WordPress is a well known Blogging platform with hundreds of thousands of users. With WordPress blog formatting, you can create a professional blog format with different styles and ideas. Moreover, you can also be able to monetize your blog easily using adsense and other advertisement systems by using this tool in your blog.
Now you can format your WordPress blog for easy reading and learning. This hand-crafted plugin ensures that you have a style guide for your posts, so that you can always look professional and maintain consistency. You can set up a default format, span articles onto two pages, give layouts to different articles or categories, post images and quotes easily, add text formatting, create a sidebar or custom menu and find many other useful features!
Heading help search engines and users to read and understand the content. They act as a signpost for the readers while making it easier for people to get an idea of what a post or page is about. Additionally, it also defines which part of the content is important and presents how the whole content is interconnected.
- Click on the dropdown menu and select the heading style
- As a rule, Heading 1 (H1 formatting tag) is reserved for the blog post title
- Use H2 heading for your primary sections of the blog post, followed by H3 subheadings below
Break up large paragraphs
Let me give you an example of a huge paragraph.
If I just keep writing, I can easily keep my thoughts going and have a lot to say. Sure, it takes up less space – but, long paragraphs give the eyes a break or make it easy to scan. Instead, it tends to look almost… intimidating. Who wants to read a wall of text? Have you ever seen one and went the other way? It makes it look like the writer is rambling on or writing a book. This isn’t a book. We’re writing for the web! That means small paragraphs. Each paragraph should contain one idea, then move onto another paragraph for the next idea.
If you even read that paragraph, I’ll be amazed. For one, I rambled on. For two, it’s ugly.
Instead, break up your paragraphs! Let’s try breaking up the long one above:
If I just keep writing, I can easily keep my thoughts going and have a lot to say. Sure, it takes up less space, but…
Long paragraphs don’t give the eyes a break or make the content easy to scan.
Who wants to ready a wall of text? Have you ever seen one and went the other way?
Long paragraphs make it look like the writer is rambling on or writing a book.
This isn’t a book. We’re writing for the web! That means small paragraphs; each containing a single idea, before moving onto another paragraph for the next idea.
Which one did you prefer reading? Which one did you take more away from? Now you understand the difference a little formatting makes!
Go through your posts and ensure your paragraphs are no longer than 3-4 lines at most.
Write Four Line Paragraphs
Make sure to use short paragraphs of 4 lines maximum as it improves the readability of your blog post. It isn’t very easy for the reader to stay focused and read your entire blog post when there is a wall of text. Paragraphs in between 3-4 lines work best to break the text into manageable and comprehensible chunks.
Add subheads every 300 words
Subheads help the reader skim your article and get to the section that most relates to their needs as quickly as possible.
Additionally, 300 words is just a ballpark figure. You can go above or under that; it’s merely a number to shoot for to keep things looking nice.
For example, instead of placing a new subhead after 300 words, you could add an image or a block quote to break up the sections.
When writing your subheads, you can go one of two ways:
- Call out key information, detailing exactly what the section will be about
- Use copywriting tactics to entice your readers to read the section
The first method is practical, useful and easy, the second increases reader engagement and time on page, but is more difficult. The best writers will combine the two.
For example, this post uses the first method. Each of my subheads simply tells you what to do. They’re not particularly sexy.
If I were to combine the methods, I might instead make this subhead something like “Increase time on page and engagement by 200% with subheads”.
I didn’t do this because this is a more straightforward guide, but it would likely pique your interest and get you to continue reading.
Check out this post by Brian Dean for more advanced SEO copywriting strategies.
Use white space
Blog formatting includes the layout and design of the content. One aspect of this type of design is “white space“. “White space” is the space around and between your content. The proper use of white space makes text on your blog more legible. Content begins to feel cramped if your article does not have enough white space. Design elements next to white space attracting attention to that part of your blog.
When formatting text for a blog, hit Enter key to add an extra blank row after the header. Also, provide more room around the edges of the post. Between each paragraph, give yourself some white space. This gives the reader a place to rest their eyes before starting into the next section.
Put your main takeaways in bullet points
When you skim a post online, what are the first things you look at? After images, I’ll bet it’s headings and bullet points.
However, when writing bullet points, there are four things to keep in mind:
- Try to keep each point consistent in length
- Don’t add too much information to one bullet point
- Make sure the info you’re bulleting is actually valuable
- Use bolding at the beginning of your bullets if you have to make them longer. However, if you do this, frontload the bullet with the most important info and follow point one: Keep it consistent! (Meaning, don’t do what I just did here.)
Pro Tip: If you really want to get fancy with your design, you can add custom image bullets. For example, Robbie Richards uses little light bulbs as bullet points in his articles.
Editor’s note. To get an effect like that while you format WordPress blog posts, you can use a plugin that we utilize on CodeinWP quite heavily – Shortcodes Ultimate:
- It uses Font Awesome icons for bullets.
- This produces a very similar result to Robbie’s.
- As you can see…
Include Bullet Points or Lists
Bullet points are useful to transform your blog post into bite-sized content that will help your readers to read the post in a snap. Bullet points are an ideal way to present important data, a list of facts, etc.
Additionally, lists and bullet points are useful to break information up into easy-to-read sections. If your readers are skimming the content, the contrast between paragraph text and bullet points will stand out to ensure that you have not missed any important information.
Use bold and italics to call out key points
Bold and italics are an excellent way to draw the eye and create emphasis. When using them, however, don’t overuse them. I’m sure you’ve heard the cliche: If everything is bold, nothing is bold!
During my writing process, I often complete an entire article, then go back and bold the important bits. Sometimes they come to me while writing, but the editorial process is what really makes a post shine.
I also like to use italics to call out something I want to say that doesn’t directly flow from my last paragraph but is important to my overall point. Or for quoting others in my article.
Fuse Relevant Images
32% of marketers say visual images are the most important form of content for their businesses.
Including pictures make your content look more visually appealing. It would help if you made sure that images are relevant to the article’s context. Eye-catching visuals captivate the user to focus and get a better idea of related to the blog post.
Do not forget “related posts” with thumbnails. The featured image of the post will be visible in the thumbnail. It helps you get a higher CTR (click-through rate) and helps in decreasing the bounce rate.
Use great images to put the cherry on top
I promised you I’d tell you more about using pictures in your articles, so here it is!
So, we already know not to use cheesy stock photography. You also shouldn’t use crappy clipart images you pull off Google (not only do they usually suck but you’re also stepping on copyrighting laws).
Instead, stick to graphs, charts, screenshots, infographics, and high-resolution photos. You can even whip up a few professional charts and graphs with Visualizer in a few minutes.
Why do you need great images? Maybe these stats will convince you:
- Researchers found that color visuals increase the willingness to read by 80%.
- People following directions with text and illustrations do 323% better than people following directions without illustrations.
So, where does one get these incredible images?
- For high-resolution photos, check out this full list of places to get free images (and how to use them)
- To take screenshots, try Lightshot
- To create graphs, charts, infographics, and other fun stuff I use Canva and Venngage, plus if you want to embed live charts straight in your WordPress blog, check out the Visualizer plugin
What if you see a perfect graph on another article you’d love to use in your own work?
You can, but be careful. Make sure you’re giving them proper credit. Even then, you may still be breaking copyright laws. If they ask you to take something down, do it.
What if you know what you generally want an image of, but don’t have time to create it or aren’t quite sure what you want?
That’s where Google comes in! I use Google to find free-to-use images through their advanced tools. Here’s how:
1. First, go to Google and search for an image you’d like to find.
2. Don’t use these images! First, go to Tools -> Usage Rights -> Labeled for Reuse.
3. The resulting images (while drastically cut down from the original number of results) are free to use as you please to format WordPress blog posts! (Be sure to still give credit, just to be safe.)
One final tip on imagery: It pays to hire a designer to create the images for you. CoSchedule does this very well on their posts, which always look great. Plus, you can see a similar trend in use at the Themeisle blog as well:
Now that you’ve formatted your post and even added some valuable images, are you done? Well, no. There’s one last thing you must do with every post you write…
Upgrade your blog’s style to include a more consistent look with this WordPress blog formatting guide. This book includes instructions for upgrading the appearance of blog posts, categories, post tags and archives, as well as adding advertisements.