We all experience the world in different ways, learning as we go.
Are you a hugger? Or shy away from physical contact?
Do you read books? Or haven’t you read a book since school?
Is your perfect relaxation watching a movie, or do you prefer listening to music?
We all have different preferences to recieve information.
Some of us like to watch something then copy it.
Others will read about it and write about it.
Podcasts and music sink in for some and others need to ‘feel’ and ‘experience’ things to understand them.
These are our learning styles and we’re all a bit different. There are various academic models developed by psychologists, but the most commonly used is Neil Fleming’s VARK model.
The Four VARK Learning Styles
We all have degrees of preference for each of the styles:
People that like to watch something to learn about it. Most of us have a preference for this (60%), which is why pictures and video are good for us.
Top Tip: Always have an image on your blogs to draw people in.
These are people who need to hear information to absorb it. They love podcasts and audio books.
They like to read information and write things down to retain it. This is often how we are conditioned to learn through school, so many of us fall into this by default and out of habit. Especially those of us who’ve studied at higher levels of education.
These are the feelers. People who need to touch and experience things. They like textures and you can often spot a kinesthetic person because they’re a hugger and wear fluffy and soft clothes.
All of us are on the scale of these styles somewhere.
If you have ever been on any train the trainer training you’ll be familiar with the VARK model. When I was training to be a trainer (more years ago than I care to recount!) this was my favourite of the different styles we learned (Kolb and Honey & Mumford are also well known ones.).
What Is Your Learning Style
You can take a quick test here to find out what learning styles you prefer.
I’m VRKA – I like to see something (V), then write it down and read it later (R), then I like to try it for myself (K), and then be told to do it (A).
You may hear people say things like “blogging is dead, non one reads”.
Well, this simply isn’t true.
Just because video (V & K) and images (V) are popular online does not mean you should ignore the other ways to present information (R & A). Besides, the Googlebot needs words to chew through for SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) purposes, the algorythm can’t ‘read’ a video or an image unless you use words to describe it. We still type words into search engines to find what we want, then we may self-select the ‘Video’ or ‘Image’ tab after.
Why Written Blogs Are Important
Another consideration is that sometimes, we don’t want to sit through a video in the hope that it’ll answer our question. There are only so many ‘people-talking-into-their-phones-from-the-front-seat-of-their-car’ videos you can bear to watch! And, if you are anything like me, when you watch a video and get interrupted by an advert part way through (have you noticed how You Tube vids have the advert in the middle now? How rude and annoying is that!) you stop watching and miss the rest of the content.
Sometimes we don’t have the bandwidth or the signal to buffer a video. Maybe we’re in a quite place and have no headhones to listen in? Or, we just want to copy and paste a quote from a piece of text.
My Top Tip:
Use a variety of written, visual, video and audio content on your blogs. Not only is this better for your readers, it’s better for Google and it’s more interesting for you!
I know I could be considered biased, but words are most definately not dead!
Does your blog have a distinctive voice and style?
Does it reflect your business?
For top tips and insights to ‘Blog With Style’, watch the webinar replay: