Six (6) Effective Tips For Formatting Your Blog Post
Writing is as much a science as it is an art: Style, message, and impact are all counterbalanced with structure, format, and a data-driven understanding of the reader.
Besides providing valuable and useful information, your article actually delivering on its promises often comes down to how it is formatted.
Let’s explore exactly how to format and optimize your blog post in this 6-step guide.
What Is Blog Formatting?
Blog formatting is the process of structuring your article aimed at highlighting the key messages and improving the reader’s experience. It includes mapping the header structure, boosting readability, using visual elements to guide the reader, and applying consistent style guidelines.
Ultimately, the way a blog article is formatted determines how well an idea is communicated.
Why Formatting Your Blog Matters
In formatting a blog post, your aim is to find the optimum way to highlight your key message.
A well-formatted article walks a reader through an argument or piece of content step by step. It makes the reading experience more enjoyable.
By formatting your blog posts appropriately, you increase the chances of:
- Readers engaging with your content and staying longer on the page
- Increasing on-blog conversions
- Improving your website ranking
How to Effectively Format Your Blog Posts and Boost Engagement
Here are six blog format tips marketers should apply to write effective content:
1. Analyze Search Intent to Understand How to Present Your Content
As a marketer, your main objective is to provide a clear and thorough answer to your target persona’s question or search query.
Search intent is the primary goal someone has when looking for content or typing a query into a search engine.
To satisfy search intent, Google surfaces the most relevant results for any search query.
By looking at other articles ranking for your target keyword, you can see how content is best delivered to match your audience’s expectations.
You can analyze the following elements:
- How are these articles structured? (Is it mostly “What is,” “How to,” or list-based blogs?)
- What other structural elements do they use? (Are there lists or tabs?)
- What visuals do they feature? (Are there lots of images or videos?)
- How long are those blog posts?
- What kind of subtopics and questions do they address?
2. Choose the Relevant Blog Post Format
Once you’ve analyzed the search intent, you can decide which blog format to use in your specific situation.
For example, does it look like all top-ranking articles share a list of items, or do they focus on explaining a certain workflow?
These list articles (listicles) were made famous by Buzzfeed in the early days of the internet. They get information across quickly, are easy to read, and are often very shareable.
They are particularly useful in a number of cases:
- Giving suggestions (e.g., “10 top places to visit in San Diego”)
- New information (e.g., “4 new trends in SEO”)
- Offering resources (e.g., “11 useful blogs to help you with your finances”)
Guides or pillar pages work well for broad overviews of a topic. They help you cover broader keywords and answer fundamental questions.
Such blog posts tend to be longer, evergreen examples of content.
3. Create an Effective Title to Catch the Reader’s Attention
Blog post titles have three main jobs:
Spark interest in your audience and generate clicks
To do this, your headline needs to be specific and showcase the value the readers will get.
A good title should also generate curiosity; it can do so using one or more of the following techniques:
- Highlight a gap in the reader’s knowledge
- Present an interesting perspective
- Be controversial in some way
- Share something impactful to the industry or local community
- Connect to a leading news story or a prominent figure
Accurately indicate the content of the article
Articles need to deliver on the title’s promise.
Anything that’s misleading or “clickbaity” is likely to result in a poor reader experience and a high bounce rate.
Garner organic traffic through SEO
For SEO purposes, your title must include your primary keyword. Our research indicates that 71% of low-scoring blog posts fail to do so.
The title should also be under 60 characters long to display in the search results correctly.
It’s also a good idea to analyze and even get inspired by the competition.
Establishing Heading Depth
Heading depth refers to the amount of “heading tags” (such as H2, H2, and H3) you include in your blog post.
In practical terms, it means that each new section of your article should have a subheading.
These help the reader skim read, break up the copy, and give the search engines a way to index your content. They also help improve accessibility for people who use screen readers.
Research has found that articles with complex structures (the presence of H1, H2, and H3) belonged in the top 47% highest-performing content group:
4. Format Your Text to Make It Easier to Navigate
Remember that your readers are likely to start by scanning your article before deciding whether to invest the time to read it in full.
Readers want to first look for signals that what you have written is quality content.
Here are some tips on formatting your blog posts to simplify this task for your audience:
Use the BLUF Approach
Interest and attention are in short supply.
The key to getting and keeping eye on your content is to find a way to show that you are offering value.
That’s where BLUF comes in: the Bottom Line Up Front.
Simply put, it means starting every paragraph and every section by sharing the most important information.
Create Lots of White Spaces
Seeing massive blocks of text will likely push your readers away, resulting in high bounce rates and lower engagement.
Here’s what you can do to avoid it:
- Keep your paragraphs short
- Focus on only one idea at a time
- Add lists and bullet points where you see fit
Add More Rich Media and Visuals
Adding images, infographics, sharing examples, and integrating video—all of this can help you improve the user experience on your blog posts.
Visuals help readers process the information and learn faster, and they allow you to break up big chunks of text.
Cross-Link to Other Relevant Content
Finally, make sure to include hyperlinks to other relevant, quality content within your blog post.
Adding useful links will help your readers get familiar with the related concepts you bring up in your articles.
Interlinking is also good for SEO, as search engine bots require context to understand how different blog posts are related.
However, make sure to only add links where it’s truly necessary. Having hyperlinks in every paragraph can shift your reader’s attention and drive them away from the page.
5. Focus on Improving Your Copy’s Readability
Making your blog post easier to read is another way to improve engagement.
Articles with good readability share the following characteristics. They:
- Mix up sentence lengths (though shorter sentences are preferred)
- Use shorter paragraphs (1-3 sentences is optimum)
- Use simpler words in place of complex ones
6. Optimize Your Text for Conversion and Add Clear CTAs
- Your calls to action (CTAs) go some way in determining how well your article performs against your objectives. Let’s look at how you can optimize your blog posts for conversions.
In this guide, we’ve covered how to format a blog post effectively, along with a number of connected ideas.
These include outlining your article, following the BLUF structure, improving readability, and formatting elements for different blog post styles.
Following these guidelines will help your content shine, transmit value, and encourage the reader to take action.
To help you bring each article about your product to the highest standard, schedule a free no obligation call where we can help analyze your content and SEO campaign.