How To Create Beautiful Blog Posts That Will Stand Out From The Crowd (And Convert) With Thrive Architect

Most blog posts look like a big wall of text. Boring! Or, to make them look better requires a host of plugins and shortcodes. Here’s how using Thrive Architect as a blog post editor solves the problem.

Most blog posts are boring.

We're not even talking about the writing. We're talking about the design. The look of it.

Most of them are just a big wall of text.

If you want to do anything cooler than that, then you end up needing to do things that the default WordPress editor just isn't built to do.

So, you install plugins and you toss in some shortcodes. Or you code in some custom CSS into your theme and you then have to go into the raw HTML of your blog post and insert special styles. And, of course, what you see in the editor looks nothing like it will look on your website so you end up having to save, refresh... save, refresh again... yada yada.

Ugh.

Now, starting with version 5 of WordPress, now they're trying to improve the situation with the new Gutenburg editor. But, personally... I hate that thing. The first thing I do with a new WP install is to install the Classic Editor plugin to get rid of Gutenburg. I think it sucks.

Yet...

You see some of the cool sites putting together some beautiful blog posts. Sometimes, their content doesn't even look like a blog post! It looks like a fully custom-designed piece of art.

How can you do something similar?

How can you make your life easier?

Enter Thrive Architect (As A Post Editor)

I have long been a fan of Thrive Architect. I use it all the time for landing pages and even blog core pages. For instance, my homepage, my resources page, my LAB page among numerous others were all designed with Thrive Architect.

Architect is often thought of as a landing page creator.

What many people don't realize is that it is also a really great blog post editor.

In fact, I'm writing this very blog post inside of Thrive Architect.

It is easy to do once Architect is installed on your blog. You simply go to start writing a new blog post just like you usually do. Then, instead of typing your post in the regular editor, you just tap that "Launch Thrive Architect" button.

What will happen is that it will load up your Architect editor with your primary blog theme, but the post will be complete empty. Here's how it looks when I do it right here on this site:

From here, you simply use the tools of Thrive Architect to assemble and format your blog post. I usually start off by dragging the "Text" element into the editor and I begin typing.

Technically, the way it works is that it will "hook" everything you design into the the_content() tag for your theme. Essentially, it is a direct replacement for anything you would otherwise type in the default WordPress post editor. Only now, you can use all the tools of Architect to make it look however you wish.

One of the great things about all this is that now you will create your blog post exactly like your readers will ultimately see it. This is true "what you see is what you get" editing. No longer do you have to type all kinds of stuff into the default editor, save draft and keep reloading preview URLs to see what it'll look like.

8 Ways Thrive Architect Will Make Your Blog Post Writing Easier

Now, once you have the power of Thrive Architect to craft blog posts, you've got the ability to do almost anything with drag-and-drop ease. But, let's focus on some of the things most likely to actually be used in writing a blog post.

#1 - Content Blocks

Architect has a function called "Content Blocks" that are essentially pre-designed page elements. You just drag it in and change the look how you want.

Here's a super simple one...

Join The LAB!


Follow the Online Business Roadmap... step by step. With all the training, all the support and all the help you'll need along the way. Lock in your lifetime membership rate today.

Now, that's super simple. I just dragged in a call to action pre-formatted block and changed the wording. If I wanted to customize it further or add/remove anything, I could.

There's a bunch of them to choose from here, including:

  • Quotes
  • List of steps
  • Pros & cons lists (great for product reviews)
  • Numerous call to action designs
  • Podcast subscription boxes

By the way, you don't need to use Content Blocks for calls to action, since Architect also has a whole dedicated option just to CTAs with a whole library of different designs.

#2 - Tweetables

Tweetable quotes are a great way to make it more likely your post will be retweeted. One way I have done that in the past was to use Social Warfare. But, that's yet another plugin. Plus, as with many things, it simply looks like a shortcode when used in the post editor.

Architect has a drag and drop setup for this. Like so...

This is my super awesome quote made tweetable with Thrive Architect.

