A lot of people wonder how they can create a Breakout Blog that will help build platform and connect them to their audience. This series on Blogging Tips looks at ways to maximize blog performance to reach these goals.
I love reading blogs & sharing posts via Twitter, FB & Google+ to help people get more exposure with their audience. Content is king, but there are small things you can do to create blog appeal. Here are 3 Fast Fixes to turn your blog into a magnet.
I see an amazing amount of titles that are either a) much too long, or b) don’t convey what the post is about.
- Keep sharing sites in mind when you create titles. Long titles eat up space on Twitter. This takes valuable real estate away from #hashtags which further your exposure, and may affect Retweets. If the initial Tweet dominates the update, there’s no room for others to RT.
- Maximize Interest. Ambiguous or cutesy titles may seem fun, but on Twitter or Google+, your content has only minutes before it’s pushed aside. Make your title a MAGNET to the eye and RELEVANT to the subject. Example: We had lots of Twitter traffic on Becca’s post, Voice Tips from the Pros. If she’d titled it Open Up and Say ‘Ah’, would the post have drawn the same attention?
On FB’s Network blogs, Google Reader & Google+, Feeds are competitive. The average feed or reader is filled with blog posts. How do you capture a potential reader’s attention and get them to click?
- Adding a picture to your blog post makes you stand out in Feeds. Pick something eye catching that embodies your post’s message. People click when they are visually stimulated. Text alone, people may skip unless the title is magnetic.
- A Picture breaks up the text of a post. Straight text is…well, boring. Never underestimate the power of a picture or two. Like white space in a MS, it makes the read go faster.
- Pictures offer a way to visually tie together your message. People tend to better understand the content of a post when they have something visual to focus on and apply the meaning to.
3) Lengthy Posts:
This is a tough one, because some topics require length to be thorough. However, when a reader has limited time, a long post is an invitation to skip unless the topic is riveting.
- Shorter posts help keep readers on your blog. Think of it in terms of fresh chocolate chip cookies. You grab one, then another…and soon half the plate is gone. If a post has good content and reads quickly, the reader will often stick around for another post or two. This is an opportunity to turn a reader into a fan.
- Give readers a reason to return. Long posts are sometimes needed to do a topic justice. So, if you can’t cover it all in a moderate-sized post, serialize. Break the content into a series and readers will come back for more.
Find these tidbits on Blogging useful? Click on the label ‘Blogging tips’ to discover other little things that will make a big difference!
Becca Puglisi is an international speaker, writing coach, and bestselling author of The Emotion Thesaurus and its sequels. Her books are available in five languages, are sourced by US universities, and are used by novelists, screenwriters, editors, and psychologists around the world. She is passionate about learning and sharing her knowledge with others through her Writers Helping Writers blog and via One Stop For Writers—a powerhouse online library created to help writers elevate their storytelling.
Matthew MacNish says
Dawn Malone says
Fantastic tips! As a non-tweeter, the long titles were not something I thought of.
Kelly Hashway says
I completely agree with the short posts comment. I hate opening up a blog and seeing this long post I have to scroll through. I like short ones so I can visit more blogs in the little free time I have.
Stina Lindenblatt says
Great advice as always, Becca.
Titles are sometimes the hardest part of writing a post, but they’re good practice for when it comes to creating titles for our stories.
I LOVE posts with pictures. 😀
Kathi Oram Peterson says
These are totally awesome blogging tips. Thanks for the reminder to keep it simple, appealing, and visual. I liked this so much I tweeted it. 🙂
Cynthia Chapman Willis says
Great tips, Angela. I really need to work on the titles of my blogs, I think. They can be a bit vague. And I completely agree about long posts. They can be full of great content, but time is always an issue.
Carol Riggs says
Great post; I have to remember to use those hashtags on Twitter more! I keep forgetting I can tweet about my posts, too, tho I don’t want to do it too much. I totally agree about long posts; I don’t have time to read those, and if a blogger has a LOT to say: break up the post!
Good post. Lengthy posts turn me off, because I don’t always have the time to sit and read long ones.
I’m slowly learning these valuable tips. You’re site is so good at teaching valuable skills we must pick up as writers if we want to build an audience to hopefully buy our work.
Susan Flett Swiderski says
As always, some outstanding points. Thank you, ma’am.
Jeff King says
If you content is weak, like mine, you must comment and be active on other blog to get faithful readers/commenter’s.
Belle Knight says
I agree with everything you said. The titles and pictures are eye catchers and people definitely have short attention spans. Thank you so much for the tips!
