Almost daily I get emails from bloggers who have run into seemingly insurmountable formatting problems. Truthfully there’s not much more frustrating that to finish writing a great blog post and then spend hours trying to get it formatted like you want.
|Formatting issues can take the fun out of blogging!|
Formatting issues can range extra lines that won’t go away, to font sizes that won’t match. These things can creep into your written copy many ways. And can happen no matter which blogging platform you use.
I’ve even seen a blogger spend a weekend moving a blog from one platform to another to only run into the same exact issue. The easiest way for blogging problems to creep in is by using a word processing program to write your blog, then copying and pasting the text into your blog’s compose window.
BUT, that is exactly what I recommend you do. There are several reasons to compose your posts in a word processing program, like Microsoft Word.
|There are several advantages to composing your blog|
posts in a word processing program first.
- Composing in a word processing program gives you a backup of your blog posts in case the unthinkable happens and your blog is erased or compromised.
- Most word processing programs have some version of spell check. This helps keep your blog posts clean and error free.
There are some things you’ll want to leave out of your post because they’re not compatible with the compose window of your blog. Things to avoid when you’re composing your post are:
- Bullet points (add those after you copy your post into the compose window).
- Automatically numbered lists. If you type in the numbers yourself, you’ll be fine. Just don’t let the computer do it for you.
- Paragraph indentions.
Even if you’re careful to avoid those pitfalls there are times when your formatting just won’t work. To get rid of weird formatting that’s hidden in a word processor’s default programming you could add another step and copy and paste your post into a text editor before you move it to your compose window.
But who wants to add an extra step? Not me, that’s for sure!
|How to remove formatting that's clings to a copied blog post.|
So what’s a blogger to do?
Here’s a trick that will make your life easier.
- Go ahead and compose your posts in a word processor.
- Then copy and paste the post into your compose window.
- Next highlight your entire blog post.
- Now here comes the trick—it’s the small icon at the top of your compose window (it looks the same in Blogger, WordPress and Typepad). It looks like a capital T with a small red x beside it. Click this button and you remove any formatting you’ve inadvertently brought over from your word processing program.
|This is where it's found in Blogger. It's just as easy to spot in WordPress and Typepad.|
Now go to the beginning of your post and put in any formatting you want to include.
Now it’s your turn, what tricks do you use to make blogging easier? What issues do you have trouble with? Post your comments below and we’ll all learn from each other.
Don’t forget to join the conversation!