Hey guys! Did my last post motivate you to start off your own blog? Thanks for the messages I received in that regard. I was glad that I helped some people put one foot at the door, at least. As I promised you, today, I’d be sharing great tips to make your blog stand out. So let’s assume you’ve just kicked off your blog or you’ve been blogging for a while and you wonder why people are not really visiting your blog or you just want to hit it right the first time to get readers attracted. First of all, you can’t hit it off the first time, you’d get to practise, evolve and get better. When I started my blog I remember how I tried to get all things right before launching. I thought I did because I’m such a perfectionist, not until I started seeing loopholes. I learned along the way, I tweaked once in a while to get somethings right. Am I there yet? Not even close, it’s still a process. For now, from my experience and the experience of some good bloggers I know, here are some great tips that could make your readers keep coming back.
- Appearance: Seems it’s a coincidence that the first thing you notice starts with an ‘A’, so let’s talk about appearance. You normally hear, you are addressed the way you dress. Appearance is always the first thing that gives an impression. How does your website look? Too colourful like a kid’s playpen? Too dull like it’s having a bad day? Does it attract people or repel them? What can help in appearance are your font size, your font style, your colors and arrangement. Your font size should not be too tiny that it’s hard to read, and shouldn’t be too large that it’s so in your face. Same with font style, a simplistic style is always a win. Using dramatic font styles will only give your reader a headache. About Colors, choose at most three colors that compliment eachother. Anything more than three is ‘more than a crowd’. Contrasting colors can be brutal to the eyes so choose wisely. In regards to arrangement, space your words properly. Make Bold headings and make pointers for easy read and clarity. Use paragraphs so it’s clutter-free. By the way, what’s your first impression when you see my blog?
- Catchy Headings: The news channel is what it is today because its headings gets you every time. Make your blog titles very attractive. E.g If you want to blog about items for moms. Instead of saying, “10 things a Mom needs”, you could say “10 Things Every Mom Cannot Do Without”. The second title, shoots a reader’s curiosity up more than the first. Make it Catchy, Crisp and Clear. I know sometimes it can be a sort of challenge to get that perfect title but with time, you’d do just fine.
- Content: Content is King! If all you hope to do is let out gibberish and garbage, then why blog in the first place. If you have great content, other factors that make a blog great can be pardoned for a while if they are lacking in yours. What’s your style? What’s your story? Is it personable? Does it showcase your personality or your intentions? Is it genuine? My advice to you is always be you and engage the reader. If you have a persona you want people to see in that blog, then be 100% that. Also, make your blog’s content invoke a conversation, not just a content that is just in your head and has no business relating with the reader. Everyone wants a bit of knowledge/assurance that people also go through what they are going through, whether good or bad. This attracts readers a lot especially when they see themselves in you. Secondly, before you hit that ‘publish’ button, always proof-read your work. It’s such a turn off if people can spot mistakes everywhere on your post.
- Have great Images: A Great looking picture for your blog can say a lot about that blog. It takes seriousness to capture a great image. I feel a blogger should also add ‘Photographer’ to their title because they mostly go together. Even if you can’t afford a professional camera, most smart phones these days do great work with capturing and is user-friendly. There are also editing apps like picmonkey, canvas and lighthouse to mention a few that can create pictures with characters. Always take pictures with great lighting and steady hands. You might not get it right at first but practise, practise, practise. Rule number one, always use your own pictures for originality but if having a corresponding image to your topic seems farfetched, there are lots of sites that give free images. E.g Stock photos. If still not satisfied and you really need to use someone else’s image because it best suits the image you hope to portray, then take necessary steps by asking for permission to use such image to avoid copyright infringement. People don’t take this seriously especially in Nigeria but there’s a penalty if caught by someone who knows the law. Using people’s images and giving credits at the end without asking for permission is still not right, you have to ask for permission even if it’s your friend’s image. Though this has been controversial on how ‘unrealistic’ it is to ask and wait for permission but the most important thing is, there is a law in that regard.
- Make a Call to Action: Make your post inviting, asking for suggestions or feedbacks in form of comments. State clearly that you’d appreciate their comments and reply as soon as you can. The more people drop comments, the more interactive your blog becomes. This doesn’t mean it’s a number one factor for a great blog. Some readers might just not feel like commenting, some cannot deal with the hurdles required to drop a comment, or your target demographic are those who are too busy to leave a comment, some rather would comment on social media platforms that that article was shared on because it’s a more convenient and comfortable environment than commenting on your blog. So there are factors that could make you not see so many comments but nonetheless, comments are good because it’s a good feedback to the blogger that they have interested readers. You can leave the comment section open or you can moderate it (seeing the comments first, approving them before it goes public).
- Promote: If content is King, promotion is queen. Social media platforms have made it easier to reach out to even more people. Some platforms like Facebook would increase your demographic reach with a fee. This I have not done but hope to start doing because the greater the reach, the more popular your blog goes. Always take time to share your links on social media platforms. You might feel overwhelmed with using all, just use those that work for you. Choose peak times and post catchy taglines to your Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, you name it. You can also put yourself out there by visiting other blogs, genuinely commenting on theirs and leaving your blog links there. That’s a way to get people follow links to your blog.
- Find your Voice/Have your niche: Some people just figure out what they want to do and run with It, if that’s you, good for you. Some discover along the journey what there niche should be. My blog is a lifestyle blog because I talk about a lot of things that really interest me, and that’s because a lot of things interest(for emphasis) me. I’m just not talking without proof of interest. So if you want to run a blog, let your niche not to be too narrow that you can’t even delve into other interesting things, also let it not be too vague that people can’t actually pinpoint what you are really good at or what you are known for. Most times, new bloggers tend to lose their identity when they visit a lot of blogs. Their originality fades off because they start sounding like a mixture of all the blogs they follow. Be weary of that and stay true to you. Always go back to the basics and find your root when you see that you are not sounding like yourself anymore. If you have to sound like another person, that person should be a ‘better you’.
- Be Consistent!: Now you’ve crossed all the ‘t’s and dotted all the ‘i’s. Everything is well and good, just one thing left….you have to be consistent. Not being consistent and always apologising for a long break is a turn off. It’s tough but always try to be consistent. If you want to post 3 times a week, do so. If you want to do more than that or less than that, keep at it Consistently. That way people would take you seriously.
Phewww! This was a lengthy read, sorry! It was a lengthy write for me as well. So let’s hold hands and say ‘The grace’. I hope this article helps you. I must confess, it’s helped me go back to the basics too and I’m glad I did this. I would really love to hear from you and if you are already a blogger, what did I miss out? For new and intending bloggers, if you need a consultation, you can send me an e-mail to email@example.com.
Happy Thanksgiving, people. I’m grateful for a lot of things, and you my readers are on my list of gratitude. God bless you all…..And that’s a wrap to My ‘blog week’.
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