You can devote countless hours to a blog post, but if it doesn’t have the right format, it could be a flop. The blog post format isn’t an afterthought, but part of your pre-writing thought process. There are many different formats to choose, so how do you know which is best?
The format is usually dedicated by the content. In other words, there isn’t one particular format that’s a clear content winner. You pick a format that suits what you plan to write. To help you make the right decision on your next post, we’ll explore the different kinds of blog formats:
4 common blog post formats and examples
If you’re planning to walk readers through a step-by-step process, the format to choose is a how-to article. This article will read like a conversational manual, with a clear title, numbered steps that each have their own subheading, and specific instructions to help a reader complete a task.
A listicle is a mashup of the words ‘list’ and ‘article,’ so any blog that lists information is, you guessed it, a listicle. These articles tend to have a number in the headline, like “10 Tricks to Shoot a Great TikTok.” It’s also common for listicles to pertain to “tips or tricks” and the content’s purpose is to help a reader perfect something.
Listicles often have catchy titles, which can help drive readers to your site. That said, listicles don’t have a great reputation. Some marketers see them more as clickbait than content since there isn’t much “meat” to the article. However, if a listicle is done well, it can be wildly effective.
Want to interview a client who loves your product? If so, you can turn it into an interview post. These articles mimic a newspaper article with a story revolving around the quotes of one or two people. Of course, who you choose to interview can vary. You could interview a vendor, employee, or mentor.
Even though these articles focus on the thoughts of another person, be sure to keep your audience in mind. What do you want them to learn from this person? Tailor your questions to ensure your readers are the priority.
If you want to provide an aggregated list of resources to customers, you’ll create a curated post. Sometimes they’re called roundups. You could curate a list of the best online healthcare resources or a group of intro articles to educate a first-year marketer on content strategy, for example.
Each resource should be a subhead or listed as a numbered list. The text should include a link to the source. Some of the resources listed should be from your own site or blog and some can be outside sources that aren’t competitors.
These posts are often used by brands as a “quick fix” to plug a content hole since there’s very little writing to do. However, an occasional curated post can be a great tool for readers who don’t want to do research on their own.
These are some of the most common blog formats, but there are more. Your brand might offer thought-leadership posts, which often share opinions on the industry. You might do an FAQs post or a comparison post that looks at two different products or services.
While there are plenty of formats to choose from, the content of the post should steer the format.
Formatting tips to increase readability
Picking the right blog format helps readers digest content, but there are additional formatting tips that you can use to increase readability. They include:
- Use subheads in decreasing size, so your title is H1, subheads under the title are H2, and so on.
- Keep paragraphs to two-three sentences so readers aren’t intimidated by a wall of copy.
- Vary your sentence length.
- Use numbers when you’re listing steps.
- Use bullet points to organize short lists.
- Longer articles can include a table contents at the top to help readers find what they’re looking for immediately.
- Use images to break up text.
Many writers say blog post format is just as important as the words written. Without a supportive format, readers tend to get overwhelmed and stray away from an article. To help maximize an article’s potential, make formatting a priority.