So why are you learning about formatting a blog post?
Just out of curiosity, are you not able to engage your readers?
Are you facing high bounce rates? Meaning: the visitors come to your page without reading your valuable posts.
All that is pretty demotivating, especially when you are putting in your best energy.
The question remains, how can you engage your readers and sort of force them (in a good way) to read your content?
In simple words, you need to make it easy and interesting for them to read. I hear you loud, you may be wondering how do you do that?
Let’s go through some neat tips to entice your visitors to read more, to connect with you and keep them engaged.
First things first, choose your writing style. To be able to successfully format an article, you must have a clear vision of the blog post tone.
So How to Choose a Blog Post Writing Style?
A few questions to ask yourself here…
What sort of content would your readers like to read?
When you ask yourself this question, it makes your brain start thinking. Plus, you can search other blogs in your niche and see how they write. You will get an idea of which blog has higher engagement and learn from their writing tone.
Are you an individual blogger? Are you comfortable being personal?
Do you have experience in the field and have a lot to say?
Are you sure it’s not a mission-critical niche?
If you answered yes to all those questions, then writing a semi-formal, conversational tone would be best.
Plus, such a tone is very natural to read. It’s naturally engaging for readers. It makes sense. The best thing about this writing format is you maintain a good writing flow.
As soon as you move out of the flow, you’ll be able to pretty quickly judge it and get back to the track.
For all corporate blogs, you will have to use a formal tone mostly. Or at least that’s what I’ve experienced most of the time.
Great! Let’s move forward.
So what’s whitespace, anyways?
“whitespace is any character or series of characters that represent horizontal or vertical space in typography.”
Too technical, yeah?… In layman language, you need to give proper spacing in between each paragraph. Consider this the foundation of your page formatting.
Everything could be right but lack of whitespace will ruin your blog post pages. See, no one likes to read a blob of text these days. Because everyone has multiple options to learn from. So it’s always best to learn blogging secrets and apply it to your blog.
Use shorter sentences, it lets you create more whitespace. Therefore, it’s easier for readers to either read it or glance through it. However, they prefer it!
Besides, shorter sentences are much easier to digest. Learning always has to be intuitive, so make it easier for your readers to skim through your blog post.
Too much space is counter-intuitive as well. To find the right balance, double-space between headings and single space between paragraphs works best.
Fonts & Colors
It does matter. Every detail matter. You matter to me!
That’s the attitude you need to write a winning blog post.
And your readers should matter to you not because you’re seeking approval from them. But because you are creating high-value content, helping your younger self and that you want to ensure it helps them effectively. That’s why!
What font do you use for your blog posts?
Whatever you aspire to use, use it. Whichever font you like. It doesn’t matter. As long as it’s readable and not far off the niche feel.
For example, you shouldn’t be using a robotic font on a travel website. You could use a normal sans-serif font or otherwise a handwritten type of font if you so desire.
What text colors to use for your blog posts?
Anything that blends well with the site, is readable and easy on eyes. Usually black or dark gray works best on a white background.
Ideally, you should never use a dark background for blog posts. So that you don’t have to contrast (use white) with typography.
Because no matter what you do, it’s not easy on the eyes for reading long-form (2000+ word count) posts.
Alright, let’s get over with aesthetic sense! and focus on formatting.
Table of Contents
If you have a long-form post, i.e 2000+ words. You must use some sort of an introductory table of contents.
Your users will prefer an overview of what they are going to learn throughout the article. Call it a reassurance, a hook or even a promise. But it helps to connect with your audience.
They will find the reasons to read through your article if your table of contents resonates with them.
For posts less than 700 words, you shouldn’t be including “TOC” but a textual overview is always helpful.
Guess what’s the key way to separate different concepts, divide into section and still maintain a flow?
The best thing about headings, it’s useful for both readers to glance through and help search engines to present your content in a meaningful way.
So there are a couple of headings tag, namely
- Heading 1 (H1)
Use it for top-level headings only. You should have only one H1 per post. An H1 is therefore mostly the post title.
