How to Design the Perfect Blog Post

Learn how to design the perfect blog post. Plus get my free checklist for before and after you hit publish. Click through to download it now. 

Blogging is more than just writing your awesome post and hitting publish. There are a lot of things to take into consideration before sending your post into the wild. 

Have you ever visited a blog and while the content was good there was something about it that turned you off? 

Maybe it was the long paragraphs that made it boring to read.

Or maybe it was the small font that hurt your eyes.

Or maybe it was just visually uninteresting.

There are a lot of factors that drive people away from your blog so it's important to design your blog posts with your reader in mind. 

So let's dive in! 
 

Catchy Headline

Once you have your awesome blog post idea it's time to think of a catchy blog post title. 

Catchy titles play a huge part when people are browsing Pinterest. Personally, if I see a blog post title that looks too good to pass up I'm going to 100% click through to read the post. 

Let's look at an example

What headline catches your eye?

  • Learn to Blog

  • Learn to Blog Like a Pro and Create Killer Content

Learn to Blog sounds a little vague and dull and kinda leaves you wondering what it is exactly you'll be learning.

When you see Learn to Blog Like a Pro and Create Killer Content it piques your interest because who doesn't want to blog like a pro and create killer content?!

One of my favourite tools for coming up with headlines is the CoSchedule headline analyzer. It's free to use and helps you create headlines that will get more clicks. It also gives you a full report on what you are doing well and what you can improve on. Fair warning though, it's hard to get a perfect score. The best I've gotten is a 73. 

If you are struggling with coming up with catchy blog post titles then I suggest checking out

this article.

It offers an infographic with fill in the blank titles.


Pinnable Graphic

If you aren't already doing this then it's time to jump on the Pinterest graphic train. 

Creating a vertical graphic for your blog post is one of the most important things your blog post should have.

Why?

As I am sure you know by now Pinterest is huge for bringing in traffic to your website. If someone enjoys your post and they want to save it for later they are likely going to pin it to their Pinterest board. 

Having an image ready to go will guarantee they are pinning what you want them to pin. 

Once it's in the world of Pinterest it will continue to draw new readers to your blog. Score!

Here's a list of what you should include on your graphic:

  • Your blog post title that clearly explains what the reader will learn.
  • If you are offering a free takeaway it's always a good idea to include it on the graphic to entice people to click through.
  • I like to include my website at the bottom of the graphic so people know what blog it's from and to prevent people from stealing my graphic. 

And obviously you can view my Pinterest graphic and the top of this post. 

Your graphic doesn't need to be some crazy design, in fact less is more. You want minimal text and nothing to distracting. You literally have seconds for someone to look at the graphic and decide if they want to click through to find out more. 

Keep it simple and clean. 

 
 

headINGS

Now dive into headings. Breaking up your blog posts using:

h1

h2

and

h3

not only makes it easy on the eyes for your reader but it bumps up your SEO ranking which is always a good thing. Google likes articles that use a variety of different heading sizes so don't be afraid to use them. 

You can see how I use headings throughout this blog post. If you look through some of my older posts you'll notice I rarely ever used them. After realizing it makes my content easier to read and bumps up my SEO ranking I always try to include them in every post.

spacing

When I first started blogging my blog posts looked like the example below.

blog-design

You might be saying, "but what is wrong with that?" and to be honest nothing at all. Short paragraphs, and breaking down content into lists is all fine and dandy. 

However, whenever I'm reading a blog that has content broken down sentences, and even shorter paragraphs I find that I can read their content quickly and move on.

Longer paragraphs take a bit more time to process in your head and you might even find yourself going back to read it again.

A really good example of spacing out your posts is from Melyssa Griffin.

blog-design-melyssa

If you compare hers to mine it's pretty obvious to see which one reads better. 

This is also a good idea for newsletters you send out to your readers. I don't know about you but when I receive a newsletter that is super long and in bulky it turns me off. However, if it's broken down into smaller paragraphs it feels a lot less daunting to read. 


graphics

Humans are visual creatures so it only makes sense to add in a few graphics to your blog posts.

If you are writing a tutorial blog post with step-by-step instructions including graphics is a great idea to show your reader the exact process without leaving them confused. 

Not only are images visually appealing they help you get traffic to your website through Google image search.

In order to get your images to show up in Google you need to make sure you're adding alt tags to them. 

To do this in Squarespace follow these steps:

  1. Upload your image as you normally would in your blog post
  2. Choose "Show Caption"  from the drop down menu. Check out the example below. 
  3. Add your photo description in the caption area below the photo. Pro tip I like to add the exact description I would add to my Pinterest description that way if someone pins your image it will show up how you want it. 
  4. If you don't want the caption to actually show in the post simply hit hide caption and hit save. 

An important thing to remember, especially if it's an image heavy post, that you are uploading your images in a small size to prevent slow loading times. 

A good way to do this is upload your photos to a site like tiny pic and then upload them to your post. 

 
 

Use the right fonts

If you are using fonts that make reading your blog post next to impossible then it's time to change that.

Check out a few examples of bad blog type from my typography post. 

Example of bad blog type

First, avoid centring your blog post copy. It should always be left-aligned. If you tried to read a 1000 word blog post and the blogger had the text centred you'd likely end up with crossed eyes at the end. 

bad-blog-type

Avoid using script fonts in your copy. Do I even need to explain why? It's nearly impossible to read.

bad-blog-type

Unfortunately, I see this problem way too often. Light fonts make your copy really hard to read and the last thing you want is your audience to have to squint to stay focused. 

So what should you use? 

good-blog-type

Plain and simple keep it, well..simple. Your blog copy shouldn't be a place where you show off your design skills. Use a clean font for your header and a clean, readable font for your copy and you are good to go. 

 

Tags and Categories
 

Just a small reminder to make sure you are adding the appropriate tags and categories to your posts. There have been a few times I've forgotten to do this. It's a small step but so important. 

You don't need to add 100 tags to your post, keep it to a few that really narrow down your post topic. 

For example for this post I used: Blog Post Design, Blogging, Perfect Blog Post. 


call to action
 

Adding a CTA (call to action) at the bottom of your blog post is a great way for your readers to take the "next step" to accomplish what they came to learn from you. 

CTA's can be as simple as a checklist to something more in-depth like an ebook. 

Most people put their CTA at the bottom of their post but I personally like putting it throughout my post at least 3 times. People need to see the same thing multiple times before they decide to take action. 

Your CTA should stand out. I like to create a small image that tells my reader to click the image to get their free printable. You've probably noticed it throughout this post ;). 

 

The essentials you need for your blog post. Click through to learn more.

If you would like a printable checklist to make sure you aren't forgetting anything while writing your post then feel free to download my blog post checklist! 

 
 

I would love to hear any important steps you take during the blog post process. Leave them in the comment section. :)