Which article would you rather read? Left or right?
I'm guessing you didn't hesitate one second. And yet, both snippets are from the same article...
The only difference lies in the formatting.
The left image is the final draft and the right image is the fully formatted, published article.
Because attention span online is short, deciphering a wall of text is too much of an effort for most of your readers.
As a content creator it's your job to use formatting to make your material easy and enjoyable to read.
It's the last step in the process of publishing an engaging article.
Once you've structured your ideas and you've written the text, formatting is the icing on the cake. But it's the icing that can make all the difference.
The difference between:
- Visitors reading your content from top to bottom or simply closing the tab.
- Tons of social shares and comments or crickets.
- An engaged email list that opens and clicks on the newsletter links because they know your content will be worth their time or bleak open rates that'll discourage you from sending another email ever again.
The good news? Beautiful formatting doesn't have to be time consuming or difficult.
Let me show you how to create engaging content quickly with Thrive Architect.
Content Templates to the Rescue
The key to rapidly formatting your blog articles is to use the same elements over and over again.
Any type of layout or element can be saved as a Content Template in Thrive Architect to win you precious seconds the next time around.
You only have to create these templates once, then you can save them to use whenever needed. Simply drag & drop your newly created Content Template and the fully formatted element will appear!
This will not only be faster, it will also help create a consistent look and feel throughout your content.
Here are the content templates we regularly use, and recommend you start using too.
1. Key Takeaways
This is, without a doubt, the most important Content Template you can implement immediately in your blog posts to improve readability.
It's a very simple but super efficient template.
Instead of having people search for the most important information, make it stand out by putting it in a key takeaway box.
On Thrive Themes we use a grey content box like this one:
It's simple, will work with any blog design or colors, and separates the important information from the less important stuff.
To create a similar key takeaway box, drag a Content Box on the page, change the colors to your liking and add a title.
- Background color: #f6f6f6
- 20 px padding all around
- 4 px rounded corners
- A drop shadow of 2px with 0px blur and spread, 270° and color #c2c2c2
"The right quote can inspire people to change their ways."
Quoting industry experts is a great way to make your articles more interesting and credible.
The quote box allows you to use a quote like you would an image to break up a wall of text.
Our quote box is created with a Content Box, a 30/70% two-column layout, an image with a circle style and two text elements.
3. Pros and Cons
The possibility to save an element as a content template is not limited to content boxes!
Any column layout can be saved as a Content Template in Thrive Architect.
An example of this kind of content is a pros and cons comparison list.
- Bullet Point 1
- Bullet Point 2
- Bullet Point 1
- Bullet Point 2
Or a feature table
These will come in handy if you're writing a lot of affiliate review posts.
The pros and cons comparison list is a simple two-column layout, in each column a styled list.
The feature table is made with the Table element and tick or cross images in each cell.
4. The Post-it Note
The note box allows you to add additional advice and make it stand out.
Think about it like a post-it note on a document you're handing off to a colleague. Written on it is the one thing you need him to know in order to understand the document.
Our note boxes are yellow, exactly like a post-it.
This is an example of a note box about API connections:
Our note box is created with a Content Box with background color #fff09c, 2 px border color #ffe372 and 4 px rounded corners.
5. The Updates
If you're writing timely content such as product reviews or tutorials, you'll have to update them regularly to keep them relevant to your readers.
Use update boxes to make new information stand out.
This will allow readers, who have already taken the time to read the original article, to quickly scan through and only read the new updates, while new visitors can read the whole post and see you're keeping it up to date.
This is an example of an update box from the Authority Hacker website:
For this one too, use a Content Box as starting point and change colors and other details.
How To Create a Content Template?
Saving a content template is a piece of cake.
Once you've formatted the element and it looks exactly the way you want it, select the container that envelopes all the elements you want to save and click on the littel "save" icon next to the name of the element in the upper left corner.
Decide whether you want this template to be a normal template or a symbol (= a template that is synchronized and automatically updates all instances of the template. Learn more about symbols in this post) and give your template a name.
As soon as you reload Thrive Architect, your new template will be available as a Template and Symbols element. This means that for any new content you create, this template will be available as an out-of-the-box, ready-to-use element.
Drag the Templates and Symbols element on the page, this will open the Templates and Symbols library. From here you can choose previously saved elements.
Do you want to save multiple elements as 1 Content Template? Such as a title, a column layout, a subtitle and a box all together?
Use a transparent content box to group the different elements and save the outer content box as Template.
In a hurry? We've got you covered!
Creating your own unique templates is fun and will save you a ton of time in the future, but maybe you're out of inspiration or you need something ready-to-use?
In that case, have a look at the "styled box"-element in Thrive Architect. You'll find a ton of nicely styled content boxes ready to use in your blog posts!
Have You Heard About the New Content Block Feature?
We added new a new feature to the Thrive editor to help you build better looking content faster with far fewer editing steps: the Content Blocks.
These Content Blocks are pre-designed text blocks, ready to be inserted into your posts with one click!
You'll find ready-to go Content Blocks in the gallery, such as:
- Pros & Cons Block
- Quote Block
- Call-to-action Block
- Steps Block
Learn more about this new feature in this post!
Use This Feature to Create Blog Post Templates
Besides being able to save and reuse certain smaller elements in your blog posts, with the new Content Block Feature, now you can insert entire blog post templates into the editor. In these templates the structure and design are already set, so all you need to do is to fill out the template with any text you like. This is super useful and saves you a lot of time, especially if you're just starting out with blogging, and you don't have a ton of experience in structurizing content.
Now It's Your Turn To Use the Content Templates
What Content Template are you going to create? Which ones are you already using? Let us know in the comments below!