- Heading 2 (H2)
So how many H2 should you have per post?
Well, there’s no thumb rule for it. Whatever seems natural for your content, writing style, niche, etc. Don’t overthink it but yes, 1000 words should preferably have at least 5 H2.
- Heading 3 (H3)
If you feel there’s a sub-concept you want to explain. Something related to your H2 heading, then opt for an H3 and explain it. Not every post must have an H3 either, just as the need be.
- Heading 4 (H4)
I never use it as such.
- Heading 5 (H5)
I never ever use it.
What’s the single most important tip for headings?
Use your primary keywords within H1 and H2. Don’t over-do it though. Don’t add keywords to every heading. It just helps your website to get found amongst the crowd.
There’s a lot more to SEO but here is a quick optimization technique, that helps.
To re-emphasize the importance of headings. We must know H1 is the main heading and all others (H2-H5) will be considered sub-headings.
Consider this technique a little advance, but if you have time. You will be able to learn it within a few hours only.
If you know CSS, i.e Cascading Style Sheets, you can easily transform your sub-headings to display a different background and a specific font color.
It massively helps. Because you don’t have to do any formatting yourself. You just add an H2 or an H3 and it automatically displays the respective CSS graphics for it.
So what’s the perfect width for your blog posts?
500 pixels. I love this number!
Let’s understand why it’s the perfect width for blog-style content formatting.
Considering our primary goal is getting people to read your first few sentences.
We should give a thought as to who does the best job of enticing visitors to read through the content.
Sales copies? Landing pages?
All the best-performing pages use between 480 to 600 pixels.
Besides, all that. Don’t you think you read more of a blog post with narrower width?
Probably, that why so many people read blogs via their smartphone too! It’s easier to read, seems more organized and readers aren’t overwhelmed.
Why are bullet points super useful for enhancing readability?
Most people read bullet points carefully if they find the content relevant.
So using bullets for providing a summary or super-important information massively helps.
- Often known as lists
- Like so
Much like bullets but they are numbered. Especially useful when you want to hammer around the number of steps, benefits, and procedures.
For example, using a numbered list for the table of contents would be a good idea. Like you see in this article, the table of contents is numbered to display the 16+ steps. Whereas, using just bullets is ideal for converting a few paragraphs of information.
Strong / Bold Text
Have you ever read NewYork Times best-selling books? or even best-performing blogs for that matter.
Quite a few blogs use some sort of emphasis. Mostly, bold’ing key sentences that help readers to stay connected even while skimming through.
It’s sort of optional though. Not everyone likes to use bold text. Why? Because it sort of encourages people to skim through.
In my opinion, if you’re using only a few headings and semi-formal writing style. It’s good to use such an emphasis technique.
But if you’re using shorter sentences already, that too with a personal and conversational tone. Then you don’t need any emphasis as such.
What do you think about this?
Good images are impactful. As they say “A picture is worth more than a thousand words”.
So you have less than 5 seconds to make a first good impression on readers. A good image helps to shape the reader’s perception.
Content is king, yes it is. But images are queen. What good is a king without a queen? 😀 Oh, what a line! haha
So the bottom line is to consider good images part of the content, the better half 😉
A few pointers regarding images
- Always use compressed images
- Only use stock photography photos, Pixabay, Unsplash, Pexels are good free websites to use for finding excellent images.
- Use Canva for making excellent blog images
- Don’t spend more than 20 minutes for making an image!
- Make sure your images are meaningful and interesting.
- Have at least one featured image for every post you publish.
- Captioning Images Captioning helps to provide further information about the image.
For example, if you have a travel blog and posting an image about the Jumeirah beach, Dubai. Your readers would love to know about it, via captioning.
Let’s say if you have a different niche, maybe blogging. Then you don’t need to necessarily caption images.
So you may want to credit the author in the caption. Totally as per your preference.
Some people love to include quotes within image captions. So that’s another idea.
