How to Format Your Blog Posts in 7 Steps
Welcome to Part 3 in our Blogging for New Coaches series! In our previous posts we talked about what you need to know in order to get started & covered 5 type of topics that audiences always want to read. Next step is to understand the fundamentals of formatting your blog.
As a new blogger who wants your readership to grow, it's important to understand blog formatting basics. If you don't, then people won't end up reading what you have to say – they will simply lose interest and move on with their day until the next update!
In this article we'll cover:
What is formatting
Blog formatting refers to the way the information is presented to your audience. It includes everything from the language, layout and design of your blog. There are many different types of blog formats, and through practice, you can decide what works best for your own blog.
For example, one coach can use bullet points to highlight key points in their post while another might use bold text to emphasize their main argument.
Keep in mind that your ultimate goal while formatting is to be simple and straightforward while making sure that all of the important information is included.
Why should you take the time to format?
Simple - it makes people want to read what you have to say! Humans are visual creatures and it all boils down to one thing: readability.
When your blog is well formatted, it's more likely to be read and captivate the readers attention. And when people are interested in your message, they are more likely to share it with their communities.
How to format your blogs:
1. Break up large paragraphs
Never put all of your content in one giant paragraph. Even if you are a great writer, long paragraphs are difficult to read on the internet.
This is especially true if the topic is a novel concept, complicated, or contains lots of information that needs to be explained. The longer the paragraphs are, the more difficult it will be for readers to get through them.
2. Use subheadings
Subheadings help readers skim through text and makes it easy to find the information that is most important to them.
By developing a hierarchy in your text with headings and subheadings, you can tell readers what's more or less important within the body of your post.
We suggest adding a subheading every 300 words or so and write them to:
Call out key information, detailing what the section will be about
Entice your readers to read the section
3. Use bullet points to state main takeaways
Think about the way we tend to skim online content: we first look at the images, then we read the headings, subheadings and finally bullets points.
Here are some best practices for using bullet points:
Keep each point consistent in length & language.
Don’t add too much information to one bullet point.
Emphasize only valuable information.
Use action words for added impact.
4. Use bold and italics to call out key points
Bold and italics are an excellent way to draw the eye and create emphasis but like everything else, don't overuse them or they will lose their meaning.
And while your first instinct may be to use both and interchange them liberally, be aware that this can cause more confusion on the page. Instead, choose one and stick with it throughout your entire post. By doing this, you'll help the readers know to look for these highlights as they read navigate the page.
5. Add block quotes or called-out text
When you have a point to make, use a called-out text or a block quote so that you can quickly get your point across within the context of your post. These called-out text grabs the attention of the reader and makes it easy for them to spot in your post.
This different formatting style work well because our brains like to chunk the information presented. And when something is visibly different, it makes our brain’s chunking process easier while also helping us to scan the information faster and can even increase recall.
"Everything is designed. Few things are designed well." -- Brian Reed, front-end developer and musician
6. Use images to describe what you mean
You can use images to help readers better understand your ideas, visualize your points and to clearly convey the message you’re trying to get across. Images are also a great way to inject personality into your blog post.
When you use images, make sure that the visuals are complementary with your brand's personality, your tone and style of writing.
And while this should go without saying, remember to only add images that are relevant and significant in your post.
To find free, high quality images we recommend the following websites:
Unsplash offers a wide gallery of beautiful, free images and photos that you can download and use for any project. With an account you can save you favorite images and come back later to use them.
We love Pexels because it also offers high quality free stock video! Pexels also allows you to create collections so you can organize your work for separate projects, and access every photo you've ever downloaded.
Pixabay hosts a vibrant community of creatives, sharing copyright free images, videos and music. Out of all three sites, we use Pixabay the least but sometimes we do find unique images not shared elsewhere.
Here's a couple of extra tips to consider when choosing imagery for your brand: ⠀
Choose images that feature people and shows their faces
Stick to a theme! Try to use imagery that evoke the same mood
Adjust the image proportions accordingly
7. Finally, edit and reedit your post
Once you finish writing your post, don't forget to go back and make final edits. When you start writing you have a lot of ideas and information to share, but when it's time to put everything together, you may find that some of that don't add value or just repeats what you already said in another part of the blog post.
This is when editing and reediting your post can really help. After your first edit, go through the entire text again and see if there's anything that can be cut or any words or phrases that can be removed.
Here's our 5 step formula for editing our blogs:
Use a draft and write it beginning to end.
Step away from your post for at least a couple of hours to give your mind a break.
When you’re ready to edit, read your work out loud to catch spelling and grammatical errors. Think about how your article flows, it should be a natural, easy read.
Cut unnecessary words and sections that don't add value.
Read it once more & have someone else read it when possible.
Now you're ready to hit publish!
Formatting your blog will become second nature with practice, so don't view it as a chore. Remember that formatted content helps readers to better absorb information, retain it for longer periods of time, and overtime will help position your brand more positively in the minds of your readers.
By following these formatting guidelines, you can make your blog post more engaging and interesting. And in return, your readers will benefit from the ultimate reading experience.
If you need any help with your blogging strategy or content writing, you can book a call with us to discuss how we can help you build your strategy, stay consistent and grow your audience.
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