How My Formatting Has Evolved In 3 Years Of Blogging ft Sharing My Formatting System

I can’t believe I’m about to immortalise my old formatting for years to come in screenshots. Future me is already cringing at this. Something that’s hugely important with the creation of posts, is the formatting of them, how they’re laid out. Have I always had aesthetically pleasing formatting? No…although eventually it will appear that way because I intend to reformat every single post so it matches. Grab a cuppa friends, as I’m about to take you down memory lane and explain my formatting process as it changed.

My formatting has definitely evolved through the years of blogging. In it’s earliest form it was a splurge of bright colours, awkward dividers and me enjoying line breaks too much. Gradually as I learned more about blogging as well as read more blog posts, I figured out a layout I loved. I think it’s important for me to mention that I struggle with perfectionism specifically when it comes to visual things and it often shows itself in my need for things to visually match.

That bled into my formatting throughout 2017 to early 2020. I wanted everything to “look the same” – same dividers, same text colours, same layout and same style of featured images. It’s taken 3 years for me to realise…it’s ok for things to not exactly be formatted the same. Certain posts require a different style of formatting, depending on how text heavy a post is. What matters is having a formatting system in place, which allows your posts to all remain consistent yet be unique-ish with the formatting. 

Evolution Of My Formatting

2017 Formatting

Ok so something that I’ve done since the early days is have an intro and an outro which is then separated by a divide of some sort. At the start I used those weird divides and I was all about throwing bright colours everywhere. It is always a time, going back to reformat old posts. 

I also used to put the questions/subheadings in the heading 1 which you should not. That screws over your SEO and confuses the browsers bots which index your posts. 

Related Blog Post: Becky’s got a lot of informative posts on her blog, specifically her entire blogging 101 series I’d recommend. In this instance though I’d suggest checking out Blogging 101: SEO For Beginners on her blog Uptown Oracle! 

Oh I don’t have any graphics, at all and my sign off is awkward as hell. Whilst I do plan to reformat my posts, I’m mostly leaving the text untouched. but we fix typos. 

These screenshots are from original 2017 posts. Something I managed to keep consistent at least is how I align my text. You’ll notice it’s either a centre align or justify align. For me, that’s just a personal preference, I find justified looks neater and nicer to look at. Similarly I prefer centre aligned for sub heading, I’ll talk more about this in a bit but I do use left align for certain things!

2018 Formatting

This is from a 2018 post and it’s this awkward transition stage where I’m using graphics AND horrible colours still. *sighs* I felt like colours added something to the text, when in reality all they add is pain to people’s eyes because I chose bright colours. 

I did have different coloured hearts and a different coloured set to mark the start of the post and the end. This was also the stage where I introduced having a graphic sign off, it’s since been removed from my media though xD

2019 Formatting

This is perhaps the closest to my current style formatting, the graphics are mostly the same just the colours have changed and the mug is simpler now. 

Oh something I do is bold the outro, some people choose to make it bigger and all that jazz. Again this is total personal preference but I just bold the outro. Once upon a time I used to use a darkish blue for the intro and bold that then a brightish pink for the outro and bold that. Yes it looked as hideous as you imagine it to be.

2020 Formatting

All of this brings us to my current style of formatting mid way through 2020! I’m going to show you a screenshot from one of my Bookending Spring posts, simply because it utilises several different of the elements I use. Purple is the main colour you’ll see within my blog posts, simply because it’s my blog’s primary colour. 

Breakdown Of My Formatting System

Now that you’ve witnessed the evolution of my formatting, it’s time for a breakdown of my formatting as it stands today in 2020. I would also like to say that at the time of writing this I’m still using the classic editor, I am clinging onto it for dear life ahem. 

Something I created for ease is a “HTML sheet”. What that is, is all the formatting elements correctly sized in one draft post. I can have it open whilst I write my posts for ease and it’s super handy. In the block editor you could and would probably want to make each of these elements their own block. however the block editor illudes me and that’s not todays post

  • solid (purple): info about a series/feature
  • doubled (purple): excerpts from other sites/prompts for bookend events
  • dotted (purple): sharing someones social media at the bottom of a post e.g collab/guest posts
  • doubled (blue): related blog post/s
  • spoiler tag: used to list other posts in a series/hides spoilers etc
  • grey background: currently only used within book blogging 101 posts

  • graphics: these are my graphics which I regularly use in posts to break up the sections
  • Imagines info template: a template with the exact info relating to my imagines post (makes for easy copying and pasting hehe)
  • medium purple/dark purple/grey background: these are narrower and I use them behind sub headings in text heavy posts and in posts where there’s not enough text to warrant using my dividers.

There are several of the boxes I don’t currently use and I do have several other templates in this post, for my other series. It’s a system which works for me, as I don’t use the block editor, so it’s nice to just have everything in one place. It’s all formatted to the correct size, colour, alignment so I just have to copy and paste.

