Did you know that a new blog post is created every half a second? That’s over 175,000 new blog posts every day. Kinda scary, right? That’s a lot of content out there for potential readers to be sifting through. So it’s only natural you want to make your posts stand out – gain the attention of readers – and keep them coming back for more. Here’s the best 29 tips I’ve learned over the years to help make your blog posts (way) better!
How to Make your Blog Posts Way Better – 29 Tips & Tricks
1. Use images to break up your content
The stats are in and posts with images displayed throughout get 94% more views than those that don’t use photos. Not only is it more visually pleasing to the eye, but it can also spark an emotion in a read – excitement, intrigue, sympathy… and guess what? Sparking an emotion means your content is more likely to be SHARED. Meaning TRAFFIC. Meaning blogging gold.
2. Create your own infographics
Want to make information more interesting? Create an infographic. There’s a range of websites that offer this for free with premium options. Give Infogram a try.
3. Be original, be YOU!
There’s nothing more exciting for your reader than seeing something new that hasn’t been written before. To be completely honest, that’s the major reason I have neglected writing a ‘blogging tips and tricks’ post until now. Why? Everyone’s doing it. But I think it’s great, it’s time we all shared our knowledge and helped each other out. Especially new bloggers! We all started somewhere and it’s great to share our knowledge gained over the years to those starting out fresh. Hello to you!
4. Have a clean blog layout
The reader experience isn’t just in the content of the blog post alone – in fact, that’s a small part of it. Ensure your blog is clean, minimal, and not bogged down by too much advertising. Advertising is a touchy subject for some – but if you want to monetize your blog and have a crack at blogging professionally, I say go for it! Just don’t overdo it – reader experience should always come first.
5. Forget what you learned in English class
Blogging is a complete new style of writing. Forget essays and a formal tone, just have a conversation with your readers! Use short, sharp sentences and keep your paragraphs to a minimum.
6. Have an opinion BUT…
It’s important to have an opinion and show your readers what you think/feel, but be sure never to overstep the mark. I’m talking about the difference between saying you dislike something and completely ripping it to shreds in a sense that it reads as a rant about your personal experience with the product. It’s okay not to like something, but it’s another thing to sound bratty. No one likes bratty.
7. Share your posts on social media
If you’re not sharing each of your new blog posts on social media, you’re missing out on an HUGE reader engagement.
8. Put social shares on auto pilot
So now that you’re going to share every single article you write with readers and friends you’re gonna want to save some time, right!? Use a plugin to immediately share your content to your social platforms AND shorten the URL link. I find Jetpack’s publicise the best option.
9. Sign up with Bloglovin’
Speaking of social shares and reaching more readers, have you signed up with Bloglovin’? This is arguably the best platform to promote your posts and reach readers interested in your content. It’s also a great way to discover new blogs – I read my favourites every day through the platform!
10. End with a Call to Action
Want to create a community on your blog? Create a two-way street between yourself and readers? Let them know that YOU care about THEM and what they have to say, too? Ask them! It’s as simple as leaving a “let me know your thoughts in the comments below” at the end of your post. It’s a great way to get feedback on your post and build a relationship with your readers.
Want more help? Read my book: “How to Create a Successful Blog”
11. Use LINKS
Want to make your blog post more useful and shareable? Use links. That way the reader can go off on a trail and use this information to actually get something from your post.
12. Speak Your Mind if you Really Have Something to Say
Back at #6 I mentioned to be wary of insulting others by getting too ‘ranty’. But if you’re really passionate about a topic and want to go on a full-fledge rant, go for it! Going against the grain and creating a controversial piece will spark an emotion in readers – causing a reaction and more traffic to your post. BUT just don’t say anything you’ll regret. If you’re fired up, draft the post and check it the following day – do you want that out there for the interwebs to see?
13. Your titles as your “front cover”
They say don’t judge a book by it’s cover but let’s be honest – when was the last time you DIDN’T judge an actual book by it’s cover? Think of your titles as your front cover – drawing in your readers so they want to read more. Titles that suggest your reader will gain something from reading your post or learn something new are a sure way to lure them in (then you’ve gotta come through with the goods, of course!).
14. SEO – know what it is and master it
Over time SEO becomes a natural evolution – you start to write both for your readers AND for search engines. Just be sure to keep a balance between both or you’ll get loads of new readers who won’t stick around for long and turn away all your loyal readers (which is like losing friends).
