just empty. The extra space below this sentence is white space.
As I browse the internet and read different blogs, one thing I notice is a lack of white space. People have so much knowledge they’re excited to share, they often cram it into one tiny little space, as if they’re trying to save virtual paper.
Why is that bad?
- It’s not real paper. No trees will be hurt if you spread things out. “Don’t waste paper” and “Save the planet” don’t apply here.
- If a reader opens a visually overwhelming page on a day they already feel overwhelmed, they’ll think, “I really don’t have time to be on the internet,” and they’ll close your post.
On the flip side . . . popular blogs seem to offer their readers some breathing room within their posts. It’s as if they’re saying, “Sit down, relax, and stay awhile.” The reader doesn’t even know why they’re still reading when it seems like they already know this stuff. But trust me, the presentation is as important as the words themselves.
So how is it done?.
8 Easy Ways to Create Visually-appealing Blog Posts
1. Use short sentences. Short paragraphs.
Forget your English teachers. Blogs need this more than the average writing. One author I follow rarely uses more than two sentences per paragraph, which makes his posts skimmable. That might not sound like the goal, but it is.
2. Put extra space between graphics or paragraphs.
Just adding an extra space or two can highlight your point.
3. Include pictures in your post.
We all like pictures, plus a graphic is required if someone wants to ‘pin’ your post to Pinterest for later reference. Another goal.
4. Use headings.
Change the font size. Go bold sometimes, or use the occasional italics. If the average reader spends five seconds on your site, what do they see?
5. Once your post is written, zoom way out and blur your eyes.
Is there enough white space, enough breathing room? Then readjust and split paragraphs as needed.
6. Use bullets or numbered lists.
People love these, and it adds natural white space.
7. Try a different color.
Though it’s technically not white space, it still catches the eye.
8. Watch others.
Notice how other bloggers maximize white space to minimize the strain on your eyes.
In just a few steps you’ll attract more readers without changing any content. Sounds easy enough, right?
- I could show you how this post looks like without the white space, but you wouldn’t want to read it anyway. :)
- This white space concept flows into writing books as well. Depending on the age of your reader, you’ll need more white space. Middle grade readers, for example, need more white space than an adults..
What tricks have you used to make your posts (articles, letters, etc.) visually appealing? What have you seen others do?