There are a lot of small details involved in formatting a blog post, but the more often you write them, the easier they are to create. The length, style and layout of your posts, as well as how often you post to your blog, are all important things to consider and vary depending on your business goals. We’ve also suggested a few final editing tips for you to follow to ensure that you’ll reap the benefits of the work you put into the post.

Length

Long Form Content:
500+ Words
Short Form Content:
250-300 Words

  • Short form blog posts are entries around 250-300 words.
  • If 300 words are not enough to get your point across, consider breaking your article down into logical parts and making a series of entries.
  • Recent studies have proven that many online readers are actually interested in long form content. Although the original train of thought was that short form content would hold online reader attention better, in-depth articles tend to give readers more valuable information.
  • Use short paragraphs that are 3 to 5 sentences long.
  • Delete what you don’t need. Most online readers are only skimming for content anyway, so deleting the extra fluff will allow readers to find the information they need more efficiently.

Ultimately, blog post length is up to you to decide. So long as you adequately cover a topic, provide viewers with useful, educational materials, and keep audience preferences in mind, you don’t need to worry about your post being too long or short.

Frequency

  • Depending on your desired results, blogging at least 1 time every two weeks is a good place to start.
  • According to a study conducted by HubSpot, B2B companies that blog just 1 or 2 times per month generate 70% more leads than companies that don’t blog at all. See more startling statistics about blogging.

Inverted Pyramid

inverted pyramidWhen writing for the web, it’s best to follow an inverted pyramid style because you only have 3 to 5 seconds to hook your readers. With all the other distracting things online, if you don’t prove to your reader that you have something interesting to say within just a few seconds, they will lose interest in your article and move on to the next thing.

The purpose of the inverted pyramid style is to get your point across fast. Unlike vocal story telling where you slowly build in to interesting ideas, add supporting details, and then reveal the BANG! of the story, the inverted pyramid style tells readers up front what they need to know.

When you write blog posts in this style, you place the BANG! right at the beginning. That way if readers don’t get past the first few sentences, they still got the information they needed. Only after that do you provide supporting details and the less important information.

Formatting and Layout Suggestions

There’s no right or wrong to formatting your blog posts, as long as you are consistent. These are the rules we follow for consistency when formatting our blog posts.

Blog Post Titles

Capitalize each word that is not a connecting word and all words over 5 characters. The blog title should introduce the reader to the topic and create a sense of urgency.

Subheadings

Place subheadings every 2 to 3 paragraphs to help viewers skim for content. Subheadings can be formatted like post titles when they are only a few words long and not a complete sentence. Note that when titles or subheadings are an entire sentence or a question, punctuate and capitalize them like a sentence.

Images

Choose meaningful, original graphics instead of just clip art or stock photos whenever possible. Remember that you can’t take images off of Google and insert them into your post, that’s plagiarism.

Also, place captions with your graphics to emphasize key elements of the picture.

Optimizing Post for Online Readers

People reading online have a short attention span. This means that when you’re writing content for the web, you have to make it as visually interesting as possible. Here are a few tips for improving your formatting:

  • Create a visual hierarchy by manipulating the text with different sizes and colors.
  • Bold key information.
  • Use bulleted lists (people don’t like to read paragraphs online).
  • Number sequences or steps.
  • Play around with text and image spacing so the post isn’t overwhelming.

Summary

At the end of the post, explain where readers can find more information related to the topic. Another option would be to link to related information throughout your article if it makes sense to do so. Otherwise you can place a list of related blog posts in the side bar of the web page or at the bottom of the post.

Call to Action

A call to action, or CTA, gives your readers a next step. Add in CTA’s, such as downloadable resources or additional blog posts, on every  post you write to keep visitors on your site longer and increase your chances of earning new leads.

Final Editing Tips

1. Take a Step Back

Revisit your blog post for editing a few days after your write it. Review it with a fresh eyes to avoid skipping over simple mistakes.

2. Read Out Loud

Using Word to spell check your article is a good place to start, but that method doesn’t always catch all of the errors. Reading your article out loud will help you catch some of those easy-to-miss mistakes and will also reassure you that your sentences flow well together.

3. Check for Consistency

Make sure you’ve used consistent punctuation and capitalization throughout your text, especially in the bulleted lists and subtitles.

4. Test your Call to Action

After you finish formatting your blog post, close your eyes and then open them. What is the first thing you see on the post? Putting yourself in the shoes of your viewer will help you be objective when evaluating your blog post. Double check to see if you asked your viewers to take some sort of action and if that call to action is easy to identify.

5. Pass the Baton

Once you’ve followed all of the above mentioned steps, send your article to the designated authority for the final round of proofing. Your editor will appreciate the time you spent doing your own proof reading and edits, as that effort will be reflected in the quality of your work.

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