When you started that blog, you were sure this was going to be easy-peasy. Other bloggers made it look so simple with their amazing blog writing format and their perfectly organized posts. Then you sat down and tried to do it yourself and realized it wasn’t as easy as it looks.
There’s definitely some technique to writing and formatting a great blog post that don’t necessarily come naturally. But developing some blog post best practices can be critical to your success as a blogger. And—good news—the techniques are easy to learn!
How you write and format your blog posts can mean the difference between grabbing those visitors and turning them into raving fans and followers, or having them get frustrated or bored and click away from your site.
Proper blog writing format can…
- improve your SEO
- get you followers and subscribers
- generate leads for your business
- and make you money!
So it’s worth the extra time it takes to do it right!Proper blog writing format can improve your SEO, get you followers and subscribers, make you money, and generate leads for your business Click To Tweet
And once you understand the concepts and develop a system for blog post creation, it actually makes the process of writing and publishing posts to your blog much easier! So let’s get started…
Start With A Mission
Every good blog post starts with an intended goal in mind. What purpose do you hope to achieve with the post? Maybe a better question is: “What problem are you solving?”
People are on the internet looking for solutions to their problems and answers to their questions. The better job you do at helping your reader find solutions, the more followers and fans you’ll get and the more money you can make as a blogger.
To get clear on your blog post’s purpose, it helps to start with a mission statement. “This blog post will teach new bloggers the key elements and characteristics of an outstanding blog post.”
You don’t need to share it with the reader. But it will help you to identify your vision for the post and stay on track as you write.
Find Keywords For Your Blog Post
Once you know what you want to achieve with your post, it’s a good idea to do some research and come up with some keywords related to the topic. If you want to attract traffic through search engines, you’ll need to include them in your headline, headings, and content.
I use two keyword research tools to find keywords for blog posts. The first is Hike SEO. This service is incredibly user-friendly and one of the most affordable keyword tools out there.
In addition to helping you do keyword research, the tool also gives you ratings on which ones will be easiest to rank for based on your domain authority and other factors. It also:
- Monitors your keyword rankings
- Analyzes your site and suggests ways to improve your SEO
- Offers competition research tools
- Helps you develop your backlink strategy with links into HARO and other services.
- And much, much more!
If you’re looking for a robust keyword research tool, I can highly recommend HikeSEO.
The other tool I use is Keywords Everywhere. Install the browser extension on Chrome or Firefox and turn on the tool. Every time you run search, K. E. analyzes the keyword term and tells you how many searches the term gets every month as well as assigning a score that suggest how much competition there is to rank for the term.
Using this tool allows you to see solid search data and makes it easy to find terms with high search volume and low competition.
Once you have your main keyword/s, remember to include them in your headline, your subtitles, and about every 100 words in your text.
Write A Strong Hook and Introduction For Your Blog Post
Open your blog post with an interesting tidbit that will snag the readers attention. You could:
- Ask a compelling question
- Make an outlandish statement
- Tell an interesting short story
- Point out a big mistake people make
- Say something controversial
- State the amazing results the article will bring
There are dozens more ways to open up with a short paragraph that grabs the reader’s attention. Practice makes perfect. Learn how to capture the attention of your audience quickly and pull them through the article with great information and entertaining writing.
Use Subheadings Throughout Your Blog Posts
Internet readers tend to be less patient than print readers or people who are reading for entertainment (think novels and nonfiction books). They want to absorb the information on your blog quickly and easily.
To facilitate the consumption of information on your blog, you want to break up your content into sections with subtitles. A good blog writing format rule is to include a subtitle every 300 words or less.To facilitate the consumption of information on your blog, you want to break up your content into sections of 300 words or less with subtitles. Click To Tweet
Relevant subheadings allow readers to skim through your content to get a general idea of the information in each section, then they can go back and dive deeper into the areas that interest them.
Before writing your post, sit down and outline your posts, dividing the information into at least 3 sections. If the post is long, you’ll want to add more subtitles to keep your sections easily digestible.
Use H2 headings for the main subsections. If you need to break a section down further, you can use H3 and H4 headings to further divide your talking points.
Remember to try to fit some keywords into those subtitles as well. The search engines grab onto the terms in your subtitles and use them to identify what your post is about. And your post can rank for those terms in search.
Keep Blog Post Paragraphs Short
Your high school English teacher probably taught you that you need at least three sentences in a paragraph. At least that’s what mine taught me.
That rule is great for academia, but on the internet, three sentences is the maximum you want in a paragraph.
Many of your readers (probably 50 – 65%) will be reading your post on their phones or mobile devices. What looks like an average paragraph in a book or on a printed sheet can be three or four screens long on a phone.
Reading on the web is more pleasant when paragraphs are shorter with white space between them. Huge blocks of text are intimidating and hard to keep your place while you scroll. So break it up, baby!
With this in mind keep your paragraphs short, up to 3 sentences, but no more. I try to break after two, but sometimes, the flow is better with three or even four short sentences grouped together.
Use your best judgment. When your blog post is done, sit back and look at it with fresh eyes. If any of the sections look too chunky, break ’em up.
Use Block Format
In case it’s been a few years since high school, block format is left justified with no indent. There is a space of at least one line height between paragraphs. This is the format that most themes will automatically apply to your blog, so you shouldn’t have to worry about it too much.
On the internet no one uses first line indents. And you absolutely must have some white space between paragraphs.
