In the world of blogging there are many different directions you can take your content. Blogging can be as simple or as technical as you want. The great thing about blogging is that it will grow with you, and this post shares 10 tips to help take your blogging up a notch.
Take the time to craft a catchy title.
You want to grab your readers’ attention, right? The title is the first thing people read when you share your post on social media or in their email. You only get one chance to make a good first impression!
A catchy title is more likely to be clicked and shared on social media. It also helps you rank better in search engines, which will help grow your blog traffic over time.
Your titles can be short or long -- just make sure they’re catchy and not boring. For example: “How To Tie Your Shoes” vs. “The Ultimate Guide To Tying Your Shoes (With Step-By-Step Instructions With Pictures)”
It can be hard to tell if a title is catchy. One trick I use is writing down my post idea, then opening up Twitter and searching for those keywords. If there aren’t any relevant results (or none at all), then that could mean that it's not a popular topic for readers... or it means you have an opportunity for a unique post!
Share fresh, honest content that offers answers and solutions.
Having a great blog is all about creating and offering content that will be helpful to your target audience. The main purpose of blogs is to educate and entertain readers, while also providing them with useful information that they can actually apply to their everyday lives. Having a blog post that doesn't offer any sort of solution or answer can be an enormous waste of time for your readers, who were most likely hoping for some sort of direction when they clicked on your headline.
A fresh perspective is always welcome in any niche, so don’t be afraid to share your unique point-of-view or insights on a topic that you may have gained through personal experience. Be sure to keep it authentic; honesty and vulnerability can go a long way in connecting with others online. Blogging is the perfect outlet for sharing what’s on your mind, but do so in such a way that offers value to other people as well!
Cut out unnecessary sentences and words.
Cut out unnecessary sentences and words. Make sure every sentence has a purpose and that it's the most concise way of saying that thing. If you can say it better, do so. If you can say it more simply, do so.
Get rid of adverbs, adjectives, and flowery language in general.* "The life-changing meal was deliciously delicious." This is a bit heavy on the -ly words (adverbs) and adjectives (deliciously delicious). Who cares if it was deliciously delicious? It was life-changing, right? The story doesn't need extra details here—just tell us about the life-changing part of the meal and move on to your next point.
Stick with active voice.*
Examples: I took my son to a park... Joe threw his finished paper airplane at me... Mom made her famous spaghetti for dinner... Tommy stole my sister's iPhone... I fell from my bike... Michaela bought me flowers for no reason at all...
Example: All those things were done to me by other people. In this case, "I" is doing nothing; other people did things TO ME! That's not active voice; that's passive voice! Using passive voice makes your reader feel bored and puts them to sleep because they're not actually DOING anything. It might sound picky or ridiculous but trust me—if any author tells you they prefer passive voice in stories, they're lying to you or they have no idea what they're talking about because readers hate it when your writing sounds like that! Use ACTIVE VOICE instead: My son took me to the park.... Joe threw my finished paper airplane.... My mom made her famous spaghetti for dinner.... Tommy stole Michaela's iPhone... I fell off my bike while riding around town last night..
Make sure your blog is easy to scan read.
Make sure your blog is easy to scan read.
This is really important! Remember what I said about how people skim blogs? Not everyone will read every word you write. They might skip from the start of a paragraph to the end, or just glance over a few sentences here and there. You have to make it easy for them to find the information that interests them, no matter where they look.
You can do this by using subheadings often, formatting text in bullet points or numbered lists, using short paragraphs, writing short sentences and using an active voice. If you use images (which you absolutely should!), make sure they illustrate something you're talking about in your text.
By following these tips you'll make it easier for people to scan read your blog - which is exactly what they want to do!
Don't feature too many graphics.
Overloading your blog with graphics can be distracting, so use them sparingly. If you do feature a lot of visual content, ensure that it is relevant and high-quality. In fact, all of your content should be high-quality, even the images! Make sure they never detract from the message you are trying to convey. And don’t forget about SEO—you should be labeling all of your graphics for SEO, too!
Interact with readers through comments, surveys and social media.
Respond to comments people leave on your blog.
Ask for feedback by interacting with readers on social media.
Survey your readers and ask them what they want to see more or less of. You can do this by providing an email address they can send their survey responses to, or you can use a free service like Survey Monkey or Google Forms.
Research the most visited blogs in your niche.
Visit Alexa.com and look for the top blogs in your niche. Then, get to know them well—their design, their writing style, their content, etc.
Now you may be worried that you'll end up copying what they've already done once you start creating your own blog posts. Don't worry about that! Instead of just copying what they do, make it a point to deliver greater value than they do. That is how readers will appreciate you and read more blog posts by subscribing or bookmarking your blog.
If you are confused as to how to bring greater value in your blog posts, think of this rule: The more information that is given out through the blog post (e.g., step-by-step instructions), the more valuable it is to the reader.
Join the conversation hashtag on Twitter.
If you want to get some extra attention for your blog posts, then take advantage of Twitter’s hashtags. Hashtags are a way of grouping together tweets on a certain topic. For example, #blogging is a hashtag that is used by bloggers on Twitter. Enter the hashtag in the search box at the top of Twitter, and you’ll see the latest tweets that have been tagged with that hashtag.
Use search engine optimization best practices for all blog posts.
You’ve probably heard of SEO, but you might not know much about it or how to go about optimizing your blog. Search engine optimization essentially means making your blog posts more likely to show up in search results.
The first step of SEO is determining what people are searching for, and then matching that to the information on your blog. For example, if you have a blog about skincare, you might write an article titled “Top 10 Skincare Products For Acne-Prone Skin” and use those words in the title and throughout the article. That way when someone searches for skincare products for acne, they’re likely to find your post.
Follow other successful bloggers in your niche on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
One of the most helpful ways to grow as a blogger is to follow other successful bloggers in your niche on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Learn from what they are doing well on their blogs. Engage with them on social media. If they blog about the same topic or in the same niche, see how you can stand out and make your blog different from theirs.
Be strategic about blogging so it's more effective
Review your blog analytics to see which of your posts have been the most popular. This will help you determine what types of content resonate with your audience.
Use this data to build a content strategy that includes the same types of topics and styles that are already being well received by your readership. Do more of what works, right?
Take a look at what times of day you receive the most traffic, and adjust the timing and frequency of your blog posts accordingly, so they can be seen by as many people as possible.
Check out which keywords are performing best in search engine optimization to find out topics that people want to read about and/or keywords they’re using in searches leading them to your blog so you know how to spice up post titles and headings!