The 5 Laws of Post Layouts

The 5 Laws of Post Layouts

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Do you know what makes a good post?


What is it that makes you stick around and read a post?


What makes you head for the exit door upon arrival?


Can you put your finger on it, or is it just some vague ambiguous feeling?  Your gut just says H-to-the-no!  This isn’t happening today!


Are you even still here, or was that too many questions for you?



Reel them in



 Midget headline photo courtesy: Thom/Minifig


How do you get them to click to read your post in the first place?  Headlines baby!  I’ve done a whole post about this, so there’s no need to revisit this in great detail.


What do you see?


I love a good picture.  I purposely pepper my posts with a plethora of pictures.

Yes, I just wrote that sentence.



Photo courtesy: Eflon

I follow a formula for my pictures, for the most part.  I put a half-width photo at the top right to draw your eye in.  It says, look, there’s a pretty picture. Isn’t that appealing? Keep reading.  At least, I hope that’s what it says.


Then, as I want to highlight a point I add a picture.  Different subjects, topics, key points, etc.  I want to draw your eye down more — to keep scrolling and not clicking out.


Readers have told me they like my photos.  I am sure there are people out there that may think I use too many photos.  While I would like to appease all my readers, I write the way I like to read.


I want pictures, I want graphs, and interesting things to break up the text so that I am #1 not overwhelmed with words, #2 don’t lose focus, #3 don’t get bored.


Sometimes I skim before I commit to reading.  I”ll stop at the pictures.  If the picture really stands out to me I’ll go back and read the text surrounding it.  Then, I may go back and read the parts that I glossed over.


How do you maintain their attention?

Many readers are easily distracted.  I’m sure we are all in the I’m-too-busy-to-breathe boat.  We don’t have time to read boring content.  We may think that story of our car tires is the most interesting thing we’ve ever heard, but most may not.


How do you keep it interesting?  Break up your content with Subheadings.


Subheadings guide the content, they let the reader know what’s going on.  It makes the article more skim-able, but you don’t want it to be too skim-able.



Photo source: Gareth Weeks


I just read a post that changed my life.  Well, sort of. It at least helped me create better subheadings.  I just read this last week, so don’t start clicking back and judging.  I’m still figuring out how to do these.  — 3 Subhead Blunders That are Making Readers Bounce From Your Blog


Wait, there’s more!


Which one do you prefer?


When I transcribe (live closed captioning) for my university students I break up what the professor is saying into manageable paragraphs.  Out go the rules for regular writing where each paragraph is one topic. No, you break those puppies up!


Where there’s a pause in thought you hit enter twice and start writing again.  It’s easier on the eyes and the brain.  It gives them both a break.


What do they do now?

What do you want your readers to do?  Insert a good ole Call to Action!


aaaand-send gif


If you enjoyed this post send a tweet out:  


Here’s a fabulous infographic that Derek Halpurn from Social Triggers created that says it all.




Good stuff huh?


In the following weeks I’ll break each topic down even further. Why? Because getting down to the nitty gritty is fun!  What’s the point of me saying to do this and this if I don’t tell you how to do it.  I’m by no means the end all be all blogger. Ha!  I do love to research and I want to share with you what I’ve learned.  Then I want to hear what y’all have to say about it!


The 5 Laws

  1. Headlines
  2. Pictures
  3. Subheadings
  4. Manageable paragraphs
  5. Call to Action


5 Laws + You + Great Content =  lebowski1 gif



Your Turn!

Do you agree with these 5 laws?  Did I miss one?



Just because I love y’all I made a fun checklist!

Post Layout Checklist Image Map



Gifs courtesy:


  1. Great post, Rochelle – can’t disagree with any of those, and you’ve followed your own advice in the way this post is presented – excellent :)

    It amazes me how little attention some bloggers pay to the way their posts ‘look’ – a well-placed, attention-grabbing picture and splitting a post up with sub-headings and short paragraphs can make all the difference.
    Susan Neal recently posted…How To Make Your Blog Posts MemorableMy Profile

    • It is so true! Some people’s posts I just go gah! They do none of them! There’s no fun picture, there’s no fun title, no subheadings, no real call to action, and too too many huge paragraphs. Add that in with a distracting design and I’m out of there! I try to be understanding because I’m a newbie and I probably do lots of my own faux pas and would hope others would be forgiving.
      Rochelle Barlow recently posted…The 5 Laws of Post LayoutsMy Profile

  2. This is a really great post! Headline really does say a lot. I sometimes pass over good posts because the headlines doesn’t grab me and I’ve read posts where the headlines grab me but the posts wasn’t that great. Thanks for all the suggestions. I’m sure going to be using quite a few of them.
    Growing Up Madison recently posted…Almost Wordless Wednesday: Caring For A Sick ToddlerMy Profile

    • That has happened to me – I click on a headline, rub my hands together in anticipation, and then bleh….. it was nothing like it promised. wah wah. That is something I worry about with my own posts. I hope hope hope that my content and headline match up and that I don’t fail in the delivery.

      I think though that sometimes *some* people just want the page clicks and not the people that actually stick around and read.
      Rochelle Barlow recently posted…The 5 Laws of Post LayoutsMy Profile

  3. You are so funny. I love your alliteration :) I agree with all you’ve said. I started writing shorter and also putting in bold, italic or underline to break things up, after I realized I would get distracted by long, text-block posts on other blogs. I should use subheads more. I also think font makes a difference. I will just skip right over hard to read fonts.
    Stephanie @ From the Burbs to the Boonies recently posted…Lessons from church: JC is our IDMy Profile

    • I started doing the same thing with bold and italics to bring attention to key words and ideas so they don’t get lost in a sea of text.

      I agree, font can totally make or break your post.

      I worry about my font. I think it’s nice and clean, but sometimes I think it can be hard to read at certain angles of my laptop screen.
      Rochelle Barlow recently posted…The 5 Laws of Post LayoutsMy Profile

  4. There’s nothing I hate more than a huge long post with no no pizzazz! If I wanted to read with out pictures or something to brighten the page, I’d grab a good book. When I read a blog, it needs to entertain me visually, not just verbally. So, pepper me with that plethora of pictures in your post! :)

    Life With Lorelai
    Lorelai @ Life With Lorelai recently posted…A Pinteresting HalloweenMy Profile

  5. I love this post. I try to stick with photos/points of interest within the post and short paragraphs but the rest of your post included wonderful clues and hints. Thanks for the post.
    Heather recently posted…Hump Day HugsMy Profile

    • I’m glad you liked the post. You prefer photos just at the beginning of the posts and not throughout? I see quite a few people doing that and I don’t there’s anything wrong with that! I think making sure you have at least one photo or visual is the most important. I would say at least at the beginning of the post as well. The rest is just personal preference.

      • I like photos in the spot where they most apply — based on what I am writing about in that post. Sometimes, that is near the top but I don’t feel bound to that. I also put work into my pictures, using morguefile and pixabay so that I can get royalty free creative completely usable photos (even for commercial use) — and then I modify and watermark them to use on Pinterest (when I can remember). The truth is social media for me is a real mystery. I do it as it feels natural :)
        Heather recently posted…Hump Day HugsMy Profile

        • Definitely they should go where they apply. I like your mentality. It’s good to have a “template” or guideline, but also making sure we’re flexible and ensure that it makes sense. Gotta use CC photos! Social media is a great mystery. I think I may always be a little unsure of how to use it with the most effectiveness. You let me know if you figure something out! :) Thank you so much for your comments and ideas.

  6. OK you had me at “killer” up above in the headline. Is that sick or what? LOL! You made this look easy to accomplish even with my packed out schedule. The diagram worked well for me b/c I can visualize the post. This one is going in my blogging binder. Cut me some slack…I’m working on it, eh! Great post!!
    Chrissy recently posted…How Much Does Your Time Cost?My Profile

    • I will cut you some slack, duh! I’m glad you liked the killer headline and the diagram. I have to have examples and visuals for me to understand things! Thanks for commenting!

  7. I follow Derek Halpern and I haven’t come across this. I love it. I saw that Marie Forleo was putting “tweetables” into your posts, so I started putting them in mine, and I’ve gotten a lot more tweets.

    I pinned this image, and I will definitely be referring back to it. Seriously, I love your posts. :)
    Keri Kight recently posted…Guest Post on New BeginningsMy Profile

    • Thanks so much Keri, you are so sweet! I love the tweetables. I like the ones that are embedded in the text as well, instead of the box like I use. I always tweet those! Thank you so much for pinning!

  8. This is one awesome blog post.Really looking forward to read more. Cool.

  9. Appreciation for a few other excellent write-up. In which otherwise could anyone get that sort of information and facts in this fantastic means of writing? I own a presentation next week, with this particular around the try to find this kind of information.



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