Blogs: This is the Best Format to Follow
When it comes to blogging, great content is vital. But often people forget that the way you present that content is equally as important. There’s nothing more off-putting than a giant slug of text. Get the format of your blog right and you’ll start reeling in the views like never before.
Follow these seven tips for the perfect format:
1. Nail the title
Your title should instantly convey exactly what your blog is about. If your readers read nothing else, they should be left in no doubt about the content of the blog.
On top of that, you should aim to create a sense of urgency to compel your readers to read on. This is why popular titles such as ‘The seven mistakes you didn’t know you were making’ attract so many hits. If you don’t read on, will you carry on making those same mistakes?
2. Keep it short (but not too short)
The basic rule is no less than 300 words and no more than 600 words. It’s no secret that search engines look for significant chunks of content to trawl. A good meaty blog post is going to get you better ratings.
Equally, no one is going to want to click through for just 100 words of intro text. They’ll feel cheated.
More than 600 words is quite a lengthy amount of text to read on screen and more of a time investment than most people are prepared to give. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t break the rules sometimes. If you have a lot to say, as long as you format it well, feel free to carry on regardless.
3. Chunk it up
However many words you use, they need to be broken down into readable chunks. Split up your text into paragraphs of no more than four sentences each. Remember, online content isn’t like print. You’ll need to break it up a lot more to make it digestible.
You can also bend the rules a bit.
In the blogging world, it’s perfectly acceptable to have a single sentence as a paragraph on its own. It’s a great way to make a point and project a bit of personality.
4. Remember subheadings
In my view, subheadings aren't used enough. Including a catchy subheading every two or three paragraphs will have an instant impact on the look and feel of your blog. They help guide readers through the blog. They also help skim readers find their area of interest faster. You’re less likely to have people clicking away if you have some good subheadings holding everything together.
Your subheading can be a couple of key words, a question or a full sentence. Just make sure you keep the format consistent throughout.
5. Tap into lists
Lists are the lifeblood of bloggers. A list instantly draws the eye and makes a powerful point at maximum speed. Here are just some of the ways to employ lists in your blogs:
Pros and cons
Step by step instructions
Do’s and don’ts
6. Be clever with images
Play it smart with your use of images. Bland, generic images or graphics won’t add much. In fact, when I see that same tired image of businessmen shaking hands on a deal, I’m more inclined to click away than carry on reading.
Spend a bit of time to select intriguing, relevant images that add to the point you’re making. Add a bit of visual humour if it suits your style. And always make full use of captioning to hammer home your message (and your SEO keywords).
I still believe that quality content is the most important element of your blog post. However, presenting that content in the best possible light is absolutely key. Looks aren’t everything, but they certainly do grab the attention.