This article was last updated on July 7, 2022.
While blogging started as a way for anyone to share their ideas online, the last decade has proven that the form also works as an effective content marketing tool. Blogs can help establish immediate trust between brands and their consumers and positively influence sales. In fact, business websites that publish regularly on their company blog produce an average of 67% more monthly leads than companies that don’t blog.
That being said, all blogs—business or personal—face the same dilemma: People will likely skim the content rather than read it word for word. However, you can implement blog post formatting tips to keep your readers engaged and persuade them to follow through on each call-to-action, such as clicking on a link or filling out a form.
Before you create a blog, learn these formatting basics to craft a blog post that readers want to read:
7 blog formatting tips you need to know
01. Start with a strong title
A catchy blog title should pique readers’ attention and quickly communicate the information they need. The more original your title, the more likely people will click on your blog post on organic search results and social media. And take note: According to Optinmonster, blog titles with 6-13 words attract the highest traffic.
If you want your article to rank for a specific keyword on Google, include it in the title. For example, if you want to rank for how to write a blog, you could consider titles such as:
How to Write a Blog: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know
The Beginner’s Guide on How to Write a Blog
How to Write a Blog That People Actually Want to Read: Your 10 Step Guide
Once you’ve settled on a title, make sure it stands out at the top of the page in large, easy-to-read font. Your articles have margins to balance the page and so should your title: Incorporating white space on either side of your title and written copy helps readers’ eyes more easily focus on written text. Fortunately, website builders like Wix have preset margins so you don’t need to worry about setting these yourself.
02. Make your blog post skimmable
Readers want to arrive at an article and immediately find the solution to their problem or steps to complete a task. To keep text from overwhelming your visitors, make your blog post skimmable by breaking up sentences and paragraphs to increase white space on the page.
Break up your content with these best practices:
Use bullet points
Bullet points help readers easily see bits of information at a glance. You should use at least one bulleted list in each blog post for the following reasons:
Adds more white space
Stands out from the rest of the text
Makes concepts more digestible
Is easy to read through quickly
See what we mean? The same thing could have been put into a longer paragraph, but bullets can quickly convey information. Aside from bulleted lists, you can also use numbered lists for sequential items.
2. Use headers and subheaders
Headers help guide readers’ through a blog post and also provide structure so a reader can quickly grasp the content without having to read it all.
In SEO lingo, headers are called H tags, which refer to the HTML tag that dictate title order. So, your H1 is the page title, H2s are your headers, H3s are your subheaders, and so on. Use a mix of headers in each post; aside from helping readers skim an article, they also help search engines understand and rank your post. For that reason, keep headers short, clear and to the point. You definitely don’t want to confuse Google (or your readers).
3. Bold or italicize key information
If you really want the reader to remember a fact or take away from your blog post, bold it. Bolding a sentence allows readers to find key information quickly when skimming a text.
However, practice this technique sparingly as not every sentence is critical to your blog post. Don’t bold too many sentences close together, and don’t bold full paragraphs. Simply bold the primary information that makes sense on its own and solidifies the message.
You can also emphasize text using italics, but only do this for specific words or quotations. You don’t want to italicize an entire sentence or paragraph, as this can make it difficult to read.
03. Include a table of contents
A table of contents shows the reader what to expect as soon as they click on your article. Essentially, a table of contents collects your headers and subheaders to show how you organized your post. The reader can get a good idea of your piece’s length and detail just by looking at the table of contents. If you hyperlink your table of contents to each corresponding section, even better. Visitors can then easily jump to the content they want to read.
04. Add strong visuals
Adding images to a blog post increases views by 94%. Well-designed images, infographics, videos or helpful charts and graphs not only break up text but can also make the content more digestible. In fact, 32% of marketers say images are the most important form of content for their business.
Start your article with a captivating featured image. Then, add photos throughout the text, either centered in your post or aligned with the text.
You can take it a step further and include embedded videos, too. Video content is 50 times more likely to drive organic traffic than plain text alone. Only 19% of bloggers incorporate videos, so add yours to help make your post stand out from the rest.
04. Stick to readable fonts
Using a non-standard or difficult-to-read font can distract from your content. Try to stick to the sans-serif font family (fonts without the little feet on the ends of the letters, like Helvetica, Arial or Geneva). You can change up the font for your title to make it pop out, but don’t switch fonts too often on a single page.
Your font size matters, too. If your font is too small, readers will click away to avoid straining their eyes. A too large font can seem like yelling. You might have to adjust the size depending on your chosen font, blogging platform, and whether the page is viewed on mobile or desktop.
06. Include relevant links
Internal and external links not only help with your blog’s SEO, but they also show your reader where they can find more information on a topic mentioned in a post. Like bolded or italicized text, hyperlinks also stand out since they usually appear in a color different than your main body copy. You can also add links to promote other blog posts or products.
07. Highlight your CTA
Calls-to-action should be easy to spot within your blog post. Whether a call to subscribe to your blog’s mailing list or complete a contact form, make what you want the reader to do as clear as possible.
Use different fonts, contrasting colors, forms or buttons to help your CTA pop out to readers. You can place it at the post’s end, in the opening paragraph or even as a pop-up as the reader scrolls toward the end of the page.
Don’t make it too “in your face.” Again, you don’t want to annoy the reader, but you do want them to know that this blog post comes with an action item if they choose to take it.
10 types of blog post formats
You can write a blog post in more than one way, and each type of blog has its own expected format. We won’t get into the nitty-gritty details of each post type here—for that, you can check out these blog post templates as examples. But, we will introduce you to the main blog post formats so you can see all the different directions you can take with your next post.
01. The listicle
You’ve certainly come across these trendy list-style posts. In general, bloggers format these posts as a numbered list that feels organized and easy-to-read, like this list of blog ideas.
02. How-to post
This blog format teaches your readers how to do something, such as how to make money blogging. You want to make sure you answer the reader’s main query when they land on the page.
03. Comparison post
This post compares two things, usually products, side by side. Many companies use this post to compare their product to a competitor’s, such as this article on Mac vs. PC.
04. What is post
These definitional posts answer questions like “What is a blog?” Use your blog platform to provide a detailed definition including examples, uses and commonly asked questions.
05. Case study
This post looks in depth at a topic, like how a client succeeded with your product. Case studies usually employ testimonials and highlight the product or service’s value.
06. Product showcase
Your blog is a good place to highlight a new product and demonstrate how a customer can use it. These blog examples, for instance, highlight Wix blogging tools and provide valuable inspiration for fellow bloggers.
07. Thought-leadership post
These posts include original ideas expressed by an industry expert. They aim to shape opinion and make your readers think differently about a topic . These posts can spark a discussion and help readers think outside the box about a certain issue, making them highly engaging and shareable on social media. For example, our blog article on bridging the digital divide explains why small businesses should play a part in making the internet more accessible.
08. What not to do post
In this post, you’ll highlight the common pitfalls people experience when undertaking something new. For example, our post on blogging mistakes points out common errors and highlights what you should do instead.
09. The beginner’s guide
A beginner’s guide gives a complete overview to someone unfamiliar with a topic. This article about blogging for beginners, for instance, gives a run down for people who likely don’t have a blog yet or just started one.
Interviewing someone in your field can spice up your blog and offer a different perspective. The format here can be a list of questions and answers or a piece with a selection of quotes, like our article with branding expert Jackie Treitz.
By Talia Cohen
Small Business Expert and Marketing Blogger