Back To Blogging Basics

Maybe you have a blog, but it isn’t performing to its maximum potential. Perhaps you have  some readers, but you’re not crushing your goals. Don’t worry, this happens. It takes work to cultivate a blog following.  A simple tweak here or there could be all you need to turn your blog from just ok to amazing.
Remember: blogs take time, and they require constant content attention. SEO matters, keywords matter, and if nothing else, you must  promote your blog.
In the spirit of going back to school, we wanted to share some of our top tips get people clicking your content.
1. User Experience and Design is Everything
In 2017, we’re used to excellent design and capability when it comes to the sites we visit. Clunky UX/UI is an immediate dealbreaker. Spend time on making your blog as easy to read and navigate as possible. You may need to invest in a WordPress template or work with a designer, but what you should be focused on is a good looking blog that easily allows people to  consume whatever content you’re sharing.
Your text needs to readable on all devices. Responsive websites allow a reader to easily navigate and digest your content on a mobile device. We use our phones for everything, so why lose a reader by not having a responsive web design?
2. Just Say No To Fluff
When it comes to blogging, the value is everything. Because of new traffic being constant in the blogging world, you should  consider what someone gets from your content on the first touch.
Your writing needs to be quality, and the content relevant to the audience. If you’re working towards becoming a Thought Leader in your space, being poignant and offering good advice along with  data is crucial to building readership. This could also lead to potentially beneficial guest blogging opportunities.
3. Use Google Analytics
One of the easiest ways to understand how your blog is performing is to track the analytics. Follow the numbers, they’re there, and you can learn a ton about who’s your most consistent type of visitor. Google Analytics has done a stellar job at fractionalizing the metrics to show the flow of users and how long they’re staying on your site.
Knowing the blog posts that bring in the traffic make all the difference when it comes to SEO. If certain keywords are working well, it might lend you an idea to use those words when applicable.You can  also see certain blog types trending upward, learn about conversations, tasks performed, and find out if they clicked any CTA (Call to Action) buttons.
4. If you’re Going Long, go LONG
For regular blog posts, the sweet spot is considered 800-1,000 words. If you want to go long form, hitting 1,500-3,000 words is ideal. However, don’t make posts long for the sake of hitting numbers. Blogs are meant to deliver value and if it’s an essay, getting to that 3,000 mark makes sense. But, a blog offering tips on how to clean your ceiling fan? That doesn’t need much more than 800 words.
5. People love How – To’s
If you’re good at doing something, share that information. Right now, at this very second, there is someone Googling something that could be considered ‘weird’. It could be how to catch a  rabbit or how to get gum out of an electrical socket.
You may have the skills to answer either of these questions. If so, share that information in an easy to read, simple list. (kinda like this blog).
DIY culture is huge on the Internet and answering questions is an easy way to boost traffic and credibility, especially if your method works great.
6.Know what Gets The Hits
Remember what we said about paying attention to Google Analytics? Check out your data and see what blogs get the highest amount of traction. If tips and tricks or thought leadership pieces are doing better than the rest of your content, maybe that should be your focus area for the future.
7. Know the Ground Rules to Blogging
Because of screens, content should be broken up into easily digestible paragraphs. When content is blocked together with indents, it’s hard to read. On paper, it looks fine because of the analog experience, but not so much on a tablet.
Also, make sure your spelling and grammar are on always point. Nothing is worse than trying read a blog that’s littered with grammatical errors or tons of misspelled words. (see your crazy uncle’s Facebook rants.) Grammarly is an awesome Saas tool that helps reign in some of your worst mistakes and only costs a few bucks a month. No blogger should go without it.
8. Pictures Tell a Thousand Words
The title is cliché, but it’s true. Add a few photos into your blog to break up the reader experience. While a lot of text works in certain situations, blogging isn’t one of them. The platform is meant to share information easily. Adding a few photo elements, especially if you’re doing a How-To list will help paint the picture of what you’re trying to explain. We suggest getting your photos from places like:

Choose free image or paid subscriptions to ensure you have the rights to use the images. We would hate for you to have legal troubles for using other people’s work without citing it or paying them.
9. Social Shares are Everything
We’re all guilty of living on social media 24/7. Because of our addiction to Twitter, Facebook, or Snapchat, we get most of our content from these platforms. Make sure all of your posts feature buttons to easily share your content across the reader’s social media network of choice. Make sure you give them the option at the top and the bottom of the post for maximum usage of the work. And again, if you follow the Google Analytics numbers, you’ll see which networks your content performs the best.
10. Respond to your Comments
Maybe this is personal preference,  but, if you make a statement and someone wants to engage you, it’s important to own that content.
If a reader wants to learn more, just don’t leave them in the information lurch and never reply to their questions. It’s your job as the blog owner to take care of the reader and let them know that you’re both apart of the same community.
And that’s it. If you liked this list, let us know. We’ve got a lot of ideas about blogs around here, and we’re always down to provide more tips and tricks. Leave us a comment (we’ll respond, we promise) or shoot us a tweet.

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