People seem to freak out when creating a blog post for the first time, but there’s really no reason to. Formatting a blog post is actually much easier to do than you’d expect. In most cases, it makes the writing a lot easier.
Things to Consider
For general posts, make sure your blog post contains most of these things:
- A good, eye-catching headline.
- Short paragraphs – 1-2 sentences long.
- Engaging Sub heads
- A good synopsis
- Proof your work
- And don’t be boring
Your headline is the most important piece of your post. It has one job – to make you want to read the next sentence. You should spend almost as much time (if not more) crafting your headline as you do writing your post.
Remember the SEO benefit of the headline as well. Think of what your reader is searching for on Google. Think of what words they’ll use to start their search:
- formatting a blog post
- how to format a blog post
- blog post formatting
- format blog post
Let the search terms dictate your headline. This is not the time to get cutesy or O. Henryish with it. Save that for your content.
Look at the headline of this piece – how many of those words fit into the search terms I suggested?
Take a look at this post from CopyBlogger for more depth:
Can You Resist Clicking These 3 Headlines?
Okay, a Note About Links
The way I placed the link above is an absolute no-no. I did it because:
- It’s a great way to illustrate my point.
- I can’t embed links into words in TextEdit.
The correct way to handle links is to highlight a word or title and use the software to make that a link. Check the links at the end of this post for examples.
Also, make sure you always set the link to OPEN IN A NEW WINDOW. You may have to let them leave the site for a bit, but always make it easy for your reader to come back.
Short Paragraphs and Subheads
Nothing will chase a reader off faster than a wall of grey type.
Use anything you can to break up your text:
- Shorter paragraphs (1-2 sentences)
- Break up ideas with Sub-Headlines
- Graphics are always welcome
Wrap It Up
A good synopsis never hurts a blog post. Remember the rules article writers and reporters like to follow when constructing their stories:
- Tell them what you’re writing about (intro)
- Tell them (body)
- Tell them what you just told them (synopsis)
Beginning, middle, end – you’ve got all the parts of a good post.
Proof Your Post
There are two rules in blogging that will never change…
- No one reads anything.
- Everyone reads everything.
If you misspell a word, misquote up a phrase, garble a sentence – you WILL hear from a Grammar Nazi. Just make sure you let someone else take a look at your final piece. You’re too close to it to proof it properly.
Don’t Be Boring
Your reader wants to feel their time wasn’t wasted by reading your work. Boring a reader is a sure-fire method of alienating any engagement in the future. It doesn’t matter if you just wrote your Magnum Opus… if you’re remembered as boring, you’re doomed.
Have someone else read your work. Ask them these questions:
- Was it interesting?
- Was it engaging?
- Did you learn something?
* * *
So, you’ve probably notice that I’ve written this in the form of a blog post. Granted, I could have fleshed this out a lot more, but I wanted a quick and easy reference for you.
None of these rules are carved in stone. What works for one post might not work for another. Posting an infographic really needs nothing more than a couple opening paragraphs followed by the graphic. Use what works for your post
If you’re interested, here are a few more links regarding blog posts… and good luck!
Why Interactive Content May Be the Most Exciting Marketing Tactic of 2015
Pay particular attention to the end of this post and how they seamlessly lead you to their product (Authority Rainmaker)