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8 Tips for Formatting Your Content

Many small businesses and website managers spend lots of time creating their content but little or no time formatting it. These eight tips can help you format your web content so that it is easy to read, appealing, and likely to keep people on the page.

Formatting Content

Cody

Textbroker Marketing and Communications

Content might be king, but no one will ever be able to read through all your content unless it is formatted properly. Unfortunately, many small businesses and website managers spend lots of time creating their content but little or no time formatting it. These eight tips can help you format your web content so that it is easy to read, appealing, and likely to keep people on the page.

1. Keep Paragraphs Short

Most people who are reading web content scan a page before deciding to read it. They might be looking for key information, or they might just be assessing the content to decide whether it’s worth reading. To make it easier for users to read, split your web content into short paragraphs. This makes the entire article or blog post seem more approachable. At the same time, make sure those paragraphs are composed of short sentences. Long, run-on sentences are overwhelming to readers, and they might cause some users to leave your website altogether.

2. Use Bullet Points and Lists When Possible

In addition to short paragraphs, using lists or bullet points can make your content easier and quicker to read. Imagine that a person is looking up fashion trends for a particular year. If you have a blog post about this, make it obvious what each trend is. A list can help users quickly scan your content and realize its value. Some of the benefits of including a list in your web content include:

    • Information is concisely presented
    • Important talking points are clearly emphasized
    • Content is easy to scan
    • Filler is minimized
    • The whole article becomes less intimidating to read

3. Choose Legible Fonts

One of the worst things you can do to good content is select an illegible font. There might be a time and place for creative, elaborate fonts, but it is certainly not in the main text of online content. Ideally, content should be presented in a common, easy-to-read font. At the same time, don’t try to mix and match fonts on a single page. Doing so can be unattractive. A cohesive look is much more professional as well as easy to read. The same concept applies to colors. Content should be easy to read, but that won’t be the case if the words are in bright pink against a yellow background. When in doubt, keep it simple.

4. Use Headings

Another effective way to format your online content is with headings. Also known as headers, this is a form of HTML that can create a clear headline between paragraphs or concepts. Using HTML headers means readers can clearly see key information because it is bigger and bolder than the rest of the content. There are many header types, with h1 headers being the largest and h6 being the smallest. As you’re creating headers, it also helps to capitalize the principal words in each header. This is another way to format content so that it is a little easier to scan.

5. Create Content With the Inverted Triangle in Mind

A fantastic way to think of successful content is an inverted triangle. When you flip a triangle upside down, the large base is at the top and the narrow point is at the bottom. Think of the top of the inverted triangle as the must-read information. This should be easy to find, and it should be right in the introduction. The middle of the triangle includes supporting details to round out the content. Finally, the end of the content is the tip of the inverted triangle. That includes any links and — if relevant — your final call to action.

6. Add Visual Elements to Your Content

 
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Using visual aids is an aspect of formatting that is often overlooked. When content appears too dense, many readers will skip over it entirely. Adding graphics breaks up the text and makes the whole piece look more appealing. There are plenty of visual elements that you can choose from. If you have original photographs that work well, feel free to use them. You can also choose stock photos online, or you can create infographics or graphs instead. Not only can pictures tell a story on their own, but they can enhance the value of your written content.

7. Make Hyperlinks Easy to Spot

Hyperlinks are links that are embedded into the text. Using hyperlinks is very common, and it is an easy way to provide readers with helpful resources without interrupting the flow of the writing. To make hyperlinks as effective as possible, ensure they’re easy to spot. For most web content, hyperlinks are underlined. They can also be a different color, which makes them pop even more. However, these tactics won’t be as effective if you use colorful fonts or underlined words elsewhere in the content. Reserve those characteristics for hyperlinked text to help readers know exactly where to click.

8. Consider Splitting up Big Articles

If you have put a lot of time or research into a blog post or an article, it’s tempting to create an enormous piece of content. Having too much text at once, however, can be discouraging to some readers. A better idea is to split up your content into two or more pages. You can easily link the two pages, and many readers will start with one page and then move on to the next.

For content to truly shine, it needs to be formatted correctly. When you work with Textbroker, authors use these and other formatting tips to create content that is SEO-friendly, engaging, and still easy to read and scan. Textbroker specialists are standing by to help your business or website create the right content to meet your needs.


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Comments

Marco Mijatovic 29. March 2018 - 13:22

Reading long articles is very tiresome and needless to say, it won’t keep reader’s attention. No one likes to read them, so splitting up big articles into several ones is a great advice. 🙂

Reply

Teresa 5. December 2018 - 6:23

I really liked your article. It makes a surprisingly concise summary of the major aspects to formatting content.

I would also mention the effective use of white space in a document or website.. An intentional use of white space guides the reader’s eyes down the page. Placement of text in relation to headers, subtitles and graphics draws attention to or diminishes the importance of content. This is a similar idea to that used by merchants who position the products bringing in higher returns at eye level on store shelves.

However, I am not talking about adding visual elements. I’m actually endorsing the removal of unnecessary text and graphics. Streamlining your content focuses your reader’s attention and whether they read it or not, they will get meaning from the overall design.

Using design elements in your content presentation will also entice more readers to actually come to your site and using the white space intentionally is an integral part of communicating your content, especially in today’s bullet-point environment.

Reply

Maclean Kelly 24. November 2019 - 0:00

how do I add images to content?

Reply

TB Staff 27. November 2019 - 17:27

Hi! If you are an author, please reach out to Author Services at [email protected] and they will be happy to assist you with this!

Reply

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