That reminds me of our next formatting secret!
There’s innate meaning in quotes. Plus, you can find quotes for everything. Be it life, motivation, love, or even food.
Why do you think these Instagram quotes are so popular?
People love meaningful, short and effective advice. Every one of us lives in hope for the positive.
These quotes are perception chargers, feeds motivation and ultimately drives action.
All in all, these are good for your blog posts, and most importantly your readers.
Use them after every few headings to reemphasize your perception.
So where do you find great quotes?
Brainy Quote is a good option. Otherwise, Google quotes for any topic and you’ll find plenty of good options.
There are so many aspects to a successful post-formation. Most of them are pretty simple and it comes naturally as you practice writing more.
How can you make your blog post viral?
You will have to go the extra mile. Adhering to these blog posting secrets is a must. But there’s more to it.
Here are a few things I’d like you to consider adding.
- Videos – Having a video at the start or end of the blog post. A video that summarizes the key points of your blog post.
- Infographics – A visual representation of the facts you want to share. So you could make an infographic out of your post.
- Slideshows – Have amazing images or artwork to display? Share them!
- Podcasts – Add a creative unique touch to your posts, maybe offering audio of the blog post.
Maybe to have a quick recorded discussion session with someone regarding the topic.
- Tables, Charts, and Graphs – Offer comparisons, fact studies, insightful features review. Something creative.
An interesting question, when do bloggers quit blogging?
Whenever anyone falls for having this PERFECT post in place. Mind you, It’s a good ambition to have but you should allow yourself to make mistakes.
When people want ideal results but aren’t willing to fail, that’s when people start to think it’s not for them.
You can’t learn all in a day. You need PERSISTENCE for perfection. So learn what you can, use it creatively however you can.
Learn from your blogging failures, correct the mistakes and let your skills and abilities naturally drive you.
Congratulations, you’re on your way to blogging success!
Let’s dive in Call to Action!
Call to Action
So what’s call to action in blogging?
Your offer. Anything that you’re willing to offer to your readers. Be it a book, design, leads, training, or whatever it is.
It could be a free offer or maybe paid ones.
Why should you have a FREE CTA?
To get your reader’s email address and connect with them on a personal level. You incentivize by giving a high-quality resource, in return you get their email address.
Your email list tribe will eventually drive a few sales. That’s why everyone builds an email list along the way!
When to offer a Textual CTA?
Textual CTA such as links work best with your pillar posts. Pillar posts are your best blog posts. When you offer high-value, people listen to you.
When they listen to you, they put trust in you. And if you offer a great 100% relevant products as well, they will be happy to purchase it. So you can leverage that connection with a mutually beneficial + post relevant offer.
When does visual CTA works best?
When you’re offering a general product sitewide. So imagine you write about a couple of different topics. For example, blogging, freelancing, motivation, monetization, etc.
And you want to recommend a web host. That’s a general offer because it’s indirectly relevant to multiple of your topics.
KISS Your Posts
If you’ve written an excellent post, you must KISS it!
Just do it, say muaaah! Feel good 🙂
KISS is like the final post stamp before publishing your post. 😀
So never kiss an incomplete post 😛
Jokes apart, KISS is, as they say, keep it simple stupid.
With a world of advice all around you. You don’t have to follow everything but do what resonates best with you, with your niche, style, and will-power. Do as much as you can and as best as you can.
Just do it, don’t over complicate the decisions, and take a few risks. See what converts best and learn as you go.
With these tips, you’re already much ahead of the crowd!
P.S: I do KISS my best posts! Just kissed this one!
Get Started Right Away
If you already have a blog, that’s great. Get started writing articles and implement these formatting techniques to see your blog grow over time. An hour a day can certainly make a huge difference.
In case, if you don’t own a blog. Just read getting started to blog guide and start a blog. I would love to hear how these secrets help you shape up your blog post formatting.
If you want to take your writing skills to the next level. Learn how to write a blog post for higher conversions
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