There were days when people had only newspapers to read. These information-rich papers were delivered on the doorstep and were available to read anytime.
However, times have changed, and now people prefer reading digital information.
The news or information uploaded online is so fast that you can read the latest updates even before your morning clock hits.
Newspapers were big to hold, they were available only after a certain time and we can read the updates only when they are dropped at our homes. These were a few limitations of newspapers.
However, these big sources of information have one benefit as well.
It is the formatting!
Each story showcased in a newspaper is properly formatted, well layout, and has an attention-grabbing headline.
This is what I believe that most of the latest blogs online are missing.
The most attractive and important thing is missing from the present blogs. It is a highly attractive headline as well as adequate formatting.
It Is Not Only About Quality Content
One thing that people are looking for is high-quality content.
Just like the old days, people today are also searching for rich quality content that presents them all the facts straight.
But it is not only the quality of content that matters. There are more other aspects that your content or blog needs to hold.
Bloggers are working hard to ensure their content is easy to read by limiting the width of their columns and the size of their paragraphs. This is what readers expect!
But there is one more thing that the readers expect. It is the proper formatting of your blog post. Your blog must not only be easy to read but must also be well-structured and properly arranged.
Narrow, long columns imply they are pleasing to the eyes and readers can conveniently jump from one end of the column to the other. Moreover, it makes it very easy to shift from the beginning of one line to the next without losing focus on any content bit.
If you present the information in a wide column, readers will move out fast without reading the complete content and enlisting their fingers. This is important to keep track of the content. Even if they do the same, they will get irritated and would not have rich enjoying experience.
This is just a single element of the traditional media and knowledge of the same that can be used on our website or blogs to see what a blog page appears like.
So, have you ever thought why the content of newspapers is so well-formatted and consistent throughout?
It is because they follow certain rules for the layout and formatting of content. They present content in a manner to make it easy to read. Similarly, bloggers also have to follow some rules and guidelines to properly format their content.
Formatting content and blog writing online is a more complex process than writing content for print platforms. It is because the content we read on the screen of the computer is much different from how it is read in print.
The challenging thing is that it is essential to format your content in a way that looks appealing and fresh all the time.
What Forms the Basis for Blog Rules?
There are certain rules for blogging and these rules are based on two things.
1. People practice skimming when they are reading stuff on the screen:
A blog or website is missing the regular cues, which let us know how long the article is.
You can choose a book or focus on a newspaper article and you will get to know how long it is and how much time it will take to read the same. When reading a post online, the only way to know how much time it will take to read is to scroll down the post to the end and this is what most people do.
While scrolling down, they also try to scan and read the post. For new bloggers, the long content body on one page is scary and seems difficult to read.
Even if the headline of your content is appealing to them, and they have no other clues about the content, readers will be reluctant to read the same. But if you properly layout and format your blog post, you are telling people that they can go ahead and read your article and even inform them about the information they are looking for.
A well-structured blog also entices readers to read the complete post.
2. It is Difficult to Read Text On-Screen than On Print Platforms:
The legibility of the screen is improving a lot along with screen size and resolution. But still, there are a few simple rules you must know about to help people read the blog more conveniently.
To ensure that your readers fully enjoy reading your post, you must properly format the post and inform the same to readers through emails or subscriptions. Make sure you make blog reading completely easy for your readers.
No matter how rich your content is, if it is not properly formatted and not easy to read, people would not enjoy it and would even resist coming back to your post or website.
So, here check the different rules of blog layout and writing!
How to Format a Blog Post Properly:
1. Give a Proper Structure and Format to Your Blog:
It is of utmost importance to carefully format your blog post. But you have to do this for every post and not only for a few of them.
By properly structuring the blog it will be easier for people to scan the content. It is best to write every blog post keeping into consideration the layout of your page. Edit the content in a way to make sure it is adequately formatted and is perfect for scan reading.
2. Maintain a Proper Width of Every Column:
Secondly, it is highly important to maintain a proper width column for every post. The adequate width must be of about 80 characters or lesser including spaces.
If you maintain a proper width column for all your posts, your readers will find it very easy to read. This will make a huge difference and hence it is worth making this simple change.
