There is an ongoing battle on the web: on one side, we have search engine robots that determine how high your blog will rank by following strict blog format guidelines. On the other side, we have readers who want to enjoy your content and find it easily.
One thing they have in common is they both love well-articulated blogs. However, they have slightly different preferences. Understanding what each type of reader prefers will help you tailor your blog in a way that will resonate with them.
Robots enjoy information organized in an orderly fashion, such as data and facts. They also like graphs and charts to support their arguments. Humans enjoy creativity and want to feel emotions while reading your blog post--whether through humor, anger, sadness, or happiness--and they want to be involved in a story that they can follow from beginning to end.
According to Intergrowth, “68% of online experiences begin with a search engine.” Read on to discover the blog formatting process that can help you rank on the first page of these search engines and make your piece be loved by humans as well.
How to Format a Blog Post: A Proven Process
Formatting a blog is not as easy as it might seem. It takes time, patience, and a systematic approach to get it done right. Many of us have had these doubts about how to format a blog and what we should do to make our posts look presentable.
To solve this confusion, we’ve put together a step-by-step process that will help you format your next blog post with ease. No matter if you’ve just started your blog or have been writing for years, this process is perfect for everyone.
Follow the steps below to perfect your blog writing format so it can rank high and be easily found by humans and robots alike:
Step 1 - Decide what type of blog you want to write
Before you start blogging, it's essential to know what types of blog posts you need for your content strategy. With the help of Artificial Intelligence, these search engines can now act as virtual assistants, providing answers to questions or generating relevant content for users based on their queries. Fret not! We've compiled a list of blog post topics for you:
Some of the most popular types of blog posts are informative ones. It’s essential to share what you know with your audience and provide value in the process. These posts are an excellent way to address any questions your customer may have about your product or business.
News articles are a sustainable way to keep your readers updated on the latest happenings. You can find news articles from other bloggers or posts about anything trending. You can also use these to notify your audience about your blog for an easy update.
How-to guides are evergreen content and can outline a specific process. They’re not as time-sensitive as other types of blog posts, which means they remain relevant for a long period of time.
Another way you can create a blog post that will attract your target audience is by interviewing a key figure in your industry. If you interview a person who is well-known in your field, this will attract readers who are interested in the person as well as those who are interested in the topic at hand. The best part about interviews is that they don’t have to be very long to be effective. In fact, it’s often better to keep them short and sweet with 5-10 questions.
Blog posts that offer advice and tips for your target audience are always a good idea. Advice blogging is very popular on the internet, as people come to these blogs for specific pieces of information. For example, if you have an established fashion blog with a strong following, you might want to post about what they should wear to their next job interview.
Listicles are a great way to showcase your expertise and provide a quick reference point for prospective clients. If you’ve been in the business for a while, it’s important to update your list of services or products with new information regularly. Listicles can also be an exciting topic of discussion, such as “10 Places to Visit this Summer.”
Reviews & Giveaways
If you want to attract new customers, consider giving them something in exchange for their email addresses. For example, offer products for the chance to win or provide product reviews if they share their email address with you. You can also offer free giveaways on your blog posts.
Step 2 - Create a well-structured outline
A blog post outline maps out where you want to go with the post, what you'll talk about in each paragraph, and what resources or links will be necessary for each section of the post. An outline also makes reading more manageable because your readers already know the topics covered in the post, so they can scan through the subjects that interest them without having to read an entire blog post.
Here is how you can design an outline that aligns with a great blog post format:
Brainstorm a list of topics or ideas for a series. Write down the most compelling to least compelling topics and start from the first idea.
Next, create an outline based on numbered headings that encompass the main points of your post. Be careful not to overuse headers because it could make your content look cluttered or too "busy."
Outline your content with keywords
Start by selecting keywords that reflect the post's topics. Organize them in order of importance and include one keyword in each heading to help search engine optimization (SEO) efforts.
Create an Outline Template
Create an outline template where all sections are labeled with letters A through J, corresponding with headings on your blog post template.
Step 3 - Format your blog content the RIGHT way
After you’ve created an outline, it’s time to write content for each section. Making sure your blog is accessible to humans and robots means having correct titles, headers, and descriptions. It also means writing in a conversational manner that flows smoothly for readers.
Once you’ve written the first draft, follow these blog formatting tips to amplify your content and make it more digestible:
Check if your headers are in the correct order. While creating the outline, you might have included H tags. If not, this is the right time to do it. The title of your blog post is H1 (there can only be one H1). H2s are your headers, H3s are your subheaders, and so on.
Keep your headers direct and short, making a clear hierarchy so that both search engines and readers can scan through your blog without feeling confused.
