You’ve got a blog, but any time you set out to write a blog post, there are so many things to consider: organization, titles, headlines, images, tags and so on.
What’s more, you’ve noticed after a while of blogging, there are inconsistent posts: you see different headers, different image sizes, akward changes in blogging style, and a few posts don’t give much value to the reader!
How do you avoid making your site look like scrapbook, and make it look more like an elegant magazine?
The solution we advise is a simple and free WordPress plugin… Easy Content Templates! (We use it at Greatwebsiteplans)
What Easy Content Templates Can Do For Your Blog
Let’s take a closer look at how the Easy Content Templates plugin for WordPress makes it easier to create consistent, high quality blog posts.
We use this plugin ourselves and believe you would benefit from using it – especially if you run a business blog.
- This tutorial will show you how to make high quality blogging easier
- This tutorial will show you how to make a good structured template
- Plan your content formats first and reuse the templates for the year ahead
- Particularly useful for professional bloggers
Get the Plugin: https://wordpress.org/plugins/easy-content-templates/
Create a standard for common posts
STEP #1 – After installation, click Templates > Add New
STEP #2 – Name your new template “How To… Article Title (500 Words)”. We will be making a how to article template.
STEP #3 – Begin writing the headers of the post in the space provided:
introduction – hook
STEP #4 – Apply “Heading 2” style to all these to separate them from the paragraph text we will be pasting.
STEP #5 – Create the most ideally sized image using MS Paint or Photoshop, if you have it. Write something in it or leave blank. This image will only serve as a placeholder and it will be deleted from actual posts:
STEP #6 – Insert the placeholder image you created to balance the flow of the article. One at the beginning of the article is advised, to attract the reader.
Here is how ours looks now, each step in this how-to template requires an image:
STEP #7 – Go Loremipsum.com to create dummy text and paste it beneath the headings, keeping in mind that you will have to write this much text to complete any article based on this template. 500 words is our goal for this one.
After it returns a page like this, copy and paste the dummy text into your post template.
As you can see below, the template is filling out nicely! Be sure to add extra paragraph breaks between the steps, for better readability:
STEP #8 – Click Publish to save the template.
STEP #9 – To select a template you have created, go to Add New Post > Select Template > Load Template
As you can see below, we created our very own templates to assist with building Great Website Plans:
Good Template Building Tips
If you’ve made it to step #8, you’re almost an expert on creating post templates!
Now you can go on to create longer templates for bigger articles, or a different variety of article! Be sure to start with a very basic outline, a quick list, then move onto adding sub topics, asides, and other items to make each template more lively. Photos are usually a good idea, to break up the monotony of text.
Also, use good spacing and paragraph breaks — to give “breathing room” to your future posts!
- Simple post outline. Using a simple structure from the start, you’ll have a strong focus that will help you when you go to actually writing posts.
- Minimal requirements. It is tempting to make a template big, but a simple and fun to use template will be much more useful to you. Instead of burdening yourself with a 25 image requirement, start with 4 images in a template. If 500 words is still too much to write, go for 300 words of dummy text.
- Use good spacing and paragraph breaks. Breathing room helps readers visually orient themselves and prepare for the next section
- Build a few templates. Build a few templates that you enjoy using. Your blog will look more professional and you’ll enjoy building it.
- Adjust incrementally. In time, you’ll see where a template needs a little change, to improve readability or eye flow.
Types of Templates to Make
With the idea of templates, comes a good question: “what kinds of templates can I make?” Here are a few ideas to inspire you:
- How-to Articles. These are some of the most popular article types around. You can make them in the 5-step or the 50-step variety. It depends on the subject matter, but the more in-depth the more readers will appreciate it, as they may have been looking for a more in-depth article.
- List Articles. These are also very popular articles. They tend to be thinner than how-to articles, but can be valuable to designers, photographers, craftsmen, just about any professional. Focus on showing how the tools, software or sites are useful to the professional.
- Photo Articles. Include high quality pictures, biographies, relevant links and embedded features.
- Contests. Are you running a contest each month? A template will help you to remember to put the same rules for each contest.
- News/Update Articles. A tiny blog update template so that every update you make, or a work in progress follows a structured format.
The Easy Content Templates plugin for WordPress is free – we encourage all professional bloggers to use it as it is a time saver and will help you keep your site content structured and neatly formatted. If you ever forget to add an element to your regular posts, this is the plugin to use: add image placeholders, tag lines, a call to comment, and more.
- Get the Plugin: https://wordpress.org/plugins/easy-content-templates/
- The Easy Content Templates WordPress plugin can ensure quality, consistent posts with neat formatting and structure.
Photo Credit: Mountain by Caitlin Wynne (Unsplash)