3. Incorporate Headers as well as Sub-Headers At Adequate Places:
Another way to give a good format and proper structure to your post is to incorporate headers as well as sub-headers in your post. This is a great technique to cut down your long post into shorter sections so that it is easier for the readers to go through and read the content.
Introducing headers and sub-headers will break up the long blogs and convince readers to read the content. Moreover, headlines and sub-headings make content more attractive and allow readers to get information about what is there in the upcoming section.
4. Use Bullets and Lists:
Introducing bullet-pointed or numbered lists is a great way to scan the blog posts fast. It also helps readers to quickly find the information they have been searching for so far.
Some of the popular blogs that regularly introduce bullet or numbered lists in their post are NonstopSignsBlog, Buzzfeed, and more. You can visit their website and learn how to properly use numbered or bulleted lists in your content.
5. Introduce Punctuation in Your Content:
Use punctuation in your post as and when necessary. Introduce commas, stops, colons, and dashes to break each paragraph into small sections of information, which makes sense.
Remember, readers online do not prefer reading the same sentences multiple times. Hence, use them in a way so that it makes sense.
If you don’t know how to exactly use punctuation, make sure you keep the sentences short and concise. In addition to this, you must keep the paragraphs short.
6. Keep Paragraphs Short and Concise:
As I told already, reading content online is difficult. For this reason, it is best to cut your content into shorter and manageable chunks of content.
One of the best ways to achieve this is by keeping the paragraphs short. It is great if you can maintain the length of the paragraph form 2-3 sentences. Even a one-line sentence is considered as a paragraph.
This is a good guideline for the blog post, which you must follow in every post.
7. Keep the Fonts Readable:
Sans-serif fonts are usually much easier to read online in comparison to other fonts.
Your blog can reap success only if the number of people can read it easily and without experiencing any problem. Hence, use fonts like Open Sans, Verdana, and similar in order to maintain good readability of your content online.
8. Select a Proper Font Size:
It is always best to have a bigger font size. Small size fonts are difficult to read online, even for those who have an excellent vision.
Keep the font size big. You can check some favorite blogs of yours and check for their font size. You can introduce the same to keep it easy for your readers.
Avoid overusing bold text as it may lose its effectiveness over time.
9. Avoid Using Italics:
Italics content is difficult to read the content in print. Reading content in italics is very challenging and difficult. Hence, if possible to banish italics completely from your blog or you can limit the use of italics.
10. Use Capital Letters Whenever Required:
Using capital letters is the next important rule to maintain the readability of your content. Introduce capital letters for proper nouns and at the beginning of sentences. But make sure you don’t write the entire content in capitals as then it will be again difficult to read it.
Using capital letters regularly make readers believe that the content is shouting out to them. So, avoid it.
11. Background Color:
Most websites and blogs are successful because they maintain a proper contrast between background and text color. But ensure the blog background does not make it difficult to read the content.
There is an ample number of choices available that are easy to read and look good. Try keeping it white, pale yellow, or light gray in the background.
12. White Space:
It is essential that your web pages don’t appear too distracting or busy and offer readers a place to give proper rest to their eyes at regular intervals. Hence, leave enough plenty of blank space as this is important to make your blog layout look good.
13. Be Consistent:
There is no specific way for readers to find the blog. You cannot be sure if they entered straight at the latest post on the About Page or through an archived post.
There is also no particular order by which people can reach the blog. Hence, make sure every blog post you write requires informing the same story about you, your blog, your values, and your message.
14. Use Images:
Proper use of images is important to draw readers into the blog post. There are a lot of readers who read a post mainly because they like the image on it.
The best place to use images is to break up the text and include images at the available sections. This will draw the eyes of your readers. You can also reward them for reading as well as spending time on the blog.
15. Narrate a Story:
When talking about stories, every post must have a starting, middle, and an end section. Consider it as an introduction, the main information section, and a concluding paragraph.
16. Make Downloading Easy:
Finally, make sure it is easy to download your blog. The blog must have less downloading time so that more people can download it and read it.
To Sum Up
To know about your current blog formatting mistakes, you may pick any one of your old posts and rewrite its layout for convenient reading online. Repost it and give it a proper headline and properly format it so that you can gain more readers right in the first chance.