What Makes a Brief Blog Post Memorable?

The most successful posts on your blog won’t necessarily be the posts in a standard post format.  These days bloggers blog on the go, and WordPress offers 10 unique formats that can be assigned to posts including: Standard, Aside, Audio, Chat, Gallery, Image, Link, Quote, Status and Video. 

All Rights Reserved – Any content reblogged from one cool site must adhere to the terms of © Copyright

Micro-blogging

Readers today have little time and patience. While it’s true frequently updated blogs with essay length posts are “sticky” enough to secure an engaged readership, it’s also true that publishing short “meaty” posts frequently and long posts occasionally is a successful blogging strategy. And,  when one adds visual elements to posts of any length, the odds of attracting attention increase.

Post Formats

Getting the Most Out of Post Formats: Quoting in Style earlier this month and it caught the eye of a friend of mine. She’s been learning to blog on Blogger, Tumblr, Medium and WordPress.com software and even has an interest in Ghost.  Her interests are travel, photography, accommodation,  food and drink, art and culture. She publishes reviews of about 650 – 800 words and long-form essays on cultural topics, and now wants to introduce brief and memorable posts.

Themes that support post formats are on the rise as the trend towards post format use develops.  Each post format is styled differently providing bloggers with choices for presenting their images, quotes, links, and other post types to their follower with different formatting for more visual variety. Post Formats change only the appearance of the post, or how the formatting looks, but you are free to mix text and media as much as you like. To learn more about each format read the Post Formats support page.

Mixing and Matching Post Formats

In one of her blogs, my friend uses the Duotone theme. She likes the color adaptation the theme automatically provides, but sadly the theme doesn’t support post formats, so the hunt for a theme that supports post formats began.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We’ve been trying out various post format styling provided by various themes in our test blogs. Those for the Expound theme have very subtle style changes. In contrast Flounder is a theme that features post formats that are dramatically different in color. But it’s the posts format treatment on the Fictive theme that captivated her.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 Discussion

In the beginning micro blogging introduced us to the reality that very brief posts, some containing no text at all, could become the most successful posts in our blogs. Now we have a large selection of WordPress themes with post formats that support blogging on the go with a variety of formatting styles. What impact has this trend had on your own blogging? Have you tried a theme that support post formats?

39 thoughts on “What Makes a Brief Blog Post Memorable?

  1. I keep promising myself I’ll experiment with new themes, but thanks to my natural sloth, I keep breaking that promise… : (

    The slideshows you incorporated into this post were very cool!

    As for your emphatically well-established expertise: like Found This Painted That said… : )

  2. I tend to stick with the KISS method or “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. But it’s probably fear based, lol. Like eclecticodddsandsods talked about her blog turning upside down! Horrors! So, I try to keep my posts on the shorter side with photos and (what I try for is) humor.

    I am strictly DIY and I find when other same topic blogs tell me stuff but don’t SHOW me, I’m frustrated. Who doesn’t like a pictorial? And what do you mean when you say “ask that question to those more in the know” – who the heck is that! There is NO one. Thanks for another great post!

    1. I hear what you say about fear and think many bloggers are fearful about doing a blog overhaul – not me. In almost everything I’m pretty close to being fearless simply because I’m a bold person, I’ve lived through a lot and have benefited from many unwelcomed changes that opened doors for me.

      Your DYI projects are so amazing and one day after I retire (if that day ever comes) I may pick up some of your ideas and run with them. But there’s no way I posting images of a house tour until I’m retired and maybe not even the because my things to do after retirement list doesn’t feature home beautification anywhere near the top of the list. Everything at the top of my list is focused on doing less and or doing nothing much at all. ;)

      It’s not surprising that you have such a strong reliance on pictures when it comes to instructional material because most of us are visual learners. I’m a visual learner and an auditory learner and a kinetic learner. Well that said we all are to differing degrees of one as opposed to the others. I suppose what I’m expressing is my scores are in close balance with auditory learning being slightly higher than visual learning for me and kinetic being a very close third place.

