There’s so many of us bloggers posting new content constantly that it can be a bit overwhelming. I mean how can you stand out in a crowd this big? It’s actually easier than it seems. The number one thing people are here for is your content. And so many bloggers just slap some words together, press publish, and want to be successful. It’s something every blogger is guilty of doing at some point in her career. But, taking the time to make these seemingly insignificant tweaks, can really improve your content and grow your blog views.
If you don’t believe me, let’s run through a quick scenario, girl! You find a link to a post on Twitter and your immediate reaction is, “Yes! This is the post I’ve been looking for.” You click the link and off you go. The blog loads and it’s beautiful. You start reading the post and there’s spelling and grammar mistakes, loads of ramblings, and no final point to the post… Are you even going to make it to the end of the post? Are you going to keep reading every word or line? Or are you going to rapid scroll to the end and then exit out of the window? Are you ever going to come back to her blog? No. You’re not. I wouldn’t either. So how do you improve?
Have a clear title
If no one know what you’re writing about, they aren’t going to click to read the post. Which title makes you want to read the post more: “A yummy holiday treat for the whole family” or “My Grandma’s Secret Pumpkin Pie Recipe?” If I’m searching for a pumpkin pie recipe, then I probably wouldn’t even see the first title in search results. If Google doesn’t know that post is about pumpkin pie from the title, how will your reader?
Update your permalink
I always do this after I finalize my title because for WordPress, it’s right under the title bar. I sometimes have long blog post titles when I’m first drafting a new post. It’s critical to shorten the permalink to have specific keywords in order to help the post show up in Google and Pinterest searches. Also, when you first type a title in, WordPress will auto generate a permalink. If you’ve changed your post title or the focus of your post since the draft was created, WordPress won’t update it. You have to. It’s a good habit to get into to make sure that your post title and permalink still match.
Disclose, disclose, disclose
It’s the law. You need to always double check that you’ve included in each post if a product was gifted to you for review, if the post is sponsored (you’re being paid to review/write the post), or if any of the links in your post are affiliate links (you earn a small commission for a purchase, or if someone uses your code, etc). I try to go the extra mile and say what I outright paid for, too, so that my readers are 100% confident that I’m honest with them.
Add some tags
Tags are very useful in the event someone comes to your blog and wants to search for a post they’ve seen before, and to help WordPress or Blogger sort and organize your post to show up in their sitewide searches for content. WordPress also stores a “history” if you will, of tags you’ve used before so the next time you go to tag an item (eg. Urban Decay Naked Palette) it’ll show up in a little drop down box while you type. This signals that you’ve written about the product/event/date somewhere before in your blog.
Put it in a category
This is ultra important. If you believe in any level of organization and being nice to your readers, put things in a bloody category. My categories are identical to my menus at the top of my blog. I’ve done this on purpose. It makes it easier to navigate and find the specific content you want to see as a reader. Some of my posts show up in multiple categories if they fit into both.
Link to your already published posts
I always do this if I can. It helps lead your readers throughout your site and builds a strong web of links between posts. From time to time, I’ll just poke through my own site to see if I’ve missed an opportunity to link to another post. If you don’t have a post to link to when you publish a post, it doesn’t mean you won’t post a new relevant post in 6 months or a year! You can always update later, but I can’t stress enough how important this is for your blog!
Set a featured image
If you’re going to be sharing your post across social media and linking to it, you’ll need a featured image. Websites will pull that image to be a little icon by your link so it’s a rookie mistake to not include this image. Especially now, where so much of our first impressions are visual. We live on social media and buy everything based on a photo.
Proofread and edit
It’s super aggravating to read a post that is full of errors. As a matter of fact, I won’t do it. I leave blogs that have poor grammar in the dust. To give your blog a polished and professional feel, you should always proofread your post before publishing. Going back and re-working a sentence can change the feel of your whole post. You don’t want a sentence to just be hanging out unfinished. Writing gives the chance for you to be a specific and particular as you want. Use it to your advantage. Don’t be sloppy or vague.
Preview your post
Have you ever clicked on a post and there’s a random heading that isn’t formatted like the rest or some wonky spacing with photos and text? Yeah – the author probably didn’t take the time to preview the post before publishing it. Don’t be that person. Make your blog beautiful and cohesive. Even if someone only drops by to skim a post, you want this reader to be met with a visually appealing post. Proper spacing, breaking up paragraphs, and adding images prevent you from publishing a solid wall of text. A final read through never hurts. Take the extra five minutes to make sure each paragraph makes sense and that your post is formatted correctly.
There’s plenty of other things you can do to tweak your posts and improve them, but this list should give you a good start. It’s easier to improve your post one thing at a time than to try to change everything at once. These are the basic steps I take on each post and implementing them has changed my viewership drastically.
Is there anything else you do to your posts before pressing publish? If you’re interested in more content to help improve your blog, check out this post about going self-hosted.