Use Readable Fonts On Your Blog
I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least mention the font settings you choose for your blog formatting. You want your text to be easy to read on a computer screen or mobile device.
While you want your blog to be unique and represent your brand, you don’t want to alienate you readers with a hard-to-read font. Most blogs utilize a sans serif font like Open Sans, Raleway, Lato, or Montserrat. These fonts have proven to be easy on the eyes and attractive.
If those don’t appeal to you, this article includes a list of the most popular san serif fonts for blogs.
Or you can get hundreds of free open source fonts through Google Fonts and there are plugins that help you incorporate them on your blog. Just be sure the font choices you make are easy to read. https://fonts.google.com/
Also keep in mind that you want to limit your font choices to two or three fonts. If you include too many fonts in one article, it just looks chaotic.
Bigger is better these days with so many people reading on mobile. Start at size 14 text and see how it looks on a variety of devices. You can go up to 16 or even 18, depending on the font you choose and how it renders on various screens.
High contrast is easiest on the reader’s eyes when viewing on screen. Use a light—preferably white background—and a black or very dark grey text. This will provide the contrast your reader needs to easily digest your text.
You want your link text to stand out from the rest so your readers can clearly identify the links. Use a bright color, like royal blue or dark red. Never use a hard-to-read color like pale gold or light green. There isn’t enough contrast between that and the white background. If the link is hard to see or impossible to read, the reader is less likely to click on it.
Write Like You Talk
High school and college writing classes might have encouraged you to be all serious and try to sound smart. But on the internet, we just want you to be relatable.
Be conversational, fun and silly, or relevant. Use contractions. Use slang. Include hashtags, memes, and pop culture references. Like Epstein didn’t kill himself. [Insert wicked laugh here!] Sorry, had to do that! LOL.
Let your personality and style come through in your writing. Be yourself so that your readers see you’re a real person they can relate to.
Interlink to other posts on your blog
Another important technique you’ll want to incorporate into your blog post writing is interlinking—or linking to related posts and pages on your blog to build connections between related content.
Interlinking serves several important purposes.
One, it helps your reader find more content on the same topic.
Two, it keeps the reader on your site longer, which helps your site stats. AKA bounce rate.
Three, it helps the search engines understand the relationships between your posts and pages and gives the search engines a better understanding of how to refer your content.
Four, if you have numerous posts on one topic that are all interlinked, you will develop topic authority, which can boost your blog in search results.
Link to outside sources and other blogs
You also want to link to sources outside your blog. In every blog post, try to refer your readers to an article that goes into more depth on a topic related to your post. Or embed a video from YouTube on the topic.
You could also link to an infographic or a graph from another blog. Choose something that’s appropriate to your subject matter.
Be sure to set the link to open in a new tab so that the reader stays on your blog.
Moz, a leader in SEO, created this video with more information on the dangers, opportunities, risk, and reward of internal and external linking. If you’re working on developing better skills in this area, this video is worth a watch!
Use Graphics To Add Interest
Miles and miles of uninterrupted text can get boring. To keep your reader entertained, include some kind of visual every three to five paragraphs to add interest. You can use:
- Or a click to tweet
Obviously, these graphics need to be relevant and on-topic. But including them can really enhance the reader’s experience.
Use Bullets, Lists, and Quotes
Another way to divide up your content and add interest is to use bullet points or lists to convey points. Whenever you have a list of items, rather than listing them out with commas, simply create a bulleted list. This adds interest and much needed white space to your blog post!
Close out with a call to action
Finally, as you wrap up your amazing, interesting, stellar blog post, consider including a call to action. Ask your reader to download a free PDF or watch a short video in exchange for their email address. You could recommend a small, inexpensive product, or invite them to check out one of your affiliate links.
By including a call to action in your posts, you can build your subscriber list and make sales through your blog.
Use Yoast SEO Plugin
Now that your bright and shiny blog post is finished, your Yoast SEO plugin to designate the keyword for your post and write a meta-description for the search results. Just doing these two quick tasks will have a huge impact on your search rankings.
In addition Yoast evaluates your post and lets you know if you need to:
- Divide up long sections
- Break up long sentences
- Use simpler language
- And a whole other list of possible corrections
The plugin isn’t one hundred percent foolproof. Sometimes I choose to ignore the advice it gives. But for the most part, it offers good suggestions that are worth considering.
Proofread and Spellcheck
Before you hit publish on that post, be sure to take time to read it carefully (maybe more than once) to find any spelling and grammar errors that may have snuck past you in the writing phase.
If spelling and grammar are not your strongest skills, you can always use a service like Grammarly to help you. Grammarly will look for spelling errors, correct your grammar and help you find ways to rephrase awkward sentences. Yay!
Write A STRONG Headline!
And last but probably most important, you need to write a strong title for your blog post!
The title is the most important part of any blog post. People see the title 5X more than the actual post.The title is the most important part of any blog post. People see the title 5X more than the actual post. Click To Tweet
The title is going to be the secret sauce that grabs people’s attention on social media or search results and lures them in to read the rest of your content. If you don’t grab them with the headline, you won’t get them to visit your blog. Opportunity lost. 🙁
So your next mission—should you choose to accept it—is to read my detailed article on how to write amazing blog post titles and headlines.
Before you go, download my Blog Post Creation Checklist that includes all the key points listed in this article plus a few more important tasks you need to perform. Following the checklist each time you write a post will ensure each blog post you create is your best work and something to be proud of.