Monday Masterclass: How to Create Epic Blog Posts

Want to learn how to write a blog post that your audience will love? In this post, we show how visual elements can complement your blog posts and improve your readers’ experience.

Long-Form content has been around for as long as we’ve had the ability to compile and record large amounts of information and narrative. Occasionally it falls out of fashion, but it’s back and judging by its online presence and level of engagement it cannot be ignored.

After seeing some great examples of Long-Form content, the resounding conclusion should be:

Good content + Great visuals = Great long form post

Visuals aren’t merely for decoration, they create spacing elements that provide the written matter with a pace and rhythm. 

The various techniques used, work like cliffhangers in TV shows, teasing the audience with an open-ended piece of information, or a question that gets their minds buzzing.

But, as great as your writing may be, you still need eye candy.

Getting this visual aspect of long-form content right is crucial. You’ll want to break up your wall-to-wall mass of text. You’ll want to make it easy to navigate, so be sure to include headings, anchors and a table of contents. By merely adding some basic visuals such as photos, videos, and other media (e.g. the very trendy infographics, or the less trendy regular charts and graphs) content will increase views by an average 77%, according to MDG Advertising’s analysis of 10,000 press articles.

How to Approach Designing your Epic Post Layout

Our suggestion is to approach your design only after your second draft. 

Whether your article is heavy on data, or more of a story piece, you should be able to identify the weaker, ‘boring’ parts. The moments when you are most likely to lose the reader’s attention and interest.

We feel that every visual element should have a reason. Will it draw interest? Will it keep the reader engaged? Every post has its own personality. 

Write a successful blog post

The Visual Assets to Keep on Your Accessory Belt

Because we’re talking about a blog post, we’ll want to maintain a certain level of consistency and familiarity across all of our posts, and we can achieve that by saving the section and page designs we want to keep using as Templates and saving widget styles and configurations as Global Widgets.

Spacing

Visual blog post

I still feel that space is an overlooked visual asset, and deserves as much attention as any of the assets we’ll be mentioning here. Space is an integral part of design, and has been ever since the first cave-dweller drew the very first line. Just as certain lines, composition, and color have fallen in and out of fashion, so too has certain uses of space. Currently, we like lots of space; because of the streamlined, almost surgically-clean, fresh feeling that we get as a result.

Design your space, around and in between blocks of text, paragraphs, and headings. You could do this as an initial sketch on paper, but it’s probably easier to by pasting your bare text (without any formatting) on to your page in the Elementor Editor. Using the Text Editor and Heading widgets you can divide and space sections of text, and see the effects in realtime.

You’ll want to take advantage of the padding and margin settings of columns, sections, and widgets, in each element’s respective Advanced tab. (There are also spacing parameters that you could use in the Style tab.)

Table of Contents (TOC) and Lists

The structure of the blog postThe structure of the blog post

Earlier this year, Backlinko and BuzzSumo published their analysis of 912 million blog posts, proving that list posts do exceptionally well on social media. However, the level of readers’ engagement with lists does not end with sharing.

Even the basic format of a TOC will break up the monotony of block paragraphs and create some of that much-needed space. It requires the reader to pause and reassess what is in front of them. A TOC, indeed any anchored list, also gives the reader the freedom to jump ahead, jump back, even revisit the page at some future point.

Lists are great when you want to summarise your main points, or list pros and cons.

Don’t forget that as human beings we tend to enjoy lists because they help us organize detailed information so that we can remember it better.

This is true for any list: numbered lists, bullet lists – following these list, trying to commit them to memory is, again, part of the reader-engagement we’re striving for.

In fact, you might want to consider turning one of your detail heavy paragraphs into a list.

Remember that long-form posts are written and designed for longevity. We want readers to enjoy coming back to it and locating the information easily.

Images and Collages in Blog Posts

Visual blog post

This may seem obvious to many of us, but it’s still worth mentioning that we love images.

