Sometimes it’s the little things that make the biggest difference.
We think that to get our blog to really shine and stand out from the crowd we have to do large grandiose campaigns and pay our weight in gold for a great blog design.
Yet a few simple fine details can make a world of difference when it comes to your blog. Not only will it make it easier to read, it will make it more appealing.
1. Use Headlines as a Hook-
The headline of your post is going to be the first thing readers see yet the importance of the headline is grossly overlooked. Many people think your headline of your post should just be a basic keyword description and they forget to make it memorable. The headline is the hook that you put out to draw people in – don’t skimp on it.
So how do you really make that headline pop?
- Use numbers – Readers like to know that they’re going to find relevant information in a post. A number in the title such as “7 Ways to Up Your Productivity” lets them know that not only are they going to find a tip that will help them but they’re likely to find at least 7!
- Use a keyword but add pizzaz. Rather than just title your post “Chocolate Ice Box Cake Recipe” use descriptions that will pull people in such as “Drool Worthy Chocolate Ice Box Cake Recipe”. It’s eye catching, makes the headline stand out from other recipes and yet still uses the Ice Box Cake Recipe keywords.
- Use words that focus on what you’re giving to your reader. What benefit is this post going to give to them? Will they know the best way to change a diaper or how to better pace their runs? Don’t leave them hanging. Tell them up front what you’re offering.
- Be different! There’s already hundreds of tips online for better school lunches for your kids. How can your post title be unique?
SEO keywords are still very important to your blog post. Don’t forget to take them time to fill in the Custom Document Title or Meta Title Setting. If you’re using WordPress, this can usually be found directly under your post body in the dashboard. This is the spot where you really want use strong boring keyword titles.
Tip -> Portent.com has an amazing idea generator that also produces great headlines. When you just can’t think of anything else, head over there and let them give you a suggestion.
2. Post Formatting Matters-
We live in a busy world and pulling up 900 word post that is just plain text can be daunting at times. Many people today choose to skim blog posts rather than read them word for word.
You need to give these readers a path down your post for their eyes to follow.
- Use Bold text to highlight key thoughts – It quickly shows readers the message you really want to convey.
- Use sub headlines in your post body to break down your key points. – This simple act will help people find relevant information quickly and easily.
- Use bullet points to make lists rather than squishing them all into crowded paragraphs.
Tip -> Don’t go overboard formatting your posts. It shouldn’t look like a Powerpoint presentation when you’re finished. Simply it’s a little bit of a boost for your readers.
3. Images are the New Key to the Internet
Images are EVERYTHING. 5 years ago you could get away with grainy poorly formatted images but then Pinterest and Instagram were born and the online world changed as we know it. Other social media giants such as Twitter are now jumping on the image heavy bandwagon.
- Having a horizontal image at the top of your post will help on social sharing platforms such as Stumble Upon and Facebook.
- Place a tall image at the bottom of your post for vertical image platforms such as Pinterest and Google Plus.
- Use an image to break up large pieces of text. A doodle, drawing or simple shapes can go a long way and easily be made in free graphic platforms such as PicMonkey.
- If you are using your own photos, make sure you take the time to have the subject of the picture well lit and in focus before you snap that picture! If you’re using your phone to take a picture, tap the screen in the camera app where you want the picture to be focused at to force the camera to focus on that object.
- Add words or titles onto select images. Not every photo has to have a title but one or two in your post will go along way.
- When you’re working on your photos for your blog in your photo editing app, take a minute to also make an image that will work well for social sharing such as a square cropped photo for Instagram.
If you are not using your own photos or graphics, make sure that you have permission to use them. If your blog is monetized – you make money from it – you need to find images that are allowed to use for commercial use. This also applies to fonts!
Tip -> If you do purchase pictures take a honest look at them to make sure that they are applicable and realistic. If you’re writing a post on Messy Toddlers you do not want a picture of the perfectly clean family lounging on white sheets.
4. It’s in the Details –
Last but not least, what are the fine details of your blog that will make it stand out in the crowd?
Many blogs look and feel the same so what can you do to make yours different?
- Start a weekly podcast to discuss issues within your niche.
- Start a community wide activity for your blog readers – i.e. a weight loss check in group, thrift store finds make-over challenge, fall garden check in. Lead them all through an activity together. It’s fun and lets them know that you want to see their progress as well.
- Develop an informative newsletter that people want to read. Being invited into someone’s inbox is a big deal. It’s a sacred space on this crazy world wide web. Make a newsletter that they want to read and tell their friends about. Link back to your blog but also take the time to find links to other articles that will help or inspire them.
Think outside the box. What is being done in your niche? What’s being missed and how can you fill in the gap for people?