Do you need a hand making sure your blog has as much of an impact as you hoped? Currently Googling something along the lines of, “ways to make your blog better”? Have you perhaps started a blog but don’t seem to be getting the page views that ‘everyone else’ is getting? Don’t give up hope just yet. We’ve all been there. I’ve worked for hours and hours and hours on blogs, making sure they’re just perfect, editing them to within an inch of their life, only to met by the most disappointing page views ever.
Over the years I’ve developed a system to ensure my blog posts are as fabulous as they should be. I use a variety of tools and tricks on all of my websites and blogs, and also on the ones that I put together for my clients, and I decided it was about time I shared them with you. Why? Because they work for me. I believe they could also work for you.
So, grab yourself a cuppa, a pen, and a piece of paper. I’m about to teach you what I’ve learned in over 8 years of blogging …
15 Ways to Make Your Blog Better
1 – Write lists
- Lists are easy to understand.
- They provide information in a quick and efficient manner.
- They’re easy to write and read.
- Lists break up long paragraphs.
- People love lists.
I think I’ve proved my point.
P.S. Don’t make every post a list, but including a list-style feature in all blog posts is a good trick to use.
2 – Keep yourself up to date
Are you on Pinterest? I use the social site to find out what’s trending. I also use Instagram to keep me up-to-date with stuff like fashion, beauty, hair trends, etc. I keep myself up to date, and that enables me to keep my blog up to date, and my social media too.
I use the current trends to work out which article or title would work well on CherryCherryBeauty.com, and also which images are likely to be shared on Pinterest. In fact, while we’re on the subject of Pinterest, I have a social media tip I’d like to share with you for free …
Social Media Tip: If you have an image doing really well on Pinterest – getting lots of likes and shares – use it on other social media accounts. I like to #throwbackthursday older posts, sharing the most popular pins from Pinterest to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram when I can see they’re picking up speed. If they’re popular on Pinterest, there’s a good chance they’ll be popular on the other social media sites too.
**This tip does not apply to demographics. These are generally too large and do not fit well with other social media platforms.
3 – Use YOUR life
That’s right — use your life to prove a point.
When I’m talking about something important, a new social media tip that I think you should pay attention to, for example, I use real-life situations to prove the point I’m trying to make.
I like to put my money where my mouth is, so to speak, and that’s why I started this website AND the social media accounts at the same time. I didn’t buy followers. I’m using my own tips — putting my money where my mouth is — proving that what I’m saying really works.
Use your own life in what you write. If you know that something will work because you have a story to back it, tell the story. The blog is YOUR space to write that kind of thing down, and you should be using it more effectively. Making your blog posts more personal is a great starting point, and it also helps readers to relate to you, your blog, or your business much more. When they can relate to you, they will be more likely to buy your products or use your services. They’ll trust you enough to share your blog posts.
4 – Shorter paragraphs, please
People don’t really like long chunks of text. In my experience, they don’t do so well on websites. If you have one large chunk of text on your site or blog, there’s a good chance people will exit the page because they can’t be bothered to read it all. That’s why lists are good. They allow for more white space on the page. Refer back to point number 1.
Break your paragraphs down into 300 words or fewer. You can have the odd one or two paras that go over that, but for easier reading cut down on the words per paragraph.
5 – Lots of white spaces
This is basically carrying on from point number 4, but I’m separating it into two. Cutting down on the length of your paragraphs alone will not always help to add more white space to a page. Your photos and text could be really close together, for example, and this can make the page look quite cluttered.
Open things up a little, add some space between them. You’d be amazed at how good your website will look when you spread things out a bit more, adding white, uncluttered, easy to read pages or posts to it.
6 – Read other blogs (& learn from the professionals)
If you read a lot of blogs, you’ll soon pick up the things that work. That’s one of the great ways to make your blog better. You’ll also pick up on the things that you don’t like, and this is what will help you learn. You’ll learn things that you don’t like about other people’s blogs while you’re flicking through them, and this can help you to make your own better.
If you see lots of advertising on one blog and it makes you click away, you’ll know not to put so many on yours. You’d be amazed what you can learn when you just start reading a little of what everyone else is writing.
7 – Headings, headings, headings
I try to use all of them in every blog post I write. These headings work in a number of ways, but the most important thing they do is create a list-style format that is broken down, with short paragraphs, and easy to read …
… Just like this post!
I’ve used sub-headings in this post, and I try to use them in every post. When you’re looking at incorporating SEO, these sub-headings are quite important. They also make your blog post much easier to read.
8 – Are you a media mogul?
If you don’t have images or media of some form in your blog post, you’re just not doing it right. I’m sorry to be so blunt, but one long page of text is so daunting for the majority of people that you’re likely to get very few page views.
Break things down a little, add a picture here and there. If you can’t find an image, there are plenty of places to source free images on the internet. I’m actually in the middle of compiling a list of the favourite sites I use. Keep your eyes peeled.
I also love gifs. You’ll notice that I use them here and there on this blog, and that’s because I like to think I’m funny as hell. Okay, well, maybe I’m not, but some of the gifs are and that’s good enough for me.