I don’t use twitter (I know!), so the first few points do not work for me…but I totally agree with the long posts point…I tend to go on the darker side with really long posts…and i wonder if anyone would be interested to read it. 🙂 Thanks for the tips…I will try to keep them in mind. (and yeah, probably get a twitter account soon!)
Becca Puglisi says
As someone who struggles to get to all the blogs I want to in a day, I really appreciate the shorter posts. And white space (or blue, or pink, or whatever) really is a good thing.
Angela Ackerman says
Hi anon! I’m so glad this blog helps. You can use the search bar at the top (the blogger toolbar) to search the blog contents. 🙂 I used to have an additional search bar in the sidebar, but it screwed up the template and so I had to remove it.
I love this blog and it has helped me a huge amount in my writing. Could you incorporate a search bar on the page to make it even more useful? Thanks!
Great post with excellent advice. As someone who’s studied SEO tactics, these are exactly what you want to do. I don’t necessarily employ them on my own blog, for my own reasons, but it’s definitely I’m going to do in the future, when it’s time.
Angela Ackerman says
Thanks everyone for the great comments. I find that as I learn more about sharing between sites, I see how these small things really add up. Posts without pictures, for example, my eyes almost immediately skip over in feeds.
Debbie, you rock! I totally did not know that, and you’re right–that’s a small fix to make. I will be trying it for sure.
Lenny, your blog is PERFECT just the way it is! 100% Lenny!
And, LOL, I had to heed my own advice in this post–I originally had 5 tips, but the post was too long! So, expect to see more of these fast fixes in the future 🙂
Thanks again everyone–I really value you and thank you for the time you spend here. I know there’s a million other places you could choose to go instead. 🙂
Susan Kaye Quinn says
Awesome tips! I strive for these, but one thing I found out recently is that titles and pictures can also bring people to your blog when they Google search for them and click through. I have no idea if they’ll stay and be interested, but a pair of eyes passing by can’t be bad.
Thanks for sharing!
Jami Gold says
Great tips! There’s one blog I don’t go to anymore because – I kid you not – the first 1000 words of every post are dithering. 🙂
Sarah Pearson says
I’m guilty of two out of three of these things. Maybe I need a rethink 🙂
Bethany Elizabeth says
Thanks for these fantastic tips! I’ve heard some of them before, but it’s always SO important to be reminded. 🙂
Bish Denham says
I hear you about long blogs. I know I’m sometimes guilty of that myself, even though I don’t read other’s who’s posts are looooooonnnnnnnggggg.
Pictures and shorter posts always draw me in! I follow a lot of great blogs and don’t have as much time as I would like so the shorter post (3-5 paragraphs) will get my attention every time.
Clarissa Draper says
I try to remember this when posting on my blog. White space is pretty!
Debbie Maxwell Allen says
Love posts like these, Angela!
I’ve got a tip for pictures. Before uploading the picture, change the name of the file to something that has to do with your post–even if it doesn’t match the picture. Then (learned this from the Alexa website-grading site) add -alt to the file name. For example, your photo above could be titled: 3-ways-to-build-your-blog-alt.jpg.
Once I started taking a minute to do this, I began getting so many hits from Google images. The -alt somehow helps Google ‘see’ the photo better, and when it shows up higher on search results, it can lead more readers to your site.
Lisa Gail Green says
LOVE the tips! They are sooo true. It’s taken me a long time to figure all that out, I’m glad you’re saving your readers the time by letting ’em know now!! 😀
Carrie Butler says
Great points to keep in mind! 🙂 Thanks, Angela!
SP Sipal says
All good points. I need to keep in mind the length thing as my posts tend to be long. 🙁
Lenny Lee* says
hi miss angela! wow! cool tips. i dont do facebook or twitty and just only got my blog. i always do a picture on a post and i try keeping it pretty short but sometime i get carried off on something. ack! i could maybe do better on my titles. wow! lots of help for makin my blog better. thanks!
…hugs from lenny
Laura Pauling says
Great post! Keeping posts short is a good skill in editing. We can still have great content but keep it tight!
Ava Jae says
Very nice tips! I absolutely agree about the short blog posts. I’m guilty of skipping a post that simply looked too long.
Gail Shepherd says
As a new blogger, I really needed these reminders. Yeah I knew, but… Thanks girls!
Rachna Chhabria says
Thanks for the wonderful tips. I like the idea of pictures and white space 🙂
Christina Lee says
Hey there! Good tips. I am all about pictures and short, short, short! THX!!