Already half the way through this 8-part series on better blogging. The first three parts are linked below this post; today we're covering why it's important to design readable blog posts and also how to make that happen.
Design Readable Blog Posts
Step one, use headers like the one directly below the first paragraph and above this sentence. Headers are an easy way to make a post look more professional and create natural white space within a blog post.
In fact, here's a list of some ways to "design" readable blog posts:
- Include headers. As mentioned above.
- Create lists. Like this list. It makes information easy to find and digest.
- Bold items in the list. Again, this helps with finding and digesting...err...brain food.
- Use short paragraphs. Two to three sentences is ideal for a blog paragraph. Anything longer than five sentences is not ideal.
- Use short sentences. This is not always possible, but concision is a super goal in blogging.
- Break up paragraphs. Two to three paragraphs is ideal between headers or other types of breaks.
- Use images. Images are great for making a blog look professional in the actual post, but they can also help with social sharing and even SEO (or search engine optimization).
- Include links. If you can link to content within the post, great. If not, at least link to previous posts (as I'm doing below).
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What Kind of Design Experience Do I Need?
Actually, none of this takes any design experience. All blogs were anything give their bloggers the ability to bold text, to break paragraphs, to include images, to make numbered and unnumbered lists, and more.
You can have a super looking blog by following these simple guidelines. Of course, there are always ways to take it up a notch and provide your readers with an even more exceptional experience, but I promise you that taking the steps above will put you ahead of the curve.
Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community, which includes editing Writer’s Market and Poet’s Market. He regularly blogs at the Poetic Asides blog and writes a poetry column for Writer’s Digest magazine. He also leads online education, speaks on writing and publishing at events around the country, and does other fun writing-related stuff.
A published poet, he’s the author of Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53) and a former Poet Laureate of the Blogosphere.
Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.