Nobody likes reading a big chunk of text. It’s overwhelming, looks dull, and unnatural. Give your readers an eye-friendly blog format that they’ll enjoy reading. Break down big paragraphs into small ones. Each incorporating 3-4 sentences at max.
In general, paragraphs should be between 100-250 words to provide enough detail without going overboard. The key is to ensure that your post doesn’t look messy or crowded.
Use bullet points and numbered lists
Bulleted points or numbered lists make easy reading for humans as well as search engine robots--especially ones like Google's algorithm that rely on word count to rank pages higher than others.
Bullet points also let people skim through your blog post quickly if they don't have time to read everything thoroughly at once or just want a general idea of what you're talking about before diving into more detail later on in the article.
The length of your sentences impacts the readability of your blog. Write too long sentences, and you’ll lose your reader’s attention. Keep on writing too short sentences, and you’ll end up annoying them.
So what can be done to avoid both these situations? First, create a balance of long. medium, and short sentences. Make every paragraph look natural using a different combination of sentence lengths.
Let’s not forget why you need a suitable font type, font color, and font size that is easily readable on most devices. The Sans-serif font family is the best for your blog. Use one type of font throughout your blog post.
Also. make sure your font size isn’t too small or too big. Try experimenting with what looks best, as it also depends on your blogging platform. As far as the font color is concerned, black is usually the first choice. To highlight any part of your text, you can use bold and italics from time to time.
Step 4 - Add visuals
Adding visuals can help your blog post format even better. We all know how quality visuals can separate good blogs from great ones. And that’s why you don’t just need images, but videos, infographics, GIFs as well in your blog format to engage your readers.
Start by creating or finding a visual that aligns with your topic or blog post. You can also pick a statement from your blog post that you wanted to highlight and turn into a compelling visual. Try experimenting with different formats and choose the one that suits your blog format best.
Another thing you need to do is add captions with links to each picture. This will ensure your readers know where they are clicking when browsing through your post, which is vital for SEO purposes.
Step 5 - Include all relevant links
Hyperlink both internal and external links wherever necessary while formatting your blog post. This will not only save your reader’s time but will also boost your SEO.
Internal links will help them know more about the blogs you have related to the topic while making them stay on your blog. At the same time, external links will make it easy for your readers to find more information on the matter outside your blog.
Read more about Internal and External links here.
Step 6 - Highlight your CTA
Your headline is the "head" of your post, and the CTA is the "tail" that drives readers to take action. Your blog post format isn’t complete without a call to action. The CTA has a great impact on whether someone takes action or not. It can be as simple as asking for feedback, but it must be clear to your readers what action they’re supposed to take.
Highlight your CTA so that people don't miss it. The more straightforward you are about what you want people to do, the better chance they'll do it!
Step 7 - Add a table of contents
A table of content is an easy way to help your blog visitors scan the post for the most important information. This technique will help you organize your thoughts, create a logical order of topics, and provide a roadmap for your readers.
A table of content also makes it easier for search engines to crawl your posts. It will be listed in the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) so that people can find it when searching for information related to your article title. Furthermore, if you have included any clickable links in your post, adding a table of content makes it easier for your readers to go through them.
Alternatively, you can also add a TL;DR (Too long; didn’t read), which is a summary of your blog. This overview can compel them to read your entire blog post, even if it’s too long.
Step 8 - Format your blog or site
The last and final step of the blog post formatting process - Formatting other elements on your blog or site. Here are some additional blog formatting tips to enhance the overall look of your blog and make it easy to navigate, attractive, and a smooth experience. Remember, these may look like small things, but they can make a significant impact on your blog post’s performance.
Narrow the column widths, so your content is aligned in a way that makes it simple for readers to jump from one line to another. Just like a newspaper article! Customize this width as per desktop and mobile layout.
Use white space
White space provides the eye with a break and allows for a better focus on what has just been read. Whether it's adding an extra line of white space or padding before a subheading, use this to your advantage to make things easier on the reader.
Colored background is a big NO
We understand the urge to add colors here and there to stand out. But, we do not recommend adding a colorful background to your blog post. Contrasting colors make reading the content challenging and time-consuming.
You don't want something distracting readers away from the content that took so much effort on your part! Having either white or another light-colored background is usually the best option.
You might have published multiple blog posts in the past without proper formatting. And maybe they looked great. Perhaps they performed well. But, once you follow the process mentioned above and format your blog post accordingly, that’s when you’ll actually see improvement.
Blog formatting is critical to your success and can mean the difference between a reader stopping at the first paragraph or scrolling down to the end.
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