5 Quick Tips on How to Format a Blog Post
When I started blogging many years ago, I did not know what is the right way to format a blog post. I just wrote as I used to when writing a long essay. After blogging for some time, I learned that that is a No-No.
Why? Well, most people are not fond of reading very long paragraphs. So, the next thing they would try to do is scan the entire page. If they don't see what they are looking for right away or something that will catch their attention, they will just leave the page.
Therefore, the content on your blog post must be formatted in a way that will give a scanning visitor a quick idea of what it is about. It is very critical to making him leave your page or stay to read your post.
In addition, formatting is important if you want your blog to have good on-page search engine optimization (SEO). On-page SEO simply is one factor that brings readers to your blog from the search engines of Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.
Now let's get to the main point of this blog post.
Top 5 Blog Formatting Tips
"Remember, your goal is to Make Scanning Easy for your readers."
How can you do that? It's easier than you think.
1. Break up the text using headings and subheadings.
You can do this in two ways. First, if you make an outline before writing your post, each point in your outline can be a subheading. You can begin with those points and then fill in the content.
Second, you can do it the other way around. Write your content first then go back to add the subheadings.
Choose the way you prefer to do it. What's important is to add the headings and subheadings before you publish your post.
2. Use Bulleted or Numbered Lists
Lists are very reader-friendly. They help readers determine your blog content easily.
If you have already written your content, go through it again, and see if you can present anything in the form of a list. Take note:
- You can turn several related sentences into a list.
- List examples you mentioned.
- Lists grab the reader's attention because it breaks blocks of text.
- Readers like lists because the content becomes easier to digest.
- Be free to use short or long lists if you like.
3. Write Short Paragraphs
Reading online can be hard on the eyes, especially if you're using a mobile phone. So do your readers a favor by keeping your paragraphs short. Write up to three sentences only in each paragraph or about 3 to 4 lines.
4. Emphasize Important Words
If you want to emphasize some important concepts or keywords, the most common typeface used is bold. You can also use italics, but it doesn't stand out very well from chunks of text. You probably should not use underlined because people might mistake it for a hyperlink.
"Bolding keywords can help your readers tell outright the important words in your post. It makes scanning easier."
Although Quotes are generally used when quoting someone, some bloggers have also used Quotes to emphasize important concepts within their blog posts. Notice what I just did above? It's been a good way to highlight something and catch reader attention.
5. Improve Your On-page SEO
- Use H Tags
- Use Alt Tags
- Use keywords
H tags like <h1> and <h2> correspond to the headings and subheadings of your post. These tell the search engines that these words on your page are important.
If your post title has an <h1> tag, your heading should have an <h2> tag and your subheading an <h3> tag. Whatever blogging platform you are using, you can usually find help doing this from the text formatting options.
The picture below shows the page in Blogger where the post is written. Take note of the drop down menu that you can use to apply the H tags.
No need to know html code. Just highlight the words and click the type that applies (whether heading, subheading, minor heading, etc). Such formatting options are also available in other blogging platforms.
|How to add H tags in Blogger|
If you add images into your post, the search engines do not know what it is unless you put Alt Tags to describe the image. It's been a practice for many bloggers to use keywords as Alt Tags for images (if it is appropriate). Doing that helps the post's SEO ranking.
Besides using keywords in Alt tags, you should also add your keyword a number of times in the main body of your post, but don't overdo it. As a guide, you can use your keywords about 3 times in a 400+ word article.
Use keywords in the introductiory sentences or at least in the first paragraph. Then use variations of the keywords in the rest of the blog post.
This is the end for this post. I hope you can apply these 5 tips whenever you write and format your blog posts.
This is the first post in our Better Blogging Challenge. If you have any thoughts you'd like to share, please leave your comments below.
Thank you for reading.