How to Dazzle Your Readers with Your Blog.
This is the final part to my four-part blog series on Best Blogging Practices, all tips I took away from the great speakers at the Fitness and Health Bloggers Conference in Denver in June. I hope they’ve been helpful so far, they were for me!
We got great tips on blog posts, blog sourcing, and SEO, and Amanda at Happy Mother Runner helped us fill in the blanks with how readers see your blog and what they experience when they get there. Which is what this is about!
Obviously there are two super important key factors of your blog:
- Easy to navigate
- Reflects your personality
- Gather your requirements for your blog’s home page, like what you want to give your readers and how you want to present it. Answer these questions: do you want certain sections to stand out? Do you want to have multiple posts on one page? Just one day’s post on one page? What do you love and hate about other blogs? What is your blog frequency? Who are your readers? On my blog, I have a lot of different topics and sometimes I blog more than once a day, so I try to categorize them so you can see them. I want my recipes to stand out from my fitness tips and my crazy mom stories. But you might have a different vision for yourself. Sit down and map it all out.
- Find a theme that supports your vision. You might want a designer to help you with this, but there are literally millions of WordPress themes to try out and themes for Blogger too. (I have spent hundreds of hours on this.) My theme is from WPZoom, but Woo Themes are good too (inexpensive) and also your designer might have a deal with a theme company too so check with them. I am a writer, not a designer, so I left it up to them but there are also lots of free themes you can find if you Google “Free WordPress Themes”. You communicate your identity to your readers through your design, so choose a layout that fits what you’re trying to convey and a design that represents your personality. A “tiny design change can make a world of difference,” says Amanda.
- Make sure your blog is easy to navigate! You don’t want to overload your readers, you want to guide them.
- Use the Psychology of Diagonal Balance principle. People read from left to right so have your logo on top with your featured image and a left sidebar (whoopsy! I’m a violator of this one!) and your most important material headed that general direction in order of importance.
- Use action phrases on your blog and in your posts like: ”Read more” “Follow me” “Join me” “Sign up” so you can guide them into what to do next and keep them coming back. Also, ask questions to keep the conversation going.
- If you can’t put it into words, try a different medium, like video! Which allows your readers to get a really great idea of who you actually are. And while you’re at it, cater to your different variety of readers. Some are visual, some love the pictures, others love videos, others love words, so try to mix it up. Accompany your words with video, or make use of Pinterest and motivational quotes.
- Do post fresh, quality content as often as possible. However, (I’m going to add one of my own here), if you miss a day of posting, don’t apologize for it. Just skip it and move on.
Confession: I am writing these tips having no idea if I am doing a good job of things like “easy navigation” and clutter on my own blog or not. I haven’t done this before and I am scared, but here’s where I open it up to you. I’d love to hear what you love and what you don’t love about navigation or the design on my blog! (Feel free to give me your honest opinion!) Go ahead. I can take it! Lay it on me! What do you love and hate??
Thanks to Amanda for these great tips!
If you want to read the previous posts in my blogging series, here they are:
Thanks again to Refuel with Chocolate Milk for getting me to the Fitness and Health Blogger’s Conference! It was an amazing experience and we learned so much!
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