As a beginner blogger, you may feel overwhelmed with the options and unsure of the best practices when formatting your blog post. Don't worry, we've got you covered.
In this guide, we'll walk you through the key elements of formatting a blog post like a pro. You'll learn tips for choosing an eye-catching title, writing an intro that pulls the reader in, using headers to break up the text, emphasizing important points with bold and italics, and more. By the end, you'll have the skills to craft a blog post that is both compelling and easy on the eyes. Sound good? Let's dive in!
Why is Blog Post Formatting Important?
Formatting your blog post is one of the most important parts of content creation. Why? Because it makes your content easier to read and less intimidating for readers. A great format guides readers smoothly from the intro to the conclusion, keeping them engaged the whole way through. Proper formatting also helps with search engine optimization (SEO). This means your content will rank higher in searches and attract more readers.
A well-formatted blog post achieves three important goals:
- Clarity: Readers should have no trouble understanding the main ideas and flow of your content. Use headings, bullet points, and other formatting elements to break up text into digestible chunks.
- Reader engagement: An inviting and accessible format encourages readers to continue to the end. Short paragraphs, lists, and ample whitespace keep the post from being an intimidating wall of text.
- Visibility: Proper formatting helps search engines recognize the structure of your content, boosting the chances that readers will find it. Make sure to use heading tags (<h1> through <h6>) strategically to mark the most important topics and sections.
To summarize, post formatting is essential for effective content marketing. Take the time to structure your post in a logical, reader-friendly way, and you'll improve the chances people will read — and share — your writing.
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1. Choose an Engaging Title
Choosing an engaging title is key to getting people interested in your blog post. You want a title that grabs attention and makes readers curious to learn more.
Keep it Concise Yet Compelling
Aim for a title between 6 to 13 words so it's easy to read quickly. Focus on intriguing or thought-provoking phrases that capture the essence of your post. Use action verbs and numbers for impact, like "5 Ways to Increase Blog Traffic."
Include Keywords for Searchability
Include relevant keywords and phrases in your title so people can find your content. If you're writing about formatting blog posts, include terms like "blog post format," "how to format blog posts," or "formatting blog content."
Ask a Question
A question in the title sparks curiosity and interest, like "Are You Making These 3 Blog Formatting Mistakes?" or "Want More Blog Views? Here's How to Format Your Posts for Success."
Use Emotional Triggers
Tap into emotions with dramatic or exciting words like powerful, surprising, or shocking. For example, "The Shocking Mistakes That Are Costing You Blog Views." But don't overhype content that doesn't deliver.
2. Structure Your Content With Subheadings
To make your blog post easy to read, use subheadings to break up the content into logical sections. A good rule of thumb is to have a subheading every 3 to 4 paragraphs.
- Choose subheading titles that are short but descriptive. For example, “Choosing a Topic” or “Writing Your First Draft” are good options. Avoid single words or vague phrases.
- Format your subheadings using Markdown. For H2 subheadings, use ##. For H3 subheadings, use ###. Make sure each subheading has two blank lines before and after and ends with a space.
- Vary your subheading levels. Don't use only H2 or H3 subheadings. Mix them up to create a visual hierarchy that leads readers through your post.
- Keep your paragraphs focused. Each paragraph should have a clear topic or purpose. If a paragraph is becoming lengthy, it may need to be broken up or turned into its own section with a subheading.
- Use transitional phrases to link sections. For example, say something like "Now that we've covered choosing a topic, let's move on to outlining your post." These help give readers context and flow through the various ideas.
Using an effective subheading structure will make your blog posts much more scannable and help readers quickly find the information that interests them most. Experiment with different styles and formats to see what resonates most with your audience. The more you practice, the more natural your subheading flow will become!
3. Break Up Text With Images and Visuals
One of the best ways to make your blog posts more engaging is to include visual elements to break up blocks of text. Images, graphics, videos, charts, and infographics are all great options.
Upload and embed a few images into your post to illustrate important points or make the content more visually interesting. Make sure any images are high quality, properly sized, and have alt text for accessibility. Images of people always do well in posts, so consider including photos of yourself or your team.
Infographics are visual representations of data, statistics, or information. They make complex topics easy to understand and are highly shareable. If you have survey results or industry reports to share, turn them into colorful info graphics. Free tools like Canva and Piktochart make designing info graphics a breeze.
Charts and graphs
Similar to infographics, charts and graphs are a visual way to represent trends, comparisons, rankings, and metrics. They allow readers to spot key takeaways at a glance. Excel, Google Sheets, and free chart builders can help you turn your data into line charts, bar charts, pie charts, and more.