We’ve been enjoying images since before we could read, and in our early years of reading, the few pictures in a storybook would lure us to read further. Let me save you the embarrassment and, on behalf of the majority of readers, admit that I too skip ahead to look at the illustrations and images in a book or article before coming back to the beginning and reading it through.

We know our own behavior, and we already know that combinations of images a text generate engagement. The trick is to use this information to our advantage and place images or collages of images in a way that flirts with the need for images.

Some prefer to places a big cover image at the top of the text, above the heading, or in the middle of the introduction paragraph. The design is up to you. You know your material and audience.

But you may want to consider using a collage as your opening image. Perhaps your collage will be comprised of images that will be using individually later in the article. Perhaps they are examples of what can be done with a certain technique or tool you’ll be discussing. The goal here is to whet the appetite of the reader.

Block Quotes Improves Blog Post Readability

The blockquote adds to every blog post

Yes, block quotes are essentially text, but I don’t see them as text because they have a more decorative aspect. The change in font size, style, and position, like the space they create on the page, provides a pause for the reader. The quotes themselves should be powerful, perhaps provocative, enough to tease the reader into reading further and understanding the context in which this quote was said. By turning the block quote into a clickable link, we get even more engagement from the reader sharing it on social networks.

Videos, Motion effects, GIFs in Blog Posts

Source: Giphy

For many content creators, videos and motion effect animations are considered the ‘big guns’. This could be because of the level of engagement that they create, or because of the resources that go into creating them. (As you can see, we’ve also added a video to this article to prove this point.)

As with all of these visual elements you can place them anywhere. Some will always place videos at the top of their post. Others in the middle. You could use them as a background.

You might consider using short videos running in a loop, similar idea to embedding a GIF image (which is another great way to break up chunks of written matter). However, video offers better quality and more detail than a GIF.

We also suggest storing your videos on your hosting platform. The advantage of embedding videos this way, as opposed to using, YouTube videos, for example, is that commercial video platforms will always carry a distinct look in their UI. They don’t always loop nicely either. This way your post will have a nice organic-looking feature running smoothly and seamlessly on a loop.

Adding Data Visualisation to Blogs: Graphs, Tables, Infographics

Visualizing the data with graphs and tables is another great way to break up a mass of text, and make the experience just that more engaging. This way, readers get a break from constantly reading left-to-right, now they can read top-to -bottom. We also enjoy that moment when we try to decipher the structure of the graph, like solving a puzzle.

This is especially true of infographics that in recent years have been proving to be very helpful in providing engagement. Websites like Venngage are a great resource to quickly make your own custom-made inforgraphics. 

Source: venngage.com

Blocks of Color As a Way of Differentiating Your Posts

Beautiful blog post design
Source: BBC

Even in the background, blocks of color will rattle the monotony of a page. They help to highlight paragraphs, to make them appear more important or interesting. Even if they are angled regions of color floating behind your text, they will still help by adding life to the look of your article.

They are also used to help certain parts of information more memorable. For example, a ‘Top Tip’ or a significant ‘takeaway’ might be more noticeable in a color box.

Bottom Line: Write Epic Blog Posts!

We could go on and elaborate on even more visual assets that could be used, but I think that if you’ve read our post this far, you guys are literally getting the picture here.It’s down to your unique ability and imagination to take what we’ve shown you here and create an epic post that is gripping, but visually captivating.

Liked This Article?

We have a lot more where that came from! Join 760,658 subscribers who stay ahead of the pack.
By entering your email, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

About the Author

Simon Shocket
Simon Shocket
With a background in graphic design and animation, Simon began his writing career in the entertainment industry, followed by a fruitful career in advertising, before moving into hi-tech journalism. Simon also performs with several bands and musical productions. After all, he was born in Manchester, UK, and that’s a lot to live up to.

Share on

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Comments

32 Responses

  1. Really nice result. But how to do it, when you use a blog grid (posts widget) and the single post template?

    1. exactly same question for me!

