Content Discovery Smackdown: Hootsuite vs. Buffer vs. KloutContent Marketing Minds: Ingredients of the Tastiest Content [Nutrition Label]From the Corn Field to the Digital Era: Content Marketing Starts with TrustContent Marketing: Is 2014 Really Shaping Up to Be the Year of Video?
Your Customers Aren’t Listening! How to Create Consumer Dialogue that Converts4 Tools for Nonprofit Social Listening and Reputation ManagementThe Promising Role of Social Listening in Treating Health IssuesThe Importance of Social Listening for Brands
- Public Relations
Facebook Testing a Way for Users to Buy Products on the Platform7 Website Tips to Attract More Shoppers to Your PagesHow eCommerce, Augmented and Virtual Reality Will Redefine the Retail ExperienceSearch Query Analysis to Increase eCommerce Website Conversions
- Content Marketing
Technology & Data
Social Startups: Bizible Connects All the Dots from Marketing Contributions to RevenueCreating the Perfect Profile for Your Social Media Marketing EffortUsing GPS and Localization for Social AnalyticsAnalytics and Prospect Intel: Discovering Your Ideal Prospect
- Big Data
- Tech & Innovation
3 Security Risks You’re Taking Every Day While Using Social MediaShould the President Have the Power to "Pull the Plug" on the Internet?How Safe is Your WordPress Website From Hackers and Other Malicious Attacks?
- Software & Tools
- Small Business
- Social Organization
Celebrating the Grand Re-Launch of Social Media Today! SBH Podcast Episode 8Why Should You Care If Your Employees Are Thought Leaders?Beyond Engagement: The Art of Managing Social-Media Risk in Employee Advocacy
Why All-in-One Social Media Management Systems Don't Cut It for Social Customer ServiceWhat You Should Know About Customer, Digital, and Contextual ExperienceSurging into Q3: How to Make It Better Than Q2Is How You Serve Your Customers Costing You Business?
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.