Print media and content have their own set of disadvantages, but one thing that is perfectly taken care of, is that their stories are easy to read. By this, I simply mean that they format, add layout and readability to each specific story.
Print content creators make sure their offered content is readable, by constraining the width of their columns and that’s what their readers expect. Blog writers need to do the same and format their blog posts so they’re easy to read. So what is a proper layout and format of a blog post?
Long narrow newspaper columns mean your eye can easily jump from the end of one line to the beginning of the next without losing its place. If the column’s too wide readers will keep getting lost unless they enlist their finger to help them keep track. Even if they do that they’ll get frustrated and won’t enjoy the reading experience
Newspapers follow set rules for the formatting and layout, their stories to make them easy to read and bloggers need to follow some too. Blog writing and formatting content for the Web is more complex than writing for print because how we read on a computer screen is different to how we read in print and more challenging.
Blog Rules are Based on Two Things:
People skim read when they read things on-screen
A website or blog is missing the usual cues that let us know how long an article is. Pick up a book or cast your eye over a newspaper article, and you’ll instantly be able to gauge how long it is and how long it will take to read. Online the only way to find that out is to scroll down to the end of the blog post and that’s what most people do. While they’re at it, they’ll also try to scan read the post. A long body of text is scary.
Even if the headline appeals to them, with no other clues about the content, people will be reluctant to start reading. By helping people scan your blog posts with a good layout and telling them more about what information they’ll find in it, you can entice them to read the post in full.
It’s harder to read things on-screen than on print
Screen legibility is improving along with resolution and screen size but there are still some simple rules you need to know to help people read your blog more easily. No matter how great your blog content and blog writing is, if it’s not easy to read, people won’t enjoy it and won’t come back for more.
10 Rules For Proper Layout And Format Of A Blog Post
#1 Format Every Blog Post
Write your posts with the page layout in mind or edit them to make sure they’re well formatted for scan reading.
#2 Constrain Column Width
Keep the blog post column width about 80 characters or less (including spaces) and your readers will thank you for it.
#3 Use Headers and Sub-headers
Headers and sub-headers will break up long blog posts, help people scan read your blog and convince them to read the post.
#4 Use Lists
Numbered lists or bullet pointed lists help people scan blog posts fast and find the information they’re looking for quickly.
#5 Use Punctuation
Use full stops, commas, dashes and colons to break up each paragraph into smaller pieces of information that make sense quickly.
#6 Short Paragraphs
Because reading is harder online it’s best to break text into manageable chunks.
#7 Font Type & Size
Sans-serif fonts (without the squiggly bits) are generally supposed to be easier to read on-screen, in particular Verdana. Successful Blogging uses the sans-serif font Roboto (without the squiggly bits) which is also designed for easy reading on-screen. For font size, big is better. Teeny tiny writing is hard to read online, even for people with 20/20 vision like me. Make it bigger.
#8 Be Bold
Don’t overuse bold text or it loses its effectiveness but do use bold text to make a splash and highlight important sentences that will catch people’s attention and draw them into, or on with, the blog post.
#9 Use Images
Good use of images will draw readers into your blog posts. Ideally, your images will add to your blog or emphasize your message.
#10 Be Consistent
Regular writing & posting requires consistency. And results are unmatched. Make sure you keep it constant.
Final Wrap Up Of Rules
To make most of the rules for a proper format and layout of a blog post – decoded, do a practice run test, pick up an old blog and add a new catchy headline, CTAs; doesn’t matter if the content is same, add a new smart formatting to it. Make it easy for the audience to read it on the web. And surely it will have a better reader base and number than it did in the first time round.
Do share your feedback and did it worked for you.