Aside from the HTML formatting, I also use the available headings, bolditalicbold italic and strikethrough. I have yet to play with changing the size of text within a paragraph, simply because as much as it’s pleasing on others posts…I have zero patience to do that. 

  • heading 2: section headings within a post/questions for a tag or award
  • heading 3: sub headings within a section
  • bold & medium purple: this combo is used for links
  • bold: used for emphasis
  • italics: I tend to do this to anything in brackets and anything that is an action/sound from me *waves* like that hehe.
  • left alignment: often bullet lists are in left alignment as well as sub headings (the sub headings largely depends on the type of post!)
  • centre alignment: section headings/questions for tags/most things are centre aligned
  • justified alignment: I use this for the majority of a posts body text – it’s personal preference I just like how justified text looks

 

Well I hope you enjoyed seeing how my formatting has evolved in the 3 years I’ve been blogging. This is a reminder that your formatting will evolve, it will improve as you get better and grow as a blogger. My formatting did not look like it does now from the start.

How do you format your blog posts? Do you have a system like me or not? Also shout out to everyone who’s being forced to use the block editor, you’re doing great ❤ Let me know in the comments!

 

26 thoughts on “How My Formatting Has Evolved In 3 Years Of Blogging ft Sharing My Formatting System

  1. This is a great post and definitely something that I can see helping out newbie bloggers. My format is constantly changing as well. It’s a constant trial and error with what is working and what isn’t. It also depends a lot on what I enjoy seeing and reading in other posts!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah thank you Bec! Yes formatting is definitely a trial and error process, which will constantly evolve as you find new inspiration from others posts. I think for now though my formatting is staying like it is haha, thanks for reading and commenting ❤

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  2. I.. have not seen my old posts in a very long time and I SHOULD but I’m also lazy. At this point, I feel overwhelmed with what I do for my current posts and my style is still evolving so adding reformatting of old posts to my schedule would make it too much. Bravo for going through old posts and even showing us how they look!

    I don’t love formatting but nowadays I like the result so I’m playing around with it more. When I was experimenting with it a couple years back, someone I know in real life mentioned that I use a ton of colours. It caused me to take a step back and understand that too much is also not good. So now I try to stick to a few ways of formatting and I try not to do too much.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I mean I find myself cringing a lot when I’m reformatting posts because who let me use so many colours hahaha. Yeah going through old posts is a lot of energy but I feel like I’m going to stick with this type of formatting for now, as I really like how it looks hehe.

      Yeah I also used a lot of colours back in the day but it’s honestly a lot nicer to keep it simple (plus it’s easier on us to format then when it’s simple!) I do enjoy formatting though, it’s a pretty therapeutic process for me hehe. Thanks for reading and commenting Sumedha! ❤

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  3. I wish I had a system for my formatting. To be honest I think my formatting has gotten worse since the block editor came out because even when I make the post look how I want to on the editing side, it never looks that way once it’s published. Formatting is a major struggle.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So far I’ve managed to avoid using the block editor, not sure how much longer I’ll last before they shove me across to it though *sobs* If you want to see how it looks your best friend is “preview post” I always check how my post looks via this, as sometimes things aren’t lining up how I want them etc. Highly recommend using that to help you out ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh man, I’m scared to look at my old formatting lol Even now I don’t think it’s the best but I’m too lazy to tweak things lol. Your new formatting is great! I like the boxes, it helps draw the eye to something.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Old formatting is a journey down cringe road for so many of us haha 😉 Ah thank you, I really love it too and yes the boxes have been a huge help for me in terms of drawing people’s eye and the whole structure of my posts. Thanks for reading and commenting! ❤

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  5. I have come a long way too, when it comes to formatting but I still stick to more basic. I do what works for SEO and looks good. Having said that, I love what you have been doing to your blog in the past few years that I have known you!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. If I think back to my old reviews I want to cringe 😂😂 I should go and reformat them… but I’m already going to spend some of the holidays creating a review directory page – which I know will be a long thing. And then I still need to create pins for all my old posts 😥
    It is good to get your old reviews up to your current formatting speed, though! I see the merit in that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It does take a long time, I’ve been doing it chunks and sort of as I go. If I’m linking to an old post in a new post, I’ll go back and reformat it and maybe do a new featured image but I make the reformatting a priority over a featured image haha.

      Ooooo that sounds like a lot of work but for a worthwhile result of having a directory page hehe, good luck with that and creating pins haha, I’ve not gone near pins yet ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • I just renamed all the pictures (well the book covers) I had in my media and that took some out of me 😂 so I’ll think I’ll wait a bit for the reformatting and pin creation.
        But at least now I just have to type in a few words for a specific book.

        I think I’ll probably tackle both – pins and directory throughout Christmas 😂 we aren’t going away so less stress to do social events.

        But pins I’ve realised are more work than I first thought! Haven’t gotten any clicks, as far as I know, but some views, which is at least good.

        Liked by 1 person

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