If you’re looking for secrets to improve blog posts, look no further! These 24 tips can help you get started or make an