Monday, September 7, 2020

Blog Formatting Tricks


by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

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 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.

  1. 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.
  2. Most word processing programs have some version of spell check. This helps keep your blog posts clean and error free.

However, to make the process of copying from a word processing program to you blog compose wide, there are some formatting you'll want to add later. These are things that aren't compatible with the compose window of your blog. 


What when you’re composing in a word processor:

  • 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.
  • Automatic blank line additions before or after a paragraph.

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!


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—look for the small icon at the top of your compose window that either says REMOVE FORMATTING or CLEAR FORMATTING. It may look like a capital T with a small red x beside it or like an eraser. Highlight the misbehaving text and then click this button. It will remove any formatting you’ve inadvertently brought over from your word processing program.

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!

Blessings,

Edie


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Edie Melson is a woman of faith with ink-stained fingers observing life through the lens of her camera. No matter whether she’s talking to writers, entrepreneurs, or readers, her first advice is always “Find your voice, live your story.” As an author, blogger, and speaker she’s encouraged and challenged audiences across the country and around the world. Her numerous books reflect her passion to help others develop the strength of their God-given gifts and apply them to their lives.Connect with her on her website, through Facebook, Twitter and on Instagram.

11 comments:

  1. Thanks for your post, Edie. I have spacing issues on my blog. No matter how many spaces I try to insert between paragraphs, my website theme only puts one. And I can’t change the font style of my posts, but maybe I shouldn’t use different fonts anyway? I use Wordpress.org and the Bard Pro theme.

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    1. Deena, on Wordpress, the font type is set with the theme. So are many of the formatting options. If you want to insert extra blank lines, try holding the shift key while hitting the return button. That often will override the defaults. Blessings, E

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  2. Thanks. This is a big help. You told us to increase the font size and to pick a certain font. But how do you do this on the blog?

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    1. That depends on where your site is hosted. If it's Wordpress, look for the PARAGRAPH icon. Then choose the size from the drop down menu. Your font type in WordPress is defined by the theme you choose. Blessings, E

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  3. Interesting, I'd not thought of composing in a word processor before. Donevy

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    Replies
    1. Donevy, I'm always looking for ways to ensure extra backups of my work without extra effort! Blessings, E

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  4. Replies
    1. Crystal, so glad this was helpful! Blessings, E

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  5. This is great! I have always composed my blog posts in Word, but your tip for helping with formatting is genius. I've had trouble with lists transfering from my copy to the compose window in my wordpress blog. These tips are great!

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  6. Thank you for this, Edie. Formatting has been a major headache for me. Bless you!

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  7. Still working on my first blog, Edie, but I will try your suggestions. I believe I've paid into Wordpress, but I'd have to check. Anyway, thanks for sharing your tips.

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