15. Make your writing Scannable
Sure, you might have something GREAT to say but the truth is not everyone has enough time in their day to read your whole post. Take a look at this blog post for example – it is laid out in a way that makes it scannable for readers. Sure, you know you will get more out of the blog post if you take the time to read the descriptions (like this one), but if you’re short on time you can flick through the headings and make some mental notes for future reference.
16. Not too long, not too short
I’m often asked by my friends who are starting out in blogging “how long should a blog post be?”. There’s no golden rule – but generally speaking it should be somewhere in the middle. Of course there are exceptions to the rule – some blog posts I get to the end to and keep wanting more, and some are short and sweet and cause me to think which is just enough to take away from the post.
17. When you lack motivation…
Don’t write. Wait until you feel inspired to write – that’s all I will say on the matter.
18. Read other blogs (with caution)
Blogging isn’t a competition; it’s a community. Be sure to find and follow your favourite bloggers inside AND outside your niche for inspiration and to see what is trending. But do this with caution… it’s important to remain original and prevent yourself from stealing other’s ideas. Sometimes a few words or one dot point within a blog post can inspire you to write a whole post on the matter. That’s a perfect medium.
19. Find your voice
Everyone has a different writing style so one of the most important things to master early on in your blogging career is to find your voice. But this is quite an elusive suggestion and I’m sure you’re probably thinking “Okay, Brooke… but how exactly?”. I find the best way to ‘find your voice’ is to just be yourself. Write like you’re having a conversation with whoever you picture would be reading this on the other end. Et Voila!
20. Learn from your mistakes by monitoring your stats
The only way to know what is and isn’t working is to monitor the results and learn from your mistakes. Hopefully by now you have installed Google Analytics – but if not, get onto it right now! This is a free tool that makes it effortlessly easy to monitor the traffic on your website. You’ll soon learn which posts are popular (and those that aren’t), as well as what links your readers are clicking on and how they’re finding their way to your specific blog posts. Magic.
21. Show your Personality with Video Content
Being on video isn’t for everyone… but it’s a great way to show your personality! When I first started filming Youtube Videos they were truly horrible. I was nervous, they were bad, I was too worried about what I looked like, and again they were bad. But with time I learned just to be myself and show readers who I am – this gives them a way to connect with you and trust you/your advice. It’s okay to be nervous but you gotta start somewhere!
22. Write Lists
(Like this one!). Lists are a great way to shape your message into interesting, engaging and useful content.
23. You don’t have to learn code but…
So you want to use sub-headings, colourful fonts and quotes? You will be pleased to know you don’t need coding experience for this – there’s a whole world of plugins out there to explore! For WordPress users, here’s a great article on the most useful Plugins in 2014 (there’s heaps of these articles just a google search away).
24. Get to Know your Readers
This is such an important part of blogging that is often overlooked and I’ve left it until now to be included as a “thanks for reading this far”! Readers are the most important part of your blog – otherwise you’re just punching out words into the interwebs for no one to read! Never forget about them, engage with them, MEET them! NB: one of my favourite things from blogging has been meeting readers – I want to meet ALL of you (shout out to my Swiss readers below)!
25. Introductions should be short and sweet
Short – sharp – straight to the point. They should introduce your readers to the topic you are blogging about, tell them what the blog post contains, and encourage them to read on for more.
26. Draft, Edit, Post, Repeat
Over time you will become so accustomed to creating great content that you will no longer need to edit your content – but to begin with this little detail can not be overlooked! Sometimes its a good idea to draft the post and edit it later or the following day – just to be sure you want to put it out there for the world to see.
27. Include Quotes and Facts
Things that might appear simple like a short quote or interesting fact are actually much more powerful than you would expect. Why? Quotes that inspire people or a fact that is interesting enough to share with another person lead people to either a) share your content or b) think about it long after they’ve read the post. This then leads to “I was reading this blog post the other day”… leading to word of mouth sharing – often even more powerful than social media sharing!
28. Go back and edit old posts
After you’ve been blogging for a while, you will all of a sudden get the urge to go back and look at your first, second, or seventh blog post. PREPARE FOR A SHOCK. But there’s no point deleting these posts that once upon a time took a lot of effort and time to create. So what should you do? Edit them! Make some minor adjustments and improve old posts that surprise, surprise! Someone will read one day.
29. HAVE FUN!
And of course most importantly, have fun with it! Blogging should be fun if nothing else. These tips are guidelines and suggestions only – it’s a lot of information to digest so don’t try and divulge it all at once. Bookmark this page and come back to it when you feel the need – it will always be here to help and guide you!