Blogging was once nothing more than a hobby. A way for people to share their thoughts and passions on just about anything on the internet.
Fast forward to today, however, and blogging is a big business. Successful blogs can attract thousands upon thousands of readers a month, and the very best ones convert those readers into customers.
If you want to join that group of successful bloggers then one of the key things to tackle is the formatting of your blog posts.
How you format your blog plays a huge role in keeping users engaged and can encourage them to return.
In this article, we’ll explore our top blog formatting tips. Be sure to keep an eye out as you make your way through to check that we’re practicing what we preach!
Adding a blog to your ecommerce website may seem like a waste of time. You’re trying to attract customers, not idle readers, right? Well, not quite.
Adding a high-quality blog to your website could be just the thing you need to attract a larger audience, keep them engaged and convince them to convert.
There are various benefits to blogging:
- A blog helps to position your brand as a thought leader in your industry
- A blog can help to attract more website traffic
- Blog posts can be used to help you attract specific target audience demographics
- A blog can boost your brand’s visibility, particularly in search engine results
- Blogs help to give your brand a voice that customers can connect with
Blogging is a balancing act. On the one hand, one of your top blogging priorities should be ensuring your blog posts are correctly optimized for SEO (search engine optimization).
On the other hand, you also need to be creating high-quality content that your readers will find valuable and interesting.
The two should work together to create a blogging masterclass. After all, mastering the SEO of your blog will help more readers find the quality and valuable content you’re creating.
The key is to avoid focusing on one over the other. You could have a blog that’s optimized for all of your target keywords and ranking well in search results, but if your readers aren’t finding your content valuable, they aren’t going to stick around or convert.
Similarly, your content could be the very best on the internet, but if you haven’t implemented an SEO strategy, it will never appear in search results to be found by the right users.
For each blog post that you write, you should ensure it’s well researched and better than anything else already on the internet, as well as being correctly optimized to perform well for your target search terms.
Following the six blog post formatting tips below will help you to ensure readers enjoy your blog, stay engaged, and convert.
A strong title is essential if you want to pique the interest of your audience and convince them to read your blog post.
The best titles should be eye-catching and different – they need to stand out from the crowd and leave the reader wanting to find out more.
Don’t be tempted to think too far out of the box when writing your title though. It still needs to accurately convey what the article is about and should be optimized to target your SEO keywords.
Ensure your blog is formatted in a way that allows your title to stand out on the page. It should be at the top of the article and in a larger, bolder font than the main body of the blog post.
If you have a specific keyword you’re targeting for SEO, make sure to include it in the title.
For example, if you’re writing about tennis and want to target the term “tennis equipment for beginners”, blog title ideas could include:
- The Complete Guide to Tennis Equipment for Beginners
- Tennis Equipment for Beginners: Everything You Need for On-Court Success
- Tennis Equipment for Beginners That You Actually Need: 6 Key Items to Pack in Your Kit Bag
A reader should get a strong idea about what to expect from your article as soon as they click on it.
The introduction of your blog post should outline not only what the article is about but the value the reader will get from reading it.
The job of the introduction is to convince the reader that this is the article they’ve been looking for. If a reader doesn’t think a blog post will provide value, they’ll simply bounce off and find something else to read instead.
If you’re writing a longer-form article, especially one that has lots of sub-sections, then include a table of contents at the start of your article.
This way readers can skim through the contents and clearly see what lies ahead in the article. This also allows them to skip to the specific sections they’re interested in.
If you’re struggling to think of ideas for blog post topics, check out our article packed full of tips and ideas about what to blog about.
Depending on the type of content you’re used to writing, shorter paragraphs can seem a little alien when you first get started.
Writing for an online audience, however, requires you to think carefully about how you keep their attention on your content.
If a reader lands on a blog post only to be faced with lengthy paragraphs of seemingly never-ending content, then the chances are they’ll be put off straight away.
Attention spans are much shorter online and therefore shorter, snappier paragraphs help to make your content seem more accessible and digestible.
Shorter paragraphs also increase the amount of whitespace on the page, preventing your content from appearing cramped or difficult to follow.
Blog post paragraphs should aim to be anywhere from 1-3 sentences. Any more and your readers will be overwhelmed with too much content in one go. Opt for a mix of paragraph lengths to keep your blog post interesting and engaging.
Subheadings are a great way to break up your text and organize your blog post into key sections.
By breaking up your post into sections, each with its own subheading, readers will be able to scan your article to check it has all of the information they’re looking for.
Subheadings are also handy for longer articles – if readers take a break, they can easily find where they left off and return to your article later on.
Subheadings should be short and concise, and they need to accurately describe the main theme of the content in the following paragraphs.
The great thing about subheadings is that they’re not just great for your readers but for search engines too.
Including your target keywords in your subheadings, and using hierarchical headings to break up your content, is a major way to get search engines such as Google to rank your content.
Four to five subheadings are perfect for a blog post with 1,000 words. Aiming for around 200-250 words per section will help to keep your readers engaged.
Adding visuals – such as images, graphs, and videos – is one of our favorite blog formatting tips.
From product imagery to infographics, informative graphs, and charts, visual elements can help to make your blog posts easier to digest and more engaging for readers.
In fact, articles that feature images get 94% more views than those without.
Though it’s important to add images to a blog post, it doesn’t mean you should start adding just anything from your camera roll.
Your new puppy might be the cutest thing on the planet, but if your blog post is about how to build a website, we can presume your readers won’t be interested in photos of your dog. (Although, everyone loves photos of dogs…)
On a serious note, make sure the images you include are relevant and high-quality. Try to avoid stock images if you can, and instead source or create your own visual elements.
We’ve all seen those posed-for stock images of models in every imaginable situation, but the reality is that they offer your blog post and your readers no value at all.
Instead, if you don’t have a relevant image to use, create a graph or chart that visually depicts some of the key facts or stats from your blog post.
Your blog posts should always end with a strong call to action.
Calls to action explain the next steps that you want your readers to take. Convincing them to read your blog post and keeping them engaged through to the end is one thing, but then what?
Without a call to action, readers won’t know what to do next and will simply leave your website.
Think carefully about the overall aims of your website and blog.
- Do you want to direct your readers to more blog posts to read?
- Include a link to a relevant article that you think your readers will be interested in.
- Are you trying to encourage more sign-ups to your newsletter?
- Direct your users to the sign-up page once they reach the end of your article if so.
- Is your main aim to increase sales and convert readers into customers?
- Then you should feature some of your key products and services within your blog post and link to the product page at the end, encouraging users to make a purchase.
Don’t make your CTAs too over the top, you don’t want them to have the opposite effect, but instead, subtly guide your readers to the next step of their journey.
If you’ve reached the end of this article, then we’ve obviously formatted our post correctly to make it engaging and valuable. See… we told you we’d practice what we preached!
You should have a strong understanding of how to format your articles now, and we hope you can take these formatting tips and implement them on your website.
To recap, our six blog format tips to keep your readers engaged are:
- Start with a strong title
- Tell them what it’s about
- Keep paragraphs short
- Use subheadings
- Use visual elements to break up text
- Include a strong call to action
If you’re on the hunt for more inspiration, then we’ve also put together our 15 top blog examples that are perfectly formatted for blogging success.