Visual Organization: a friendly post

Dismal PrintThis is another of my posts on blogging tips. Here I offer a few suggestions on how to make your posts visually and intellectually more pleasing.

I don’t know about you, but if I come upon a post that is a long, rambling, black-and-white desert of dismal typeface I probably won’t read it unless that author is famous or I already know that their writing is amazing — and that ain’t many of us!  So below are my suggestions for improving the visual appearance of posts by us ordinary bloggers.

Organize, Organize, Organize

Organize your thoughts.  Think of the main points you want to make.  Don’t try to make too many points.  Do several posts instead of one long rambling post.  But even your shorter posts will need an outline, a structure, some organization.

After organizing your thinking, use your post’s layout to illustrate your outline — show us that you didn’t just write a post like you write a letter to a friend where you just ramble.  Show us that you did a little work for us.

One way to organize your post is to create an outline first.  The other way is to just write your thoughts out (like that rambling letter) and then go back, look at your rambling, pick out your main points and then re-organize it.

Now your post should be organized and contain an implicit outline. Making that outline visually apparent in your post will do us all a big favor.  One, it keeps us reading and two, after reading, it helps us remember what you said

Two main ways to show us your organization and beautify your post is by using illustrations and sections.


Paragraphs are easy — anyone can ramble.  See how the illustration I made above demonstrates my point. So if your post is going to be long, consider doing a little work and create images.  Tables, bulleted lists and diagrams or pics work well too in showing us the effort you put into organizing your thoughts.  Illustrations are visually easier to digest than paragraph after plain paragraph of dry print.


Don’t write more than 5-6 paragraphs without breaking your posts into sections. Show us your organization.  This will keep down unnecessary verbosity.

Here is how to make sections:

    • Bold Titles:  Put a bolded title to each paragraph section.
    • Simple Titles:  Don’t make cute or cryptic titles that can only be understood after reading the paragraphs.  Instead, your paragraph titles should be clear. They should illustrate the outline of your post. Make those titles explanatory (instead of tricky or fancy).  Make the title draw me forward and keep me reminded of the smooth flow of your ideas. Create them in such a way that I can look back at them and actually remember the logic of your argument or your presentation.
    • Indentation:  Indent after each section.  This is easier on the eye, breaks up the paragraphs and visually displays your outline.



Filed under Blogging

3 responses to “Visual Organization: a friendly post

  1. This (your post) is mostly good advice. I try to follow those principles.

    When I started blogging, I would make section headers with bold. However, more recently, I am making section headers with the “h3” tag. With WordPress, that’s “heading 3” in the “Paragraph” box on the editor window. Unfortunately, the theme I am using doesn’t make the “h3” tagged items stand out enough, so I also add bold. I’ve tried “h2”, but the font looks a bit too big with that. So “h3” seems about right.

    In a comment, I would just use bold, though I mostly make comments short enough that they do not need sections.

  2. TWF

    Great advice. We’ve all got our attention limits, and I think the strategies you’ve laid out are bound to be effective in keeping readers focused and interested.

    Thanks for the advice. I’ll probably more-thoroughly incorporate it into my Tongues blog.

  3. Wanda

    We write stories on our blog. Either the post author or our Editor in Chief selects pictures and sometimes music for the posts.

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