You’ve seen them.
You know what I’m talking about.
It’s those one-sentence paragraph blog posts designed to grab your attention.
But when I read them, it just feels choppy.
I constantly scroll and never get in a reading rhythm.
And so I just bounce and find the content elsewhere.
I find it an annoying trend designed to only reel in a reader but not cater to their need for expert content.
I had a potential client reach out recently asking if I would write content in this style. It made me pause and evaluate why I dislike this writing style so much and why I choose not to engage in it. Here’s a look at what happens when people start using sentences like paragraphs.
It’s Super Choppy to Read Your Blog Posts
There’s a reason why our primary school teachers taught us how to use paragraphs. Paragraphs group thoughts together. A new paragraph naturally signals to a reader that there’s a shift, however small, in the content.
Without using paragraphs, those thoughts tend to become all over the place. And often, writers who engage this style use sentence fragments. While it might mirror how people speak and be designed to make the company or writer seem down-to-earth, it simply goes against everything we know about engaging readers.
You Lose the Dramatic Effect of a One-sentence Paragraph
When I use a single word or short sentence as a paragraph, it’s to draw the reader’s attention to something. It’s a dramatic effect that says “hey, pay attention.” So when every single paragraph is just a dramatic one-sentence paragraph, it simply isn’t dramatic anymore.
And then you find writers using italics and bold excessively to try and get that drama into their writing because they can’t get it with their paragraphs. This can make it challenging for the reader to understand and simply make a blog look cluttered and messy.
That’s not to say bolds and italics are bad. They also have a role in conveying important information to a reader. But when used too often, they can lose that effect, which is why it is nice to have the option of a one-sentence or one-word paragraph to keep things interesting.
It Feels Cheesy and Forced
I’m not certain about this, but from what I’ve seen, these one-sentence paragraph blogs come from MLM businesses and social selling. I’m not saying anything bad about these businesses as I know some people have found great success with them. But these social sellers are trained to create these dramatic social posts that engage one-sentence paragraphs and tons of emojis.
When I read this style, it feels cheesy and forced to me. While it might work for some coaching businesses, I don’t find it to be the most engaging and professional writing style for a business selling products and services.
I prefer an informational neutral tone than one that makes everything seem like flowers and candy. Content that comes off as sickeningly sweet and upbeat always makes me skeptical about why they’re setting that tone. Maybe that’s just me, but as a consumer, I want facts and details long before I want to feel like I’m friendly with an organization.
It Decreases the Value of Bullet Points for Skimming
If every paragraph is just a sentence, what good are bullet points and numbered lists for making the content skimmable? The bullet points will just blend in with all those choppy sentences and once again you lose the effect of a writing tool that can be very impactful.
Bullet points and numbered lists are also good for your SEO when used appropriately, so you don’t want to lose the impact that these tools can have.
Different writing styles benefit different types of businesses based on their target audience. So before you decide you like the appearance of one style or another, consider your audience and the goals you have for your content. And remember, blogs are not social media. You likely won’t use the same writing style in your blogs as you do on social media, and that’s a good thing.
There are plenty of mistakes you can make when blogging, but choppy paragraphs doesn’t have to be one. If you’d like to discuss how to set the right tone with your blog content and what writing style might work best for your business, contact me.
Blog Post Best Practices
Learn more about blog post best practices from these common questions and answers.
How Many Sentences Should a Paragraph Be in a Blog?
For optimal readability, you want a paragraph to be no more than three sentences. Small shifts in the thoughts that you are conveying should signal a new paragraph.
Why Do Blogs Use Short Paragraphs?
Blogs use short paragraphs to engage readers and make the content easier to read.
Should Blog Posts Be Long or Short?
Longer blog posts engage readers better because they provide greater depth on a topic. Longer blog posts are also better for SEO.