As a blogger you crave more traffic and shares–that almost goes without saying. Who wants to be shouting into a void?
To help you make your blog posts more exciting and sharable I’ve gathered together my favorite time-proven tips in this post.
You may have a great story to tell or some fascinating and useful information to impart to the world, but there’s a right way and many wrong ways to do so.
There are millions of blogs out there in the blogosphere, and to catch and hold a reader’s attention you’ve got to be getting many things right.
If you’re writing boring titles, your site is slow to load, you’re not making use of white space and large fonts, or committing any other of a number of blogging sins then you’re not giving yourself your best chance to successfully compete with all the other bloggers out there.
The good news is that none of it’s rocket science, mostly just basic sound common sense backed up by years of analysis and research.
1. Write Compelling Headlines
A good headline can make all the difference as to whether your latest blog masterpiece is read or simply glossed over.
With studies showing that 80% of people will read the title, while only 20% will read the body of the text, you’ll want to make sure that you know how to craft a good one.
Chances are you’ve spent hours researching and writing your latest post – your choice of title will now play a massive role in how many eyeballs will read it in days to come.
In fact I’ve found the topic to be so important and interesting, I previously wrote a blog post especially dedicated to writing great blog titles.
(You can also download my free PDF ‘How to Write Great Headlines that Get More Blog Traffic’ at the bottom of this post.)
2. Have Good Design
A good overall blog design has multiple elements, including good use of whitespace, short paragraphs, short columns, and large font.
Whitespace helps with the overall readability and ‘scanability’ of your blog post, by making reading and scanning easier and less stressful. (And people seem to be scanning more than reading these days, especially on mobile devices.)
Short Paragraphs have also become much more important in recent years, especially since the advent of the smartphone. Two to three sentences is usually quoted as the limit, with many paragraphs now consisting of only one sentence (not that my old English teacher would have approved!)
Short Columns are great for scanability, since it’s much quicker and easier to take in a body of text by scanning downwards if the column is short. (Experienced readers can scan down the middle of the column while using their peripheral vision to take in the rest.)
So there’s a good reason why you don’t see many blogs with text sprawling right across the screen anymore, as was fairly common in the early days of blogging.
Large Font is much preferred for reading information on screens, and especially on mobile devices. 12px is generally used in books, but 16px or even 18px works much better for reading from screens, being much easier on the eye.
3. Include Images
Since people are very visual, it’s no accident that blog posts with images have been shown to greatly outperform those which rely purely on text.
The oft-quoted phrase, “An image is worth a thousand words” might be stretching the point a bit, but there’s no denying that including at least one eye-catching image in each blog post will greatly increase your overall readership and social shares.
And if you’re not persuaded, according to Jeff Bullas articles with images get 94% more total views than articles without.
Don’t just grab any old image from a stock photo site though. It’s been proven that relevant images are much more successful than irrelevant ones.
4. Include Video
Videos are great for encouraging readers to stay on your site, since they not only entertain and educate but also allow them to take a break from reading and rest their eyes.
To embed a Youtube video on a page, click ‘SHARE’ under the video, then ‘EMBED’ on the popup. Next copy and paste all the text within the <iframe and /iframe> brackets into the ‘Text’ area of your post.
You can alter the numbers in ‘width’ and ‘height’ for a better fit in your post – I usually change width to 615 and height to 350, as in this interesting video by Pat Flynn:
5. Include Plenty of Links
Internal links, as well as being great for SEO, encourage readers to linger on your blog for longer perusing other posts.
It also assists them with site navigation by directing them to the more important pages on your blog.
Internal Linking also helps with SEO to link to some of your other posts at an early stage of a post, and is good for the page authority and ranking power of the site.
External, or Outbound links to other blogs have been shown to help increase the trust and quality of your blog, with an overall positive SEO impact.
So don’t be afraid you’ll lose visitors by doing it–overall you’ll be better off with more external links from your blog.
6. Optimize for Mobile
Bloggers should be aware that a large and ever-growing number of your readers are using mobile devices, so you want to ensure that your blog looks great and runs fast on smartphones and tablets.
According to this study, 63% of readers were viewing on mobile devices in 2017, so it’s likely that about two-thirds will be viewing on mobile by the end of 2018.
I regularly check my blog posts on my smartphone for both speed and readability, as well as checking that my Pinterest pins look good (make sure you use a large, readable font with Pinterest!)
To increase your site speed, make sure you reduce image sizes, optimize plugins and themes, and use a great web host.
This is a good site to test your website’s speed.
I personally use and recommend the StudioPress ‘Genesis Framework‘ which is popular among bloggers and is optimized for mobile.
7. Include a ‘Related Posts’ plugin
If a reader reaches the end of one of your posts and sees nothing more of interest to click on you’ll probably lose them right there.
This is where you want a good ‘related posts’ plugin, displaying a selection of posts relevant to the one they’ve just read (see the bottom of this post for an example.)
This also adds to the ‘stickiness’ of your site, making for a longer average browsing time, lower bounce rates and more page views on your blog.
The related posts plugin I use and recommend on this blog is Contextual Related Posts by WebberZone, which as it’s name implies bases it’s choices on the content of the title as well as the post text. You can choose from either thumbnails or text display.
Do you have any tips to help make your blog posts more exciting and sharable? Let me know in the comments below.
FREE PDF: 'How to Write Great Headlines That Get More Blog Traffic'
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