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So, you’re starting a blog. You want your blog to make it and not fall into the abyss of blogs that never finds its following. You want your blog to sit at the cool kids table.

To create a successful blog, you need compelling content and to establish credibility in order to stand out among the competition and generate traffic.

Formatting a blog post is the key to gaining audience attention by capturing the reader’s eye. Knowing the right way to format a blog may seem daunting, but here are seven tips—from choosing the best title to creating stunning paragraph structures—that will guide you through this process.

Setting Up Your Blog

Don’t think about this too casually, because this can ultimately determine the success of your blog. Your URL is important in setting up your blog to be clever yet clear as to what your blog is about. If you set up with a free site builder tool like Wix or Squarespace, this may seem like a good deal at first, but as soon as you try to remove the .wix from your name, you may find yourself paying $20 per month just for the privilege of having that URL.

Maybe you’re okay with that, or maybe you are fine with leaving their branding on your URL, however you might consider building your blog in WordPress. It’s not always quite as intuitive, but there are templates that can be utilized to set up your page, and the price of WordPress hosting is significantly less expensive than some of those other monthly charges.

Blog Title

Creativity and intrigue are what readers want in a title. Why have just vanilla ice cream when you can have hot fudge and sprinkles on top? When writing a title, bland is never good. You want to lure your readers in.

Maybe you’re writing a blog about the best curling wands. How do you describe the curls? What are they like? These descriptive words can help you form a compelling headline:

  • Curling Wands for Fun and Flirty Hair
  • Curling Wands that Allow You to Dance All Night
  • Curling Wands that Help Fight The Frizz

Notice how we used “Curling Wands” in each title idea and added some fun to it? “Curling Wands” is the keyword we are using to attract viewers, and it is the broad topic of our blog post.

 Blog Format Paragraphs

Would you rather read a five page paper or a quick one page paper? As a student, reading the shorter version is always the best option with my busy schedule. When writing a blog post, keep in mind most readers have a dwindling attention span and they’re hoping to read something short and sweet that quickly gets to the point.

 “A Blog post is like a Miniskirt. It has to be short enough to be interesting, but long enough to cover the subject.”- Joe Pulizzi

Short but Long

A blog post should ideally be 800-1200 words. It needs to be long enough to get your point across but short enough to hold the reader’s attention. Paragraphs should be 2-3 sentences each, and don’t be afraid to use bullet points and numbers — they help synthesize your work into a readable form.

Audience is Essential

It is essential to know your audience when writing a blog. You need to know how to talk to your viewers.

A website about cyber security, for instance, could use a lot of technical terms to describe their services, which is great for security engineers, but terrible for a panicked individual whose computer just got hacked. Instead, they’re smart to write their content in understandable language so that their readers know what to do.

In contrast, the site Keeping My Promise, an online resource to help with college success, will most likely have an audience of students hoping to get into and graduate college.  Using common language and familiar questions like “how do I pay for college” instead of “FAFSA guidance” will likely help their readers have a better understanding.

Writing as you speak can sometimes sound a little awkward, however finding a voice is essential when formatting the blog and connecting with your audience. What will keep them returning to your blog is not only your content, but your unique voice and viewpoint. Don’t be afraid to be conversational – this isn’t your thesis, so you don’t need to rely on big, intense words or sentence structure. Keep it light, digestible, informative and humorous (when applicable).

How Many Images Should I Add to My Blog Post?

Images are visual engagement. The image should catch the eye of the reader but not distract from the content.

Another thing about images:

The more graphics on a page, the more time it will take your page to load. The longer the wait,  the fewer the click-throughs. A load time of .52 seconds is ideal for blog posts. So, to avoid this, try to use at most 200KB and make them RELEVANT.

Fonts, Fonts, Fonts!

If the text is too small, then readers will head to the next blog. If the font is too big, readers may get tired of the constant scrolling. Bolding headlines can help readers jump to specific sections of interest making the post more navigable and friendly to a variety of readers. Emphasizing words (by bolding, underlining, italicizing, using pull quotes etc.) shows readers what you, as the writer, deem especially important and can help break up the text.

The font style is important when attracting viewers. If they are unable to read the text, then they will go to a different blog. Keep the fonts and stylizing simple and readable for your audience.

Add a Call to Action (CTA)

A CTA tells your readers to do something specific.The “Shop Now” button in every retail email you receive? That’s a CTA. Your specific request may include signing up for a newsletter, leaving a comment, or sharing your post on their social media. Each of these helps your blog gain popularity and reach your target audience more quickly.

Now that you know a couple of tips to help you format your blog, it’s time to write your first piece. Don’t forget to read up on Keywords and SEO for additional information. These topics will allow your blog to reach your target audience and earn more readers. Blog writing may sound a bit daunting , but with a little guidance, you’ll soon be on the right path.

Author byline:

Lucy Long is a Strat Comm major with a Data Analytics minor at Texas Christian University and Content Writer at The Magnus Opus.

Tags : bloggingblogging in collegeblogging tips and advice