Embed a short video into your post to bring it to life. You can record a quick video of yourself speaking to the camera, do a screen capture video, curate an explainer video from a stock footage site, or embed a YouTube video. Keep videos under 2 minutes for the best results.
Using a mix of images, infographics, charts, and short videos is a surefire way to create an engaging blog post. Readers will appreciate the visual elements breaking up the text, and the post will be much more social media-friendly. Keep your visuals high quality, properly sized for your theme, and be sure to include alt text for accessibility.
4. Format Text for Readability
To make your blog post easy to read, format the text appropriately. Use headings to break up the content into logical sections, and apply consistent formatting throughout.
Headings indicate the topic or theme of a section. Use different heading sizes (H1, H2, H3) to show how sections relate to each other. For example, a H1 heading would be your post title, H2 headings for major sections, H3s for subsections.
Use bold, italics, bullet points, numbered lists, and blockquotes to draw attention and break up blocks of text. Bold important terms, italicize book titles or emphasis.
- Bullet points make it easy to scan a list of items or key points
- Numbered lists are best for sequences or stepshat need to be performed in order
Blockquotes are perfect for pull quotes, expert opinions, or definitions.
Leave a blank line between paragraphs and sections for easier reading.
Media and Captions
Here are some key things to keep in mind when writing captions for visual content in your blog post:
- Provide a brief description of what the visual is showing. Summarize the main takeaway in 1-2 sentences.
- Identify any people or key objects in the visual. Name sources, locations and other details that provide context.
- Mention any interesting facts or statistics that the visual illustrates. If it's a chart, mention the key numbers.
- Explain the significance of the visual. Why is it relevant and important to your post? What does it help prove or demonstrate?
Following these formatting tips will make your blog post content easy to read and help keep your readers engaged. A well-formatted post looks professional and gives your blog a polished feel.
5. Optimize for SEO
To optimize your blog post for search engines like Google, there are a few key things you can do.
Craft a Compelling Meta Description
The meta description is the short summary under your post title in search results. Keep it under 155 characters and include keywords and an interesting overview to draw readers in. For example, “Learn how to format an attractive and optimized blog post to boost traffic and search ranking. Tips for blog post structure, layout, and SEO.”
Use Header Tags
Header tags break up your content into sections and subsections that are indexed by search engines. For a blog post, have a heading for your intro, one for the body, and one for the conclusion. Add headings for subsections in the body.
Include Images and Alt Text
Images help bring interest to your post, but also need alt text for SEO and accessibility. The alt text is a short description of the image. Include keywords in your alt text, and place it in the image's "alt" attribute. For example,
Link to Relevant Resources
Link to other helpful resources, posts, and sites to establish your expertise. Use keywords in the anchor text of links when possible. For example, if recommending tools for blog post formatting, link to them with anchor text like “Headliner blog post formatter tool” rather than just the URL.
Following these tips will make your blog post attractive to both human readers and search engines. With regular blogging and optimization, you'll build authority and see improved search ranking over time.
FAQ: Blog Post Formatting
Many new bloggers have questions about how to properly format their posts. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions and answers regarding blog post formatting:
What font should I use?
For maximum readability, stick with a simple, clean font like Arial, Helvetica or Verdana. Use a size between 10 to 14 points. Avoid fancy or cursive fonts which can be harder to read.
How much spacing should I have?
Double spacing or 1.5 line spacing between paragraphs and sections makes your content easy to read. Also be sure to have spacing before and after images, blockquotes, headings, lists, etc. White space is your friend!
Should I use images?
Images are a great way to make your content more engaging and shareable. Be sure to:
- Provide alt text for accessibility
- Optimize images for web (compress size and use web-safe formats like .jpg, .gif or .png)
- Left align or center align images
- Include captions when needed
- Provide spacing before and after images
Lists or paragraphs?
Use a mix of both! Lists are great for steps, instructions or quick tips while paragraphs allow you to elaborate on ideas. A good rule of thumb is to limit paragraphs to 3-5 sentences for easy reading.
Following these basic tips will ensure your blog posts are polished, professional and ready to share with the world. Let me know if you have any other questions!
Remember, keep your paragraphs short, choose an eye-catching featured image, use headings and lists to break up the text, and proofread thoroughly. If you follow these basic formatting guidelines your posts will look polished and professional in no time. Now stop reading this and get to writing that post you've been thinking about. You've got this! The more you practice the easier it will get. Before you know it you'll be churning out posts and building an audience. So take a deep breath and just get started. You can do it!