      + how to add a “read more” button (ie after x lines of content) To me this is the most valuable feature request.

      1. Ralph, If you’re editing a blogs post in “posts” in WordPress, there should be a plus sign that pops “blocks” with a hover over. You want to go in there, under “Layout Elements” and drag the “More” blog to where you want it in your text blog. This adds the “Read More” extender.

        Hope that helps!

        1. Hi Nichole,
          yes and no 😉
          In Block editor it shows up and seems to be fine. As soon as it is published with my elementor post template: nothing there (the entire post without any “read more extender”).

          I am really suffering!!!!!

    2. Hi! Once you’ve created your “single” post template under theme builder and that you set the conditions to apply to all posts, you can create a new post with the “WordPress Editor” and edit it with Elementor.
      That’s how I do it.
      Let me know if it helps.

  2. Does Elementor have a TOC widget? Or any plans to introduce one? I’d love to give them a try. Or it’s just simply built with anchor links?

    1. I’m using “Easy Table of Contents” plugin by Steven A. Zahm. It’s very simple to use and is customizable. The table of contents is generated by the headers found on a page. You can also create “nested” table of contents.

  3. Can I build design of blog posts (after clicking on the post) in elementor? How do I do it? I have installed Astra theme. Is having Hello theme a compulsory pre condition?

    Plese, let me know more annd thanks

    Matus

  4. It was an okay video. Nice talk about blog esthetics, but the title is misleading. It says how to “create” not how to design a blog. I really thought it was going to go through features how to layout the archive page, how to set different categories and etc..

    1. It says ‘How to design epic blog POSTS’, not how to set up a blog. The title isn’t misleading, you just misunderstood the premise.

  5. Hi Simon, yeas, TOC is very important. Some claim lso for SEO.

    So, what about an Elementor Pro TOC widget that can be used for pop triggered by a floating button, as an example? Or a slide in section.

  6. Hey Elementor!

    Nice video, but without the how to, it’s not very useful.

    Why not answer your people? Many of us want to know HOW?

    I know it’s only been a few days since this video was created, but if you’re trying to teach us something, then you need to teach us something, not just show us a bunch of cool stuff.

    I don’t have an image collage template and I don’t know where to get one.

    Frustrating!

  7. I really enjoyed reading through this post and I am implementing these awesome tools to make my blog posts look stunning and visually appealing so thank you again for your help here

  8. Hi ,let me just say as a agency I love your product.
    Are there any plans for a block grid widget …same as the above question and more exciting java script, like ajax.

  9. First let me say that I enjoyed the video. The information was not new to me, but an interesting confirmation of the way I have built websites for years. Things have come full circle. When I was creating newsletters and websites mine were considered “Image heavy”. Now everyone is advocating the exact way I was doing blog, web page design for years. Good job Simon!

  10. This is a good post and helps to create and write Epic Blog Posts. I will be employing the IT Support Service and sharing the service Blogs. These blogs help me.

  11. Hi All, I have recently developed a new website for my client Tom using Elementor and canvas options as well as post page. It is brilliant tool and honestly I can’t fault it. The website is called tombuysnotes. Check it out and any feedback you can give would be help with my learning. Ofcourse, it is still under development but using Elementor it has been fun learning.

    We are “Koaas” and proud users of Elementor.

    I thank you sincerely for making such an awesome tool. Most of all the free version does wonders and I can’t imagine what the pro version can do. It seems the possibilities are endless.

  12. Since WordPress or other CMS’ are commonly used to publish posts, this epic blog posts about making epic blog posts leave me with an unanswered question. This is really a post about making a template for this article only, or what?

    I use WP and have one single template that works for all categories. If I choose to “Edit with Elementor” I am left with but one choice: to edit the template. Which affects all future single posts.

    I see that several others is a bit confused about this as well. I would be nice if this was to be explained more precisely.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Want to learn how to build better websites?

Join 760,658 Elementors, and get a weekly roundup of our best skill-enhancing content.

By entering your email, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.