Click to Tweet

#3 - Table of Contents

Large posts (like Redwood posts) will often have a table of contents. And yet again, this is one of those areas that typically requires another plugin and a shortcode. The one I have used is Table of Contents Plus.

But, Architect has it built in. Just drag it in and change the look how you want it. It will automatically grab the subheadings in your post and make a clickable TOC for you.

As you add more content to your post, you need to update the TOC. Just hit the "Update Table" button and it will update everything and it automatically makes all the links work.

#4 - Styled Lists

Putting in new, styled lists into a blog post usually requires some custom CSS code which is baked into your theme. But, yet again, Thrive Architect makes it easy.

Just drag a "Styled List" into your post and you can format it using any icons, any colors, any fancy backgrounds you like. In this example, I changed the icon being used for bullets and put a bottom border under each list item.

  • List Item One
  • List Item Two
  • You guessed it. List Item Three.

There's also a similar option for ordered (numbered) lists.

#5 - Testimonials

Testimonials are great for marketing and they work even inside of a blog post. Architect has a drag-and-drop testimonial element with a number of different designs to choose from. Here's one:

John Doe

UI/UX Designer

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur.

Another great thing about Thrive tools is that they all integrate together very nicely. This means that if you also have Thrive Ovation to collect and manage testimonials, then including ANY of your own customer testimonials anywhere on your site (even blog posts) is a simple drag-and-drop of the "Display Testimonials" element.

profile-pic
Roger House

Getting into THE LAB I thought I was going to go through a training on how to build a business through blogging and found it far more. I'm more excited after this first training then I was in signing up in the beginning. I would say anyone that wants to bring balance while building their business seeing wins every step of the way needs to join BMA.

See, the top testimonial is just a template and I can enter any text I want there manually, whereas that bottom one uses the Thrive Ovation integration and is pulling one of my actual customer testimonials into this post.

For some related reading on this one, you can now watch me include a related blog post using Thrive Architect to insert a nice blog post "grid" right here:

How To Set Up An Automated System For Gathering Testimonials On Autopilot


Not enough testimonials? Here’s several strategies to get more testimonials by putting it on autopilot.

Read More

#6 - Easy Tables

Putting tables into your WordPress posts is a real pain in the butt. Outside of hand-coding it, there's no option unless you use a plugin like TablePress.

Yep, you guessed it. Drag-and-drop tables with Architect and a number of pre-designed templates you can use to make them look pretty. Here's a simple default one:

Recommended Products

Key Features

Rating

Product Name

Feature Description

Here comes some text

Product Name

Feature Description

Here comes some text

As I said, there are numerous designs available. And you have full control of the template and can adjust any table as you please.

#7 - Easy Content Upgrades

Putting opt-in forms right within your blog content works wonders for your conversion rate. And since Thrive tools are built with conversion in mind, it is easy-peasy to insert optin forms anywhere you please. And you don't have to manually copy/paste shortcodes!

You have 2 ways to do it. One is to use the "Lead Generation" element. It will insert a default, simplistic optin form like the one below. I simply connected this form to subscribe to THE EDGE, but otherwise it is completely default. I could, of course, alter it however I want.

But, of course, Thrive Architect integrates closely with Thrive Leads. This means that any opt-in form you already designed in Leads as a "Leads Shortcode" can easily be inserted via Architect. This means you won't have to worry about shortcodes. Instead, you just select the form you want from a dropdown and - bam! - its in your post.

This makes it insanely easy to put optin forms for anything you please - anywhere in any of your blog content.

#8 - Easy Content Boxes

When you're formatting a blog post, it is a good idea to cater to people who SCAN. These are the guys who will scroll through the post like it's a sales letter just to evaluate whether it is worth reading or not.

So, a great idea is to pull out quotes or anything that you want to stand out... and put it in a box.

Now, the Content Blocks mentioned above give several options for this. But, there's also the simple "Content Box" element that you can drag in and then make your own.

This is some simple text that I have put into a content box.

I simply changed the colors of the box and gave it a nice shadow effect. But, you can do anything you want with it. 

The box element allows you to highlight content so that it won't just blend into the post, but instead stand out and get noticed.

