Before I get into this, I want you to know that I fully believe in systems. Systems help people to win. They help people understand what they're aiming for, and what targets to hit. They help people set benchmarks for themselves or for the quality of work that's expected of them in their jobs.
To me, blog templates are essentially systems. They're good to have. They help you with content production. They guide your thoughts towards what needs to be written.
But there is a downside, especially when we're talking about blogging. Not everyone expresses themselves in exactly the same way, and different formats might work better for different people. I think some experimentation is also useful and even necessary while you're still on a growth path.
Here are a few major considerations when it comes to writing blog posts.
Are your blog posts going to be in a professional tone or a personal tone? Are you going to give careful attention to word choice and spelling or grammar, or are you going to let some things slide? Are you going for perfection, or are you going to sacrifice some quality for quantity?
You may immediately jump to one answer or another depending on who has influenced your thinking, but in essence, there is no right or wrong answer.
Your voice needs to reflect your personality. People seem to be able to sniff out when you're just not being you. You shouldn't fear occurrences like that, but when your audience gets to know you, they will have certain expectations for you after a while.
You can meet expectations, you can exceed expectations, and you can even go against expectations. They all serve a purpose. You don't want to underwhelm, if possible, though.
If you have a tech blog, for example, maybe you'll make reference to other things you like, such as fishing, or video games, or macramé. Or maybe you'll inject your unique brand of humor. Or maybe you'll draw illustrations from obscure examples you know well.
The point is that you can't really find your voice unless you work at it. Don't be disappointed if it doesn't emerge right away.
Maybe you want to convert your readers to a particular way of thinking. Or maybe you want to leave them with a question to get their feedback. Or maybe you hope to provide them with action steps with your posts.
Certain blogs have certain leanings, but yet again, I don't think there is a right or wrong here. I think a lot of people are going the 'action step' direction these days, and that's cool, but it certainly isn't for everyone or for every situation.
I have heard some experts say that they always think about the transformation that they want to happen by the end of the post. That makes a lot of sense, and it's a nice thought, but your purpose or goal might be different.
So why do you have a blog? Why did you start it? Why do you keep working at it?
Those are the questions that will determine your style.
You can write 1,000 word posts or you can write 200 word posts. You could try to get an in-depth article in Google with 2,000 words, or you could be constantly engaging your audience with 100 words
There might be some SEO advantages one way or the other, but as far as your audience is concerned, you don't necessarily have to write a certain length. Basic copywriting states that you should cut off the fat and only use enough words to adequately convey your message. You're totally allowed to break that rule too, though.
You could make your posts more "digestible" by using lots of headings, images, lists, or bullet points. Or you could do without any of that (seriously).
You would be surprised by how well people connect with just text. All the things you think you need, you may not need. On the other hand, maybe you will. But don't be too quick to make any assumptions.
The more complexity you add, the longer it will take to format your post. So you have to ask yourself if the investment of time is worth it.
I think it's perfectly okay to try a bunch of stuff; especially while you're still in the growth process. You might figure out what you want to do later on, and boil it down to more of a science later, but until then, don't be afraid of experimentation. See what connects with your audience and what they like.
You can try publishing different things. Maybe variety would serve your audience better than always following the same format. Maybe the reverse is true. Just don't get too stuck in one way or the other; especially if it chains you to the grind.