By Patsi Krakoff published June 3, 2010

12 Tips for Formatting Better Blog Posts

How is writing for your business blog different from any other business marketing content?

In general, the goal of a business blog is to provide relevant, useful information to your targeted audience. By doing so, you create a community of loyal readers and engage their interest in your business.

A few important details can make a big difference in the success of your blog. Some of the key issues have to do with content, but just as important is form and formatting. Let’s talk about formatting:

  1. The headline is the most important part of your post. In many cases, it will determine if your post gets read or spread. But it needs to be written last in order to capture the best keywords in a compelling way, so I’ll talk about it last.
  2. Start with a question for readers. This engages them right away, and helps you to stay on track and write short, focused content. End your post with a question as well. Ask readers to comment or subscribe.
  3. Make paragraphs shorter than you would with any other writing piece, in most cases, one or two sentences will suffice. This provides more white space on the screen, which is good for the eyes of your readers.
  4. If your post is longer than 5-6 paragraphs, break it up with subheadings. This helps readers who are scanning to find what they’re looking for.
  5. If you’re not using subheadings, try bolding a few key words so they stand out. But don’t overuse this feature as it makes your page look choppy.
  6. Give some specific examples or tell a story about the challenge you asked about in your first question.
  7. Suggest some possible solutions.
  8. Whenever you have three or more points to make, use bulleted lists.
  9. Always ask readers about their own experiences and suggest they leave a comment or subscribe to get email updates to your blog.
  10. Occasionally get them to participate by answering a poll or survey.
  11. Go back over your blog post and edit: take out unnecessary words, add links to people, places, and books or sources, add a photo or image from one of the photo sites, and improve it.
  12. Write your headline, using any bulleted lists or curiosity factor. For example, this post can now be called 12 Tips for Formatting Better Blog Posts. There may be a better headline, and learning best headline writing is key.

Remember that good blog content educates, engages, and entertains readers.

  • Bulleted lists educate (the brain likes lists because it wants to scan and remember)
  • Asking readers questions engages them (we want to know the answers)
  • Stories and specific examples entertain (we pay attention to stories)

Having a few simple guidelines will make your blog look more professional and will help readers when they scan for quick tips.

What other tips do you have to make blog posts easier to scan?

Author: Patsi Krakoff

Patsi Krakoff, Psy.D., aka The Blog Squad, is a psychologist who works as a content marketing specialist helping professionals create a strong Web presence to get found, get known, and get clients using blogs and social media. Her award-winning blog is at WritingontheWeb. She is author of ContentMarketingwithBlogs and ContentMarketingforOnlineProfits. You can follow her on Twitter at @Patsiblogsquad.

Other posts by Patsi Krakoff

  • http://www.globalcopywriting.com/ globalcopywrite

    Hi Patsi,

    I recommend bloggers take a stand in the their posts. I tripped over this technique when I wrote a post about why I refuse LinkedIn invitations. It caused a lot of debate, some of it heated, but it taught me that in my own blog I don't have to be objective. People read blogs for information AND opinion.

  • http://www.wingedhearts.org Gitie House

    Hi Patsi,

    Great suggestions. Thanks for the tips.

    cheers
    Gitie
    http://wingedhearts.org

  • http://twitter.com/PTheWyse Praverb the Wyse

    Great information, I have been using some of these techniques. Will work on adding more of these techniques in the future.