A Few Things To Know About Using Architect For Your Blog Posts

It is helpful to know exactly how Thrive Architect works here in conjunction with your main blog theme.

See, when it comes to using Architect for blog posts, you are only using it to control the blog post content. But, that content will display WITHIN whatever your main theme has set up for your blog post template.

This means that the Architect editor will obey anything you have pre-designed in your blog theme CSS. If your fonts are set a certain way, then text that you type in Architect will look that way by default. You can override anything you wish, but the default is to obey your theme's CSS.

This is actually quite convenient - and I don't recommend you override anything. Your blog posts should have design consistency.

Also, your blog theme most likely displays your content in a column or container. That column or container has a certain width and certain properties. Anything you do with Architect for your blog post will appear WITHIN that container. For instance, if you use the "Background Row" element to try to put in a 100% width row (common on landing pages) but your theme's content container was set to 800 pixels, then even a 100% width background is going to max out at 800 pixels.

So, if you want blog posts to take on the full-page design more like a landing page, you would want to create a blog post template for your theme that displays your content at 100% screen width. Then, you could use Architect to do anything you want.

Any Drawbacks To Using Thrive Architect For Blog Posts?

I actually don't think so. I think it makes things much easier. But, there are a few things to be aware of...

Of course, you'll need to get acquainted with the editor for Architect. It is pretty easy, but there's a little learning curve at the very beginning. And since it does so much more, it can't help but be more complicated than simply writing a plain-text blog post in the default editor.

I have also noticed that Architect sometimes  begins to slow down after a few hours open in my browser. For instance, as I have been working on this very blog post, I'm starting to get a little bit of keyboard lag... where there's a little delay between when I hit the key and these letters show up. So, I think the code footprint of Architect is just a bit more work for the browser.

Some people worry about content lock-in. In other words, if you switch to another editor or just decide to stop using Thrive Architect, will your content disappear? Answer = no. Everything will stay there, right inside the regular editor. Anything that depends on CSS from Architect will lose it's formatting, but the content will remain 100% intact. If you then put your own CSS in place to take over for the loss of Architect, you're good to go.

Lastly, if you have readers who regular read your blog posts in an RSS reader, you have to keep in mind that none of the formatting is going to carry through to the reader. Of course, that's the same for any blog since all RSS readers are plain-text and don't obey site-specific CSS code. However, since Architect allows so many more options, the issue is likely to be more noticeable.

Personally, I don't even care about my RSS feed. I'd rather people be on my email list. And I have my feed set to only show snippets, not full content.

So, Should You Use Thrive Architect?

This whole post is basically making the case for that I believe you should. 🙂 

Now, let me be clear here...

Yes, I am an affiliate for Thrive Themes. If you end up purchasing anything from them through my link, I'll make a little commission. However, I only recommend what I personally use or have used. And it so happens that I use the ever-loving HELL out of Thrive Architect!

As I said, this very post was written with it. And across my business, I am probably using Architect and other Thrive Themes tools almost every day of the week.

There's also the fact that the entire Thrive Themes suite of tools is simply the best "bang for your buck" that exists in this space. For what I personally train my students to do, there is no smarter purchase than a Thrive Themes membership. You get SOOO much for your money.

And they're constantly coming out with updates and fixes. I mean, as I type this post, I have a new update for Thrive Architect sitting there pending. It happens seemingly every week.

As a final word, I will say this...

Every single blog post that you create should be optimized and function as a long term marketing asset. With the way we do things around here, we don't post blog posts just for the hell of it. It is all done for a reason.

By using a tool like Thrive Architect to do even blog posts, it makes it SO easy to optimize every blog post. You can stand out in the crowd since most blog posts out there just look like walls of text. 

Once you get used to it, I doubt you'll want to write blog posts the normal way ever again.

About David Risley
David Risley is the founder of the Blog Marketing Academy, a 20-year veteran blogger and online entrepreneur. His focus? Building a reliable, recurring business around his "lifestyle" and the lives of his students. He has this weird obsession with traveling in his motorhome around the country with his wife and 2 kids. David also likes to talk about himself in the third person. In bios like this one. Read his full story.