I find my gifs on giphy.com, but there are loads of places you can find them these days. I’ve been using HootSuite’s Composer beta, which gives you the option of accessing a gif database right from the social media scheduling tool. This means that you spend less time searching and then saving to your computer, and more time doing the really important stuff … Such as using that gif on social media to promote the post!
Gifs work really well on Twitter and Facebook. You should consider using them more.
Do you want to see how I use gifs in my blog posts? You’ll find a few examples here:
- Use Tailwind to Get More Out of Your Instagram Hashtags
- Buying Followers … Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Do It
- I’m Going to the London Vape Show … Are You?
9 – Alt tag your images
If you add an image to your blog post, pay attention to alt tags. Use the keyword. I know that people don’t care too much for keywords these days, but I do pay a little bit of attention to them and I can boast about the fact that almost every website I’ve worked on has been on the first page of Google results for at least one keyword. On my vaping website, you’ll notice that I’m one of the first results for quite a lot of the products I’ve reviewed.
Not only will you start to notice you’ll rank higher in the search results in terms of your blog post, you’ll notice that your images will also come up higher in the search results too.
Do you remember when I told you to add more of your personal, real-life experiences into your blog to prove a point? Well, I’m about to do just that …
Google “Vype Pebble”. Like, right now.
Source: Vype Pebble Review
This is a product that I reviewed for my vaping review website, best-ecig.co.uk. I appear on the first page of Google results with my review, but when you head on over to the images, you’ll see that 4 out of the first 10 or so images are mine, and they link back to best-ecig.co.uk. They show up like that because the images have alt-tags: “Vype Pebble”.
Make sure you’re paying attention to the finer details of the imagery and media you use on your blog post. Those couple of extra minutes now will make the world of difference to your website or blog later on.
10 – Use SEO, but not too much
I like to use a very clever little plugin on my WordPress sites called Yoast. This helps me to get the SEO of my site and blog posts figured out quickly, easily, and in a way that I think most people will be able to understand.
You enter your keyword if you’re paying attention to that, and it’ll give you helpful little hints on how to make the post or page a little better. It will suggest things like adding a couple of extra keywords or phrases, adding sub-headings, etc. I listen to these recommendations and … Well, see the above. It works for me!
11 – Check readability
I want to talk about Yoast some more. In fact, I might dedicate an entire post to this WordPress plugin. It’s one of the most useful ones I’ve ever used.
As well as pinpointing areas of SEO that you can improve within your blog post, Yoast will also help you to make your website more reader-friendly. The plugin advises you to shorten paragraphs that are longer than 300 words, and also to add more sub headings. It’ll tell you when you’re using too many transition words, as well as when too many sentences in your post contain more than 20 words.
For the record, the recommended amount of sentences containing 20 words or more, is 25% or under.
Oh, and it doesn’t just tell you about these problems. If you click on the little eye to the side of the suggestion, it’ll even highlight them for you, making it even easier to make your writing, and your blog posts, better.
Yoast is a great tool to use if you want to learn some new tricks and tips to make your blog posts better. It’s a few plugin, although there is a premium upgrade available. I only use the free one. I’ve never used the premium version.
12 – Know what you’re trying to say
Whatever you’re blogging about, say it with meaning. Know what you want to say, and then go say it. If you have information that you want to share, share it. Share how you know it. Prove your point, using all of the methods I mentioned above.
Have a plan, but don’t be super rigid with it. Sometimes the best masterpieces happen when you just let those words flow from your fingers, so flexibility is a really good thing.
13 – Pick a winning title
The title is so much more important than most people give it the credit for. It’s your first opportunity to draw people in, letting them know what you’ve got to say.
The title should give away a bit of what the post is about, but not too much. If you’re using plugins (such as Yoast) to help you make your blog posts better, you may also wish to consider adding your keyword or phrase into your title.
Try not to be too clickbaity with your titles.
Once upon a time, people would have been easily lured in by these titles, but users of the internet are getting smarter. Just take a look at the comments on click-bait style articles on social media, specifically Facebook. LadBible articles, for example, are regularly called out for being “click-bait”. It will lead people to not just unlike your social pages, but also stop reading your posts too.
14 – Grammarly
If you want to perfect your writing skills, I would highly recommend checking Grammarly out. It’s a free grammar checker that you download onto your computer. The tool will pinpoint little commas that you need to add, as well as other suggestions on how to make your sentences flow much more easily. Again, you can get free and paid versions. I’ve only ever used the free version, but I am seriously contemplating trying out the paid one to see how good it is. I’ve actually been quite bowled away by how helpful the freebie version has been for me.
Have you used the paid version of Grammarly? Should I give it a try?
15 – Copyscape
Finally, you must check to ensure your work is unique. You do not want to copy someone else’s work, and this is most definitely the case if you want to be taken seriously as a writer or a blogger.
I use the paid version of Copyscape to check my work over before I post it anywhere, but there are a few other websites and programs that you can try. I’m looking into a few options at the moment, but I’d love your input. What do you use to check your work is unique?
And there you have them — my 15 ways to make your blog better. I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but I’ve used all of my own tips in this post, so if you’re still reading, I think I’ve proved my point.
Anyway, I hope I’ve given you some handy information today, but, as always, I’d love to know what you think. Leave your comments (and your blog links) below. Let’s get social!