Have you ever wondered how popular bloggers keep their blogs up to date? Well, I’m going to let you in on a secret. One way to enable frequent blogging is to use article templates.
An article template provides you with a structure and set of instructions for designing your blog post. It saves oodles of time. If you’re new to blogging, writing a post without a structure can lead to a messy and confusing article.
Using a template to structure your blog posts gives you a:
- Proven formula to follow.
- Formatted page using consistent conventions.
- Structure to sort out your thoughts.
- A quicker writing process.
- A professional business vibe.
Different mediums use templates as a guide for consistent formatting but also to meet reader expectations. Emails, business reports, letters and even restaurant menus become easier to read when they use a familiar structure.
Without a structure to guide the writer, it makes the first edit harder and longer. While consistent blogging improves traffic and reader engagement, using an article template makes frequent blogging easier to achieve.
Use more than one type of article template
As you begin to blog you might notice a repetition in the types of blog posts you write. Keeping a guide for each sort can save you time but also help vary your writing formats.
1. The basic article template
The basic blog post uses the formula of a beginning, middle and end. This dramatic structure observed by Plato and also promoted by Toastmasters International for structuring speeches forms the backbone of most article templates.
The opening should grab the reader’s attention, give background information of your topic and introduce your argument.
In the middle you elaborate on your argument. Toastmaster’s advice on adding sub-points also applies to a blogging structure.
End the post with a summation of the issue reiterating your strongest point.
2. The “why” template
When you need to persuade your reader to take a particular course of action, the “why” template is rather useful. Like many structural variations, the basic article template forms the foundation for this type of blog post.
The introduction provides the background to the action and tells the reader the most shared and well-known reason. Such as: “It’s common knowledge….” or “You may have heard…”.
End the introduction by telling your reader that you’re going to show them X more reasons why.
Use the middle section to elaborate on less well-known reasons for doing the why. The middle is where you give your reader with new information or a new point of view that substantiates the why.
Sum up the new reasons to wrap it up, but return to the original explanation for a 360º closure.
3. The “list” template
Numbered and bulleted lists seem to do well in search engine results. Their popularity may be due to their simple format which makes it easier for readers to scan text.
Not all lists are the same though. Take this blog post, it contains a list of four types of templates, but there’s a substantial amount of information beneath each heading. This post on WordPress plugins also follows a similar list format.
But there are other list structures and formats that you can follow. Most importantly:
- List Posts often have a beginning and conclusion while providing a concise list of items in the middle.
- Each list item consists of one paragraph of up to three or four lines in length.
- The list heading often appears in bold at the start of the paragraph next to the list number.
When it comes to formatting your blog post remember consistency is the key to great communication.
4. The “how to” template
Internet users search the web to solve challenges. The “how to” blog post provides a step-by-step solution to a problem. It may also incorporate one or more lists into the answer.
“How to” blog posts are like human resource procedures. While they have similar aims, you don’t want your “how to” post to be as dry as some organisations’ training handouts. But using a verb at the start of each step makes the process easy to read.
- Take one cup of icing sugar and pour it into a glass bowl.
- Crack three large eggs.
- Separate the egg white from the yolk.
- Fold the egg whites slowly into the sugar.
- Whisk the sugar and egg whites for 5 minutes until well blended.
- Scoop up large spoonfuls of the fluffy mixture.
I’m not 100% sure what this recipe is trying to create, maybe meringues? But regardless of your topic, always strive to write your posts in active voice.
Practice blogging with article templates
Not everything you write will fit your templates. Allow room in your writing for flexibility. But keep it simple. Online readers like to scan fresh content, so format the post into bite-sized chunks of information. Use headings, bullet points, numbered lists and images to free meaning.
If you blog regularly and use article templates, you can check analytics and see which structures your audience likes best. After a while, you’ll find it takes less time to write a blog post, as the more you write, the more the templates become second nature.