5 Simple Ways To Improve Your Blog
In the digital society, we can all become publishers. And it’s incredibly liberating.
If you’ve got something to say, you simply set up a free website with an attractive template, make it your own with a few images and specific colour scheme and create a blog section.
Then, you write, click ‘publish’, and watch as your words fly out into the ether, ready for anyone who happens to be passing by to read them.
Unfortunately, the ease with which blogs can be published has resulted in plenty of sub-standard content marketing efforts on behalf of businesses and people who want to make a living from crafting words online.
If your blogging effort has stalled or you simply don’t have a good enough answer to the question “why did you start a blog?”, here’s five simple ways to improve your online publishing effort:
Add unique visuals
“A picture is worth a thousand words” might be something of a cliché, but it remains true in the digital age.
According to a study by Backlinko, online content that contains at least one image ranks higher than content without. However, you shouldn’t fall into the trap of believing that filling your blogs with countless images will in some way supercharge their search engine rankings.
Equally, correlation doesn’t always equal causation, but unique visuals arguably play a vital role in great blog content. Equally, correlation doesn’t always equal causation, but unique visuals arguably play a vital role in great blog content. And don’t worry if you’re not a designer, because there are plenty of ways to find unique visuals for your blog posts.
Ranking factors aside, people like images – and that fact alone should raise engagement with your posts.
Review older posts
Once you’ve clicked ‘publish’, the blog in question doesn’t have to be ‘freeze-framed’ forever; it can move with the times and develop as required.
If you take time to review, update and improve your old and under-performing blog posts, you’ll become a master of re-optimising content.
Here’s how to get started:
- Look again at the keywords on which the post was originally built. Are they still relevant? Have they changed in any way?
- Re-check any stats you included – do they need to be updated?
- Can you improve upon the length of the content? Long content tends to perform better, so why no add to it?
Are you forgetting to include CTAs?
This is a more common error than you might think.
Bloggers often forget to include clear calls-to-action (CTAs) within their posts, which usually leaves the reader informed but lacking inspiration to do anything with your hard work.
Perhaps you want them to share the blog post, comment on it or download a complimentary eBook. Whatever it is – make it obvious. Include big, brightly-coloured buttons, simple forms and text that demands the visitors do something once they’ve finished reading.
Review and improve your headlines
You get mere seconds to make a good first impression online, and when it comes to blogging, the headline has to do the majority – if not all – of the work to draw people in.
Your blog headlines should hit upon a topic, theme or question that your intended audience holds dear. It should be clear that an answer lies beyond and tantalise passers-by with a cliff-hanger.
Numbers work well in headlines, too, therefore if you’re planning on providing a helpful list (like this one), or have a statistic to share – include it in the headline.
Social, social, social
The art of blogging and social media marketing go hand-in-hand, but are you making the most of the latter to help get more eyes on your content?
There are primarily two things you can do to join up your blogging and social media effort:
- Add social share buttons to the end of posts. Go wild; add Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn and any others your website platform lets you;
- Share your posts judiciously on your own social channels
The last tactic demands further exploration, because it isn’t simply a case of turning on automatic social publishing within your website platform – you need to be a bit smarter than that.
Research the best and most relevant hashtags that can be attached to your blog. Get involved with conversations that are already taking place around the subject and push your content in front of the commentators.
The beauty about social media is that it isn’t a fire-and-forget routine; you can constantly re-purpose your output and repeat yourself without fear of irritating anyone (within reason – give it time for tweets and the like to breathe!). Social posts have a relatively short lifespan, therefore if you need to remind people of the awesome blog post you wrote last week – go for it!
As liberating as the digital age is, the process of creating content that will be read by as wide an audience as possible is getting tougher.
More and more people are blogging, which means you need to work consistently hard to ensure your content stands out from the crowd. Follow the tips above, and you’ll stand the best chance of building an audience that is both engaged and appreciative of everything you do.
Mark Ellis is a freelance writer who specialises in copywriting, blogging and content marketing for businesses of all sizes. Mark’s considerable experience at director level and deep interest in personal and business success means he’s ready to comment on anything from freelance writing to workplace dynamics, technology and personal improvement.