Twitter's Controversial Algorithm Changes: What They Mean for Your BusinessTwitter Vs. Facebook: Which One Is Better for Promoting Your Brand?3 Free Twitter Tools PR Pros Can't Live WithoutSocially Stephanie: Social Media for the Automotive Industry
Technology & Data
Data and Creativity: Defining Your Data-Driven Social CampaignTalking Strategy and Data with Shannon Lee of Precision StrategiesNew IBM Study Reveals 3 Key Characteristics of the Most Successful CompaniesMinority Report: Confronting Privacy Issues in Big Data Gathering
- Tech & Innovation
- marketing automation
- Social Tools
Social Change Agent Survey: Passion, Skill Set, and Persistence Lead to Career GrowthThe Social Shake-Up Attracts Wide Breadth of Brands and Industries5 Ways to Stay Ahead of the Social Business Curve at The Social Shake-UpThe Viral Nature of Management
- Small Business
- Social Organization
Recap from the First-Ever Employee Advocacy SummitFormer IBM Senior Advisors Launch Brands Rising to Build Employee Advocacy ProgramsPerformance and Risk Management Through Social Media TrainingEmployee Advocacy Summit: Advocate Stories from the Field
- Customer Service
Join us September 15th in Atlanta for The Employee Advocacy Summit and learn how to unleash the power of your employees.
Post your event here and we'll share it with our community. If one of our members is featured, we'll promote as well on their profile.
- Marketplace & Webinars
The SMT Marketplace
Your resource for exclusive content and insights from Social Media Today, and opportunities to reach our community of professionals.
The Social Business Book Club brings you books, discussions, and insights from today's to business thought leaders.
Join interactive talks and and panel discussions with leading thinkers and practitioners on social media and networked business, or browse the catalogue of recorded sessions - all completely free.
Reach Social Media Today's community of marketing and communications professionals in an editor-approved context with a native advertising package.
Nine Formatting Best Practices for Every Blog Post
Posted on December 16th 2013
You can have the best copy and the smartest message in the world. But if your blog post isn’t formatted correctly or cleanly, it can significantly cut into the impression, impact and conversion potential of your content.
Based on both what we see across the web and attempt to do on this blog consistently, here are nine formatting best practices we’re particular sticklers about (and recommend you be as well).
How you choose to handle spacing is up to you. Space between sentences, between paragraphs, before the beginning and end of bulleted lists, etc. Just be consistent. Nothing stands out more than inconsistent spacing.
Bullets and sub-bullets
Similar story. If you start with carets, stick with carets. If you use circular bullets, stick with them.
Online copy needs to be read in short bursts. A reasonable paragraph in print will look impossibly long and intimidating online. My general rule of thumb is that a “traditional” paragraph in print should be at least two, and maybe three, paragraphs in online or blog format.
I hate blogs that highlight every other word or phrase linked to somewhere. But if you reference a person specifically or content from elsewhere, give them the courtesy of a link. It’s a great way to get their attention and also participate in the online community (plus encourage more link-backs to your blog in the process). This isn’t as much about formatting as it is etiquette, but it’s still important.
Every blog post needs a photo, ideally something that anchors the post and will accompany it in syndication. Pick something relevant but unique, from iStockPhoto or any other rights-free source.
Calls to action and related articles
Don’t leave your readers hanging. Every good blog post should offer something next. It doesn’t have to be a call to action to a lead asset, it can simply be links to other, related and/or associated articles. Just don’t leave your readers in a dead-end.
Hard to believe that some blogs still don’t highlight their social channels at all, and make it even harder to one-click share the blog post across social channels. I really like Floating Social, which not only sits prominently on the left-hand side of the post but “floats” with the post as you scroll down. That way you don’t have to decide to put the social sharing buttons at the top or bottom of the post. It’s just there on the side, all the time.
Highlight guest authors at the top and bottom of the post
This is a bit of a nit, but when you allow a guest blogger to contribute something, give them the courtesy of a highlight up front and at the end. This helps them get more noticed and more followers to their own channels as well.
Always link back to anyone mentioned (individual or company) and let them know
If you do happen to to mention specific companies or individuals in your post, link to them and give the a courtesy heads-up (via email or phone) that they’ve been mentioned. They’ll appreciate it, and likely share the post with their networks as well.