There are a million types of blogs out there, but most blogs serve the same simple purpose — to answer a reader’s question. Whether we’re writing a how-to article, a listicle, or an ultimate guide, our job as blog writers is to make it easy for readers to find the information they’re looking for while enticing them to read more.
One of the best and easiest ways to do this is to format your blogs so they’re easy to read and a breeze to navigate.
Here are 8 simple tips to help you format your next blog.
This might not be a surprise (and if it is, I’m so sorry), but most readers won’t read your entire blog. More often than not, they’ll do a quick scroll, find the information they’re looking for, and move on with their day.
While that can feel like a punch to the gut to us writers, it’s actually a good thing. Our job isn’t to make readers spend ten minutes on our post — it’s to answer their question. The faster we can do that, the better.
Here are a few tips for writing easy-to-skim content:
In other words, cut the fluff. This doesn’t mean you can’t weave in things like humor (if that’s your thing), but keep your copy as tight as possible. Your readers will thank you.
Your title is the single most important line of copy in your blog. Your blog title should answer three basic questions for your reader:
This is your one and only chance to hook a potential reader, so make it count. Do some research on high-performing title formats and pick one that fits the kind of content you want to write.
Some popular variations of titles include:
Be sure to include your primary keywords in your blog title and try to think about how your readers might be searching for the topic you’re writing about. For instance, if you’re writing an article about cooking an egg, your title might look something like this:
This is a simple step that doesn’t require much explanation, but it’s a crucial one. Including a table of contents makes it way easier for users to find the information they need.
A table of contents also helps users see what else is in your blog at a glance, and that can be a great way to entice a reader to stick around for a bit.
Lastly, if you’ve written a long-form blog with loads of information, a table of contents makes it easy for readers to jump down to the information that’s most useful to them. If your content requires them to scroll for thirty seconds to find the answer to their question, chances are they’ll bounce.
Stick with short, clear, and helpful subheads. While it can be tempting to use subheads as an opportunity for creative flare, don’t be tempted.
Subheads serve a single purpose in your blog, and that’s to tell readers what a section is about. If your reader can’t figure that out at a glance, they’re going to skip it.
Plus, your subheads will determine what’s in your table of contents, so keeping these helpful navigation items nice and clear is always the way to go.
Remember, most readers are going to scroll quickly to find what they’re looking for. Don’t make them hunt for information.
Bolded text is a simple way to say, “Hey, reader, there’s something important here.” While most of the information in your blog will be skipped by the average reader, bolded text is far more likely to be read.
Start by going through each section of your blog. Identify the most important lines in each section and make them bold. This will draw the skimmer’s eye, and it might be enough to get them to stop and read a few sentences.
In other words, if you want something to stand out, make it stand out.
No one wants to read a wall of text. Numbered lists and bullets are a great way to:
Once you’ve finished your blog, comb back through each section and look for areas with long paragraphs or numerous paragraphs. If that information can be condensed into a bullet list, do it.
Try to condense ideas down into just a few words. The shorter the better. Lists should convey information simply and efficiently. If a concept can’t be boiled down to a few simple words, it probably deserved to be a paragraph.
Even the most well-written blogs get old after a few sections of similarly formatted content. If you want to add some visual interest to your blog, include relevant images and videos wherever you can.
Here are a few super valuable types of media you can try including in your next blog:
These are great for getting users to spend more time on your blog, and they can also help break up the monotony of on-screen text.
That said, don’t include images for the sake of including images. If the media doesn’t add value to your topic, leave it out.
Last but not least, be clear about what you want your readers to do now that they’ve read your blog. Most of the time, the call-to-action at the end of your blog will be something simple or familiar to the reader.
Some of the most common blog calls-to-action are:
Whatever it may be, it’s important to give your reader an action to take at the end of your content, even if that’s just diving into another piece of content. Without clear direction, they’ll almost certainly bounce.
We hope you found this blog helpful! If you’d like to learn more about content development and Infinity’s content marketing capabilities, get in touch with our team. You can also explore more blog topics here.