Formatting Your blog with WordPress
If you’re fairly new to blogging, you’ve probably heard about “headings”. This is part of WordPress formatting for your blog. Using headings tells Google several things. It definitely helps with Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and allows Tables of Contents to be provided for your posts.
In this post, we’ll talk about formatting options, as well as add-ins for Tables of Contents to help separate your page, and guide your reader to various parts of your post. But first, let’s start with an outline.
Outline your Post
You can start with a simple outline. Write down your key ideas for your post. I put mine in Milanote (see screenshot below), but you can use anything you want…paper, Trello, Evernote, Google Docs, the list is unlimited.
For each major section you will be talking about, use Heading 2. The heading “Heading 1” is reserved for the Title of your Blog.
If you need to talk about a subsection, use “Heading 3”. For example:
Blog Title (Heading 1)
Main Headings (Heading 2) (In this case, “Use Headings and Subheadings”)
Subsection (Heading 3) (For example, “Use Subheadings”)
Using headings and subheadings also help with your Tables of Contents.
Tables of Contents
There are several plug-ins available for WordPress that create Tables of Contents for you on the go. My current favorite is LuckyWP Table of Contents. I previously used Table of Contents Plus; however, it hasn’t been updated in four years and I felt it was time for an upgrade.
Here’s how my post Write an Awesome Blog Post in WordPress looks as a Table of Contents:
Body Formatting with Bold, Underline, Italics
There is formatting available for the text as well. You can use bold, underline, italics, or all three. This formatting can be used to emphasize words, quotes, sentences, or anything you want.
However, color of fonts is limited UNLESS you use CSS stylesheets, an advanced topic covered elsewhere. You can read about CSS stylesheets at W3Schools.
Check Grammar and Spelling
If you use something like Google Docs, Microsoft Word, or even WordPress itself, you can setup the app to check grammar and Spelling automatically. See the way Grammarly works in Google Docs below.
See my post on Top 10 Blog Content Editors for your Phone, Tablet, or Computer for more details on editing, grammar, and spelling.
In most all applications, including Google Docs, Microsoft Word, WordPress, and Evernote, the following shortcuts work. Do the shortcut once to turn it on, and once again to turn it off:
Ctrl-e Center Text
Ctrl-l Left align Text
Ctrl-r Right align Text
Ctrl-a Select All
Don’t Overdo Formatting
Using TOO many underlines, bolds, italics, UPPERCASE, alignment can be detrimental to your reader. None of us like to see too much of a good thing. When you use the formatting features, look at your post on several platforms: Windows, Chrome, Edge, Internet Explorer, iphone, iPad, Android Tablet, Chromebook, Macbook, whatever you have available. Have your friends take a look on the platforms you don’t have. See how it looks on each platform to determine whether or not it is overdone.
Make your Blog Posts Shine with WordPress Formatting
Make a point to show off your blog posts using WordPress formatting. If you want a cheatsheet of the formatting tips and tricks, sign up below!
As always, happy blogging!
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