Include data in blog posts. It makes the post more interesting and informative to read. It makes people stay longer on your pages and even share your content.
Recommend content is advisable for E-commerce bloggers. For e.g. Recommended books. A buyer will want to know what more is there in store for him/her.
Formatting - Your post need not be a circus. If you are not good with formatting, then stick to a theme that is light and descent in colors and the post layout. If you are good with trying new stuff then use that skill to better express through colors, fonts and layouts. Avoid colors that are dark and fonts that are overtly bright.