Have you written a well-researched and high-quality article but were disappointed as it did not get the attention it deserved? Also, have you noticed that there are few articles which are not very well written but have received a lot of likes and shares. Well, the reason is even though you have the best content in the world but if it doesn’t look inviting, attractive, scannable or if it is not well structured, you are less likely to earn a great response for it.
In this post, I will share why formatting is important and tips to format your blog post so that it gets the attention it deserves.
Why Formatting Your Blog post-Crucial?
According to a Microsoft study, the average attention span of an internet user has dropped substantially from 12 seconds in 2000, to just eight seconds in 2015.
So, you just have 8 seconds to attract a reader and convert a lead into a potential. Failing to attract a customer can lead to huge losses. Therefore, why not format your content and make sure that you don’t lose any reader as formatting will take only 10-15 minutes of your time. Moreover, It’s not a rocket science which involves technicality.
Read below few killer tips which I use while I write articles.
Practical Tips for Formatting your Blog Posts
Make your article easy to browse through. Within few seconds, a reader decides whether he wants to read a content or not. If your content is cluttered and not properly structured, it’s highly probable that the readers will click away before even knowing that how great your content was.
Let’s take an example from ShoutMeLoud:
Both the images are from the same blog post. However, the top image is the unformatted version and the other a formatted version. Which one do you think a reader would like to spend time on?
2. Use bullets, lists and Highlight:
If you see blogs such as ScoopWhoop, BuzzFeed, Entrepreneur or ShoutMeloud, you will notice a lot of usage of bullet points and lists type article. The reason is:
- Lists are easy to scan and read
- Captures readers attention
- It stands out from rest of the blog post
Apart from using lists and bullets, you can also highlight the important sections or sentences of your blog post. Your aim should be to format in a way that even if the reader reads out just the highlight points and the lists, he should be able to get the gist of the article.
3. Use Sub-Headings:
Your sub-heading should be able to tell what that particular section is all about. For example, in this particular post, I have used two major sub-headings, “why is formatting important”‘ and “Killer tips for formatting”. By just reading the sub-headings, it gives you an idea of what the section is all about plus it also draws readers attention towards it.
Use headings tags wisely in WordPress. H1 tag is for blog titles. H2 tag is the sub-heading of H1 tag and H3 tag is the sub-heading of H2 tag.
4. Use the right images:
Humans process visuals more efficiently than text. According to Jeff Bullas, articles with images get 94% more total views than articles without images. You can use an image, infographic, gifs, memes or screenshots. Use at least one image per blog post. The maximum number depends on the type and relevance of the post.
You can also add captions to the image as it will increase the quality of content and will be more relevant.
In fact, according to Socialfresh, animated graphics were the best type of images to use in you blog posts if you want to generate more shares. (created using data from Quicksprout study)
5. Use the Inverted Pyramid Method:
We have been always told to start with the foundation of the blog post and then move towards the conclusion. However, it’s always better to start with the conclusion and then move towards the body of the blog post. The initial few lines should explain to the reader that why are they reading the post and what’s in for them.
See this graphic from Coschedule:
6. Highlight Quotes:
Make your quote set apart from rest of your blog post. You can bold it and place it within inverted commas. You can also use the Click to Tweet plugin by Coschedule so that readers can tweet it.
This will widen the reach of your blog post, and you are likely to get more likes and shares.
7. Use Call to action at the end:
It’s important to let your readers know what you want them to do at the end of the post. Don’t assume that they will take an action without asking for it. You can ask them to post a comment, share it with their friends or on social media, give suggestions or give them some bonus like a free ebook, etc.
The key here is to let the readers take action before they click away from your blog.
Do you have any formatting tips in your mind which you use for your blog? I would love to know your thoughts on it. Lastly, feel free to spread this love to your friends who you think can benefit from this post.