Adding a blog to your website is a great way to connect with your audience and position yourself as an expert in your industry. It’s also an excellent way to promote your services and products without using pushy sales tactics. In addition to that, a blog helps your site rank better in search engines.
Whether you blog for your personal site or your online business, there’s no doubt that a blog offers many benefits. However, aside from writing useful and relevant blog posts, you also need to pay attention to your blog’s format if you want to provide your readers with the best possible user experience.
While the layout of your blog page and individual blog posts largely depends on the theme you’re using, there are ways to ensure your blog design is inviting and encourages visitors to stay engaged with your content.
That’s why in this post, we’re going to share with you why having a blog is so beneficial and the ideal blog format for maximum engagement.
What Are the Benefits of Having a Blog?
Hearing that every business owner needs a blog isn’t enough, so here are some benefits.
Publishing consistent blog content will help you:
- Establish yourself as an authority in your industry
- Instill trust in your readers or customers
- Provide added value to site visitors
- Rank higher in relevant search results
- Build a bigger email list that can be used for marketing campaigns
- Increase brand awareness, especially across multiple channels like social media
- Gather feedback so you can make improvements
Why is Blog Format So Important?
Having a blog is important whether you’re a hobby blogger, online business, or eCommerce shop owner. But is publishing blog content enough – no matter how it’s formatted?
The short answer is no, it’s not enough.
It’s crucial that you grab the attention of readers once they arrive on your site and encourage them to stay.
How long a user stays on your website is critical to driving and keeping traffic. A high bounce rate can be attributed to numerous things such as, poor design or format, low-quality content, and poor overall user experience.
The right format will help readers consume your content with ease, stay on your website longer, and convert your call to action, ultimately leading to higher profitability for your business.
That’s why no matter what your website is about, the way you present the information is just as important as the information being presented.
The Best Ways to Format Your Blog
1. Create a Blog Style Guide
The first thing you should do is create a blog style guide. A blog style guide is nothing more than a document that outlines which fonts you use for your blog’s body text and the headings, what color the links and buttons are, and what type of images or graphics you use in your posts.
This document helps you maintain consistency throughout your website by ensuring you format each blog the same way you format the rest of your website, creating a cohesive brand identity.
2. Rethink the Sidebar
Your blog’s sidebar is important for your readers to discover more of your content, find relevant information, and contact you. However, it can also look cluttered if you add irrelevant widgets with too much information.
To fix this, consider what the primary goal of your blog is and then rethink the information you place in your sidebar. The key is to keep the widgets that will encourage site visitors to stay on your site longer, explore more sections of the blog, and engage with others doing the same in the comment section.
In addition, minimize using social media widgets in the sidebar that lead people away from your website, as HubSpot does. Social media widgets are good for social sharing but could lead readers away from your website before having the opportunity to explore more of your content.
3. Use Inviting Images
Images are one of the most important parts of your website’s blog. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words. Not to mention, people process images 60,000 times faster than text.
Using images adds extra visual appeal to your blog and helps you tell the story in a more compelling way. Add images that add meaning and context, and help readers understand and retain the information.
Also, add a featured image that will show up on your blog archives page. The featured image draws your visitors in and makes them more likely to click on your blog post to read it.
4. Add Videos
In addition to images, adding video and audio clips to your blog posts can make your blog more interactive and engaging for your target audience.
Here are some best practices to follow when adding this type of media to your blog posts:
- Make sure you let users know right away that there is video content in the post
- Don’t create a blog post with just video content (at the minimum add some context)
- Optimize the video or audio clip’s width to fit your blog post
- Don’t forget the call to action button so people can take action after watching or listening
Lastly, whatever you do, don’t put video or audio clips on autoplay. This can cause high bounce rates, and Google disables autoplay if you are on Chrome browser.
5. Make Use of Pull Quotes
To add additional visual effects to your blog posts, consider adding a pull quote. Unlike a block quote, a pull quote is a short excerpt of text that appears on the outside of the blog post’s text.
A pull quote’s main goal is to pull the reader away from the text and give the quote more dominance in the text.
You can easily add a pull quote to your blog posts with the new Gutenberg editor or with the help of the Pullquote Block.
Keep in mind that pull quotes are only there to highlight extremely important information. They are not to be overused, because they disrupt the user’s attention and can cause them to abandon your website.
6. Showcase Your Best Content
You can use your blog archives page to showcase your best content first. This will help readers find your site’s most popular content first and get a better understanding of what your blog is all about. This will also help them want to stay and see what you have to offer.
The easiest way to find out what content is performing the best on your site is to use a free analytics tool like Google’s Search Console. Just login and navigate to the “Performance” tab. There’s a tab called “Pages” that shows your most successful pages:
There are tools like Milkshake that consolidate and surface your best-performing content automatically, so it helps to use these additional solutions as well.
7. Focus on Typography
The font styles and sizes you use on your website will have a major impact on the general format of your blog. After all, if you use too many variations, it can be tough to read.
Avoid using script or decorative fonts for your headings and body text because they’re hard on the eyes.
In addition, use at least 16pt for the font size of your body text so your readers aren’t forced to zoom in to read it. This is especially true for site visitors accessing your site on a small mobile device.
8. Use Color Carefully
Color plays an important role when it comes to readability, and if it isn’t utilized correctly, you’re making a big mistake.
For example, using dark text on a darker background can make your entire site illegible. Instead, add some contrast between your text and the background.
In addition, make sure your links can easily be distinguished from the rest of the text so people can click them and convert. If you have to, use an accent color for any buttons or calls to action that are included in your blog posts.
9. Include Related Posts and Internal Links
Finally, don’t forget to include related posts at the end of each blog post and link to other parts of your website throughout the post.
This keeps site visitors on your site longer, helps guide people to other parts of your website, and can even earn you higher rankings in search engines. You can easily add a list of related posts manually at the end of each post or use a plugin like Related Posts for WordPress.
And there you have it! 9 surefire ways to format your blog to increase the time people stay on your website, boost engagement, and even supercharge your search rankings.
So, make it a priority to create a style guide and publish highly engaging blog posts that are consistently formatted if you want to succeed. If you do this, your site visitors will enjoy a better user experience and you’ll find your following or customer base growing like never before.