The right formatting can make or break your blog posts.
Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as slapping some good ol’ content on a screen and calling it a day.
Formatting can help make your content more enjoyable to read and help it stand out more.
Before you share your blog post like crazy you want to make sure that it’s as digestible as possible.
Otherwise your post might not go as far as you’d like it to!
So I put together a list to help you format your blog posts better and get you on the next blog level.
Ready? Let’s get started.
Keep your posts narrow
Keeping your posts narrow can make your posts easier on the eyes.
Especially when you’ve been staring at a screen too long(raises hand*)!
If your lines are too short, it can break the focus of the reader and if the lines are too long, it can make reading a bit harder than it needs to be.
You want to shoot for a 50-75 character line length to get people to stick around and read your blog posts longer.
It’s been scientifically proven that shorter character lengths make content more memorable and easier to read (Baymard).
Optimize images for cell phone screens
Images look A ok on your big laptops and desktops but can look way different when you look at them on your phone screen.
This is especially true for explainer images or images with text.
For images with text, if you’re including a screenshot of an email, a good idea is to type out the email right under it, to make sure people with all types of mobile screen sizes can see it (it’s something I still need to get better about doing!)
If you design your own images and are doing a comparison image, it’s also a good idea to make them longer than they are wide (kind of like pins on Pinterest).
So instead of having comparison images side by side, pair them one over the other, hot dog style!
Hot dog style!
Create a winning title
This one can be tricky when you’re first starting out.
Coming up with creative titles that:
- Catch your audience’s attention
- Is specific
- And explains what you post about
A good way to double check your titles is to use the four U’s of copywriting— Is it Urgent, Unique, Useful, and Ultra Specific?
Color code subheadings
Subheads are a great no brainer way to break up text into bite sized pieces.
This makes sure your reader isn’t reading an encyclopedia—but want to spend more time on your kick-ass blog instead.
I like to create big subheads for general sections, and little subheads for smaller sections, kind of like how I did it for my Complete Guide for Pinterest Beginners!
Ya gotta really break up that text, here’s why
Ya gotta break up your paragraphs like they can’t stand each other!
A big wall of text doesn’t encourage even the most avid reader to stick around and it makes it so your eyes are easily distracted.
Take Note: This is something you especially want to pay attention to because, again, that cell phone screen.
Sometimes, on a tiny little cell screen, even two long sentences right together can turn into a huge chunk of text.
Try to practice writing two sentence paragraphs, three at most.
Sometimes, I even just write one sentence paragraphs for really long statements (and sometimes my sentences are long and winding, which I need to get better at!).
Keep your paragraphs short and your sentences too. If you’re a beginner blogger, this might seem weird at first..
But creating written content online is a whole ‘nother ball game and English claff formatting rules don’t really apply.
Look at the difference text formatting can do:
Add authority links
Adding credible sources is always a good way to back up your claims, and it’s also good practice.
Don’t forget to cite your facts.
And add screenshots to explain ideas when possible.
Take advantage of lists
This goes right along with creating awesome 2-3 sentence paragraphs!
Lists are awesome!
Whenever you can, add a list to your posts.
It helps people scan your content better and get key takeaways from your content.
Add a resource
While you don’t have to include one for every post you write, an opt-in can be a surefire way to catch more emails and add them to your email list.
Especially if your content is good and your readers are enjoying your content.
Adding one halfway through your content can help you achieve your email list goals.
Though a no brainer, thought I’d add this in for good measure.
Make sure your 2’s are two’s and your too’s aren’t to’s!
Images and pulled quotes
These can take you further when breaking up your text and making it easier to take in.[clickToTweet tweet=”Breaking up your text is vital for easier navigation.” quote=”Breaking up your text is vital for easier navigation.”]
You can create pulled quotes with WordPress for important points or relevant information.
You can add click to tweets for memorable quotes that can be tweeted with the free social warfare plugin (totally in love with it).
You need a call to action
In the end, it’s always good practice to invite your readers to take action whether that is by asking them to comment or to use the tips and resources you just gave them.
It also doesn’t hurt to add your opt-in at the end of the post as a reminder to opt-in to your freebie!
Don’t forget your pins
Remember to hide your pins within your content!
This is something I ignored doing for the longest time and realized how much it was hurting me.
So I took some time to go through every post and add my pins to them to maximize their exposure.
You can use this code:
<div style=”display: none;”>YOUR IMAGE CODE HERE</div>
to hide your pins within your blog posts so they only pop up when people go to share your content!
Link to old posts
This is a step many of us easily forget to do.
But it can go a long way in keeping your audience on your site longer as one link in a post can lead to another…which can then lead to another.
I like to find my top 5-8 relevant posts for where adding a text link to my current blog post would make sense.
This way it doesn’t get too overwhelming especially when you start amassing lots of content.
Interlink other posts
Just like adding links to your other posts of your new post, you also want to add relevant links of your old posts into your new post (that was a mouth full!)
The same logic applies here.
Adding links to older posts is a great way to keep traffic flowing through them.
Yoast and SEO
Add the SEO plugin to make sure your content is SEO friendly and that It’s easily rankable on Google results.
If you don’t know what Yoast SEO is, it’s a plugin you can install that appears at the end of your blog post editor that tells you what you can improve in your post to help it rank better in Google.
BONUS: Answer a question on Quora
If you want to go above and beyond while you finish up formatting your blog post you can take a few extra minutes and insightfully answer a question on Quora with a link that leads back to your post!
This might not necessarily have to do with blog post formatting, but going the extra mile to get the most juice out of your post never hurt anyone!
And since you’re in your blog post writing mindset, you can keep those creative juices flowing while answering a Quora question.
After going through this list, your post should be in tippy top shape and ready to be shared with the world.
To create a successful post, good formatting makes up 20.333 % of that success (completely made that number up, but still important).
The more you practice formatting your posts the better you’ll get.
And then it’ll be like clockwork!
Over to you- Anything I forgot to include in the checklist? Let me know below!