We usually neglect small things in our blogs. Sometimes those small changes can bring us massive results. Successful blogging requires right Blogging tools and efforts to stand out, but with the blog marketing space growing so crowded it can be very difficult to select the right platforms to stand out from the crowd.
Now, like every person, blog have their own personality, which is visible in the form of content, design and elements on your blog. You can easily distinguish between a blog which is maintained professionally and a blog by newbie blogger. So, how about we enhance the personality of our blog and give a great impression to readers. There are many things which we can do to make our blog attractive and I’m sure you must have planned many things for your next blog redesign. Everyone wants to make their own blogs look better and attractive. To do that right, read and try to implement the following methods to drive better results.
Changes which will make your blog Attractive and appealing:
Here I’m creating a list of changes or suggestions which you can implement on your blog and give it a more professional outlook. Yes, your content will matter the most but it’s your design and other factors, which will make visitors stay and become a reader. So, let me start with Email form:
1. Email opt-in forms placement
The best way to grow your blog quickly is by building email list for your blog. When it comes to building your email list there are certain ways to grow it fast. You can do it either by guest posting and linking it to your subscription page or by placing opt-in forms in the right place on your blog. There are many Email services, offer list building feature for example: Aweber, Getresponse and none the less, free Feedburner.
The following are the 3 best places to put your opt-in forms that no one ignores:
- Above the fold
- Top of the sidebar
- Below each post
1. Above the fold:
This was introduced by Derek Halphern from SocialTriggers.com. Later everyone noticed the importance of having above the fold placement. Because this is the most visible place when someone first visits your blog. If you provide it with actionable tips or a freebie, you can definitely create a rapid growing list for your blog.
2. Top of the sidebar:
This is the second noticeable email opt-in place. Even if you are using ‘above the fold’ for your blog, it’s always better to use this email opt-in placement also, because when someone clicks on a blog post to read, then this can come in handy to grab their eyeballs.
3. Below each post:
If someone really likes your post, they definitely can’t ignore taking an action! That may be either by making a blog comment, sharing your content or subscribing to your blog. So why not make most out of it by placing opt-in form at the end of the posts? This is one of the effective ways to grow your list.
2. Blog design matters
You can never create a great impact on your first time visitors by using cheap or free themes. Here are few tips to make your blog design more attractive.
Use a better theme:
Most of the bloggers are using free or cheap themes on their blogs. They may be free but it’s also easier to walk away from the blogs! I don’t suggest you to hire a professional to design your blog. But at least spend some money on buying a better theme if you really consider blogging as a business. When you buying a theme, take care of SEO and other aspect like support and updates in future. You can consider selecting any good theme from these popular WordPress theme clubs.
Fast loading site:
This is 21st century, speed matters more. If you can’t make your blog loading time faster, blame yourself! Don’t use too many widgets, plugins and don’t make your sidebar clumsy. It can ruin your loading time. Above is an example of such slow loading site, and would you wait for 11.44 sec for a normal blog page to load?
Don’t use tiny fonts which are hard to read. We are creating textual content most of the time, so don’t make your readers hard to read your content, they will immediately leave blog. Anything around 12 to 16 px of font size is good to read on web.
Social media icons:
If you want to connect with your readers out of your blog, social media is the only option. Make your social media buttons like Facebook, twitter or RSS feed visible. Check out: Must have subscription options for every blog.
A simple tip: Add a “Return to Top” link in the footer. You can manually do this by placing the following code in your footer.
<a href=”#header”>Return to top</a>
Or you can use “To top” WP plugin to do the same.
3. Readable content is King
Content is not King actually. Readable content is the King. If people love to read your content and connect with you, what else do you need to make your blog more attractive & addictive? Here are few tips to create readable content for your blog.
“How to Get More Blog Comments“, “How to Get 1500 Comments Within 2 Months“. Tell me which sounds more attractive? Certainly you will go for the 2nd option. Why? It’s certain, effective and strong. Use these 3 things to make your titles go viral.
Strong call to action:
Without calling your readers at the end of the post, you can’t get comments. If you want more comments, then ask them to comment or ask them what did they really like about the post. It would be always a great idea to end your posts by saying ‘Over to you’ or ‘Your turn’ etc terms, this can help your readers to act.
Use quality images for your blog posts:
Many new bloggers are making a big mistake by simply downloading the images from Google. Don’t use Google images for your blog posts, most of them are copyrighted and you may face copyright issues sooner or later. Still if you want to use free images, there are so many sites out there to download by giving proper credit(a link back to their sites).
Read more to write better:
It may be not possible for you to write as much effectively as a native English speaker. But, you can certainly become a better writer if you read others content daily. Slowly you will notice the results which can lead you to write more effective. If you are an iPhone or android reader, I recommend you to try Zite and Flipboard for reading and discovering new articles. Also, Stumble upon and reddit are also very useful to find content based on our interest.
4. Make your blog a learning spot
Well design does matter but by the end of the day, it’s always your content matters the most. Publishing new article everyday, will never guarantee you blog success but you need to come up with interesting topics and ideas for your blog post.
Interact with your readers:
Did you know the blogs with the better interaction make more money from their blogs? The better example I can mention here is, Neil Patel from Quicksprout blog. Being a busy blogger and a successful online entrepreneur he always responds to most of the comments at his blog. This doesn’t mean that he has more free time, he is smart enough to know that, blog readers are the real assets to create a profitable blog. And that’s the truth!
If you want to build a better blog, build thriving audience first. The best way to do this is: responding to the comments. Respond to at least those who really need help. This shows that you are interested to solve their problems and it creates a great impact on your blog in the long run.
Write actionable tips:
Write really helpful tips to solve your readers problems. They should be able to implement on their blogs immediately after reading your blog posts. I know it may be not possible for you to create this type of content every time, but you can always make it in small chunks. Remember, no post is better than worst post. You must convince your readers to take actions to build a better blog for themselves if you want to grow your business.
5. Don’t overdo with the Ads
Too many blogs (specially the new blogs) have every ad under the sun. What’s the use if you put them without having enough traffic? It also slows down your blog’s loading time.
Focus more on driving targeted readers to your blog and make them loyal. Sooner or later they will certainly prefer your services be it buying a eBook, signing up to your membership program or something else. You are not running a blog agency, don’t plaster too many ads, it may kill your blog’s credibility. And, even if you wish to start, put 1-2 ad unit without hampering readability of content. Specially, avoid putting ads in between the article and avoid pop-up ads.
So ditch the unwanted ads and promote the right stuff which suits your blogging niche.
Extra tip for ‘Shout-Me-Loud’ readers - Analyze popular blogs
The blogs which are popular take every single point into consideration and they spend lot of time to analyze what really works for them! Now take a look at your favorite blogs once. And observe where did they put email opt-ins, social sharing buttons and what they are using on their sidebars etc. This can give you a better idea what to use and what not to use on your own blogs. More over, you will see regular design changes on popular websites, and following the trend and benefits, you can integrate some of such tips to make your blog look more attractive.
Well, such tips are endless like you can always make your contact form attractive, neat and clean layout and many more. The idea is, make a list of changes which you like to add and things suggested by other. You can make changes and perform A/B testing and see which one works. Here is an ultimate guide to A/B testing, which will help you to get started.
Over to you
Did I miss anything? Or any extra tips would you like to add here?
This is a guest post by Rahul from Learn Blog Tips. If you would like to write for ShoutMeLoud, check our guest posting guidelines.