Blogging 101: Why Formatting Matters

Geoffrey Anderson, Editor Digital Marketing

When it comes to marketing, there’s been a trend toward using video and images instead of words. It’s a lot easier to get your message across in 30 seconds of video than it is in a several-hundred-word blog post. After all, attention spans are practically non-existent nowadays.

That’s not to say that words are irrelevant now. Blogs, whitepapers, and other written content continue to hold their own in the marketing world. But if you think just publishing your 2,000-word whitepaper is enough to get – and keep — eyes on your content, you’re wrong.

Stop bombarding your audiences with walls of text. A little formatting magic can keep your content looking sharp and prevent your audience from giving up on your blogs and other collateral:

1. Break up your paragraphs. You’re not producing content for just desktops anymore. Phones, tablets and other smart devices feature screens of various sizes. Your content may look good on a 23-inch monitor, but users on a 6-inch phone may have to scroll and scroll (and scroll) to get to the end of your story. Make life easier for them by regularly breaking up your content into 2- to 3-sentence chunks.
2. Use lists. If you’re listing things, don’t cram them into sentences. Bullets, boxes and other symbols look a lot better than an overcrowded paragraph – a list is just easier on the eyes. No matter the screen size, they just work. On that note …
3. Bold and italicize for emphasis. This sounds like common sense, but some people still fail to highlight the most important information of their content. Whether you use bold, italics, underline or some other formatting feature is up to personal preference, but don’t let things get lost in the shuffle. With that said, don’t over do it either. Bolding entire sentences back to back can confuse your readers rather than help them.

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