It’s no secret that blogging takes a lot of time and effort.
In fact, bloggers are some of the most hardworking people I know and they do it all because publishing consistent content is a proven way to attract readers and convert them into paying customers or clients.
For entrepreneurs who offer products or services, however, blogging can be taxing job because we have to manage other aspects of our business at the same time.
This is why when I was able to increase my blogging frequency recently, some of my clients asked for tips on how to be more productive when blogging while still providing helpful, no-fluff content.
On top of having a content calendar, my tip is to create a blog post template.
This is very easy to do within Squarespace because it already has a built-in “duplicate” blog post feature but continue reading to find out how I set up my own template.
A note on sidebars
Before anything though, take note that your blog post layout depends on your Squarespace template. While some templates offer a built-in blog sidebar option, others do not. Click here to see the blog features of each template.
Since I use the Hayden template, I do use the blog sidebar because in my opinion, it’s a huge advantage for pointing a reader to additional resources.
As long as you design your sidebar in a way that doesn’t annoyingly disrupt or divert their attention from the blog post they’re currently reading, you can strategically enhance their reading experience by highlighting your blog categories, popular posts, recent posts, social media platforms you’re on, a search function to help them find more info, how they can contact you or join your community, and so on.
Notice also how magazines and newspapers design their content—they use multiple columns. This is done intentionally because articles that have a single column (no sidebar) tend to be more difficult on the eyes. A side bar helps break up your text and allows your visitor to read your article much easier and faster.
How to create a blog post template in Squarespace
It took me a bit of trial and error at the beginning but the image below shows how I currently structure my blog posts.
Given this framework, here’s how I created a blog post template.
First, I added a blog post by clicking on the + icon in my blog page.
For the title, I simply named it [Template].
Next, I added an image content block since I start each blog post with an image.
Next, I inserted a spacer content block to create space between the image and text (because without a spacer, the text sticks far too close to the image and looks unpleasant).
Next, I added a text content block for the blog post itself. Since I write all my blog posts in a Google Doc, I can just copy-paste it in this section and depending on the content of the blog post, I later format the headers, numbers, bullet points, or add additional images to help break up the text and make it easier for readers.
Next, I added a line content block to create a section to showcase a call-to-action (CTA) related to the post—sign up for a content upgrade, visit a landing page, respond to an invite, etc. I also added the following content blocks: an image, text, and button for this CTA section, and then closed this section with another line content block.
Lastly, I added a summary content block to encourage visitors to check out related posts to the article which I can just customize later on by filtering the summary blog via category (the same category the current blog post falls under).
Of course, there are additional sections that also need to be updated but since there’s no way to standardize it, I just remember to change it prior to scheduling a post. These include: the blog post URL slug, tags, categories, excerpt, and image descriptions.
Once a blog post template has been created, all you have to do to create a new post is open up the settings section of the template post and click duplicate.
Benefits of using a blog post template
Using a blog post template like this may not seem very significant at first—it only saves around 3-5 minutes for each new blog post (more if you’re a beginner blogger)—but if you’re creating, formatting, and scheduling several blog posts at once (batching content), this can be very helpful to streamline the entire process.
Also remember that since this is on top of researching and writing your content, designing blog post images, and creating content upgrades, any amount of time you save here can later be spent on more important tasks.
Furthermore, consistently following blog post templates like this helps with your business’ branding.
In my experience, my return visitors now know to expect the same structure when reading my blog posts:
They know I have a main image right at the top and if available, an infographic at the bottom of each post.
They know that if they’re interested in a content upgrade, it’ll be at the upper ⅓ of the post or at the bottom.
They know they can refer to related posts by scrolling to the bottom of the page.
They know I use headers and bullet points and I follow a basic writing framework (intro, body, conclusion, and question) so it’s easier for them to read everything or skim through if they’re busy.
They even know not to expect pop-ups, ads, or an “update notifications” box.
At the beginning of this post, I mentioned that publishing consistent blog posts is a proven way to attract readers and convert them into paying customers or clients. The happier your readers are, the more likely they’ll keep coming back to your website and blog, and eventually buy your products or book your services.
So aside from following a blog post template your readers can trust and rely on, you’re also able to save time in the process by not having to create and publish blog posts from scratch.
Share in the comments below: What’s your #1 takeaway from this article? How do you save time blogging? What are bottlenecks in your content creation process?