      In your blog posts you provide the required number of images for DIY people to follow suit step by step and I appreciate that. On the other hand, I find most foodie bloggers can go overboard with images. I really don’t need to see every stage of what one is cooking. I skip to the image of the final dish and I ignore the rest completely. (Shush don’t tell on me, okay?)

      As for who is more in the know than I am when it comes to blogging, well that would include Staff, who are running blogging challenge classes on their blog.

      1. Well in my books you know everything I will ever need to know for my blog – and I will always look to you as my example. AND I agree about too many pictures! it can kill as easily as not enough pics for me. Thanks for your comments, I love reading your view.

        1. I loved reading that. I’m getting off on your loyalty, and I will be clinging to it throughout this week, which is bound to be an exhausting one.

  3. I am using twenty eleven. I have tried to use a couple of the different formats for my posts such as gallery (which I found does not allow posts to go to facebook so I stopped using it). I also tried photo and quote, but I didn’t really see the difference in how it showed up on the blog. I like that the theme does give me the options if I want to experiement more with them.

    1. Hi Jill,
      Twenty Eleven seems to be working well for you. I see you are participating in the blogging 101 challenge and wish you well with it.

      About Facebook and images:
      Aside from this link http://en.support.wordpress.com/publicize/#images-in-publicize we have no control over the images that Facebook chooses to display or when they choose to flush their image caches. We really only send them the URL of the post, and they hunt through that for the excerpt and images to include.
      see: http://developers.facebook.com/tools/debug

      1. Thank you,
        I think it’s just with the photo galleries they don’t post. I haven’t really experimented enough with it to know for sure but it seems to have solved the problems when I changed the format of my posts back to standard.

        Yeah, I’m doing 201 and just started it too late to get much involvement with the other people in it. I am learning a few things, that’s always good. :-)

  4. When I used my previous theme, Twenty Eleven, I tried a few “aside” posts. I didn’t like the fact that they precluded a heading and didn’t show up in my posts archives, so I elected to use the “standard” post format and just keep the post short if I wanted to. I recently switched themes. I’m not sure how other post formats are treated with it, but I plan to explore the idea.

    1. I did a couple of Aside posts when I was using Twenty Eleven too. They were okay for the purpose I used them for but I’m, not likely to be creating any more any time soon. I like the Yoko theme but I haven’t tried creating any post formats in my test blog while using it. Best wishes for happy blogging! :)

  5. I find Bueno works best for me. I try others out but none of them give me what Bueno does, so I stick with it. I like the idea of a test blog, though.

    My post lengths vary. Some are so long that I post them over several days; some are incredibly short – they are always humour posts.

    In long posts, lots of paragraphs break them up to make them easy to read; and illustrations help.

    1. Hi there,
      Bueno is now a retired theme and I just had to break that news to a disappointed blogger in the support forums. As she had not used it on the blog before and it’s not available for new blogs she will have to try another theme.

      P.S. I like your new header image. :)

  6. The shortest blog posts which are still around 500 words …are the posts when I post my art work. I haven’t thought of just posting a photo or a fabulous quote as a standalone post.

    I almost feel obligated to my readers to give them abit more per post. After all, I don’t blog every week.

    1. Some of your image could no doubt be stand alone post format posts. You always include information and relevant image cations and I appreciate all of them. That said, I love all of your posts both short and long.

  7. I have started using illustratr and must say i like it a lot!!i dont normally post long articles,but it depens.i use photos a lot a
    Slideshows and guest post

  8. This has got me thinking about my theme. I like most aspects of my Adele theme, but not so keen on the ‘aside’ function. I rely on font changes instead. Must set up that trial blog site you have recommended in the past….terrified of all my posts getting lost!

    1. I’m not a keen on Asides either but I have used them a couple of times to let my readers know what I’m up to when I’m unable to make the time to publish a full post. Set up a test blog because I’m sure you’ll be glad you did. Playing around in them builds skills as well as being fun. If you create a mirror blog you will always have a backup of your main blog too.

  9. I’ve been meaning to diversify a little bit and intersperse more shorter bits in my posting schedule. I really like the differences in colour between standard posts, quotes, and gallery for Twenty-Thirteen. Although Flounder seems to look quite nice as well. Will do some experimenting.

    1. I think the post format treatment on Twenty Thirteen is very cool too. It’s a colorful and responsive layout theme that rocks. Flounder is also cool but I’d choose Twenty Thirteen over it any day.

  10. Hi timethief,

    Great exploration and discussion. Right now I tend to write longer posts once a week. But, I’ve had periods when I’ve written short posts, even very short ones. I haven’t experimented much with posts formats though. It depends on the theme, but sometimes the formats can be a big ugly. Plus, I think people are overload with information so I don’t want to post too frequently.

    1. I like thinking about what I read and especially like your spacing. I suspect we aren’t mainstream in that regard as either bloggers or blog readers. As you know the common advice is to publish fresh content frequently but one reaches a point wherein they recognize that a fewer number of quality relationships with readers is preferable than treading the social media hamster wheel. Another thing we have in common when it comes to themes is minimalism and a preference for subtlety. This Expound theme I’m using now has post formats and the differences in styling are minimal. I may do more experimenting and even use some from time to time.

  11. hello,
    Thank for posting such useful content, often ignored.

    My ways of working – I use ppt, where i write the content, put context sensitive image within the slide , and then save it as jpg. I then post such image on my blog. I think it makes a better approach. This is me who made it.

    I also introduced movie_based category where i relate my content with the movie script. People have liked it too.

    regards

  12. I love being able to change up my post formats and will certainly take a second look at the themes you’ve mentioned. But I have so many other requirements, too. Any choice involves compromise. At the moment I’m using Opti, which gives me a choice between a “standard” width post and one that goes full measure — which is really a great way to feature something special.

    1. You are more adventurous than I am and I do like seeing what you are doing with your theme customizations. Thanks for weighing in here on post formats. Full width posts were a feature of Twenty Eleven that I appreciated and how you are using them on Opti is effective.

  13. Thank you for explaining all of this. I tend to prefer keeping my blog simple and old school, but maybe someday when I have some time I’ll play around with these different formats. I’m intrigued, for sure.

    1. I’m old school too but I’m considering making some changes to my personal blog and post formats may work well on it. Thanks for your feedback.

  14. I use two themes, gridiculous and a simpler theme, both support different formats, but gridiculous more. I love using the post formats and yes having done the a-z challenge I chose to do a vintage picture on an image format with a quote embedded under it, it was nice and easy for the reader to just glance at, get pleasure from an image and some thoughtful text. However your post really makes me think about consciously mixing them better, ie longer and short ones as I am a long writer…..points to my comment LOL x

    1. The Gridiculous Pro theme is a fascinating one that I find very attractive. However, my friend doesn’t want to purchase a theme at this time. She’s new to blogging so I didn’t encourage her to lay out any funds for a premium theme purchase. However, between the two of us we tried several of the 96 free themes that support post formats.

      Her top 3 choices were Flounder, Mixfolio and Fictive. I could be wrong but I sense she may be like me. ie too fickle to settle into using any theme over the long term. It’s my guess that she will revert to using Mixfolio in the next couple of weeks on her WordPress.com blog. I think Medium is where she will be publishing her longer pieces but we shall see as WordPress.com does support longform writing . :)

      1. I love my theme now and so glad I settled as I chopped and changed constantly and it was a real mess! I even managed to turn my whole theme upside down once omg I think I lost a few pounds that day no idea how I did it lol! I think trying to cope with multi media sites a nightmare I don’t know how your friend does it. Wp takes enough time x

  15. Always more to think about…
    Is there any difference in the way that the various post formats are handled in search engines (e.g. the way that pages are handled differently than posts)?

    1. What an interesting question. I don’t have a definitive answer but as all that changes is the post styling ie. the formatting I don’t think they would be handled any differently. Hmmm … when I get the chance to ask that question of those who are more in the know I will and I’ll post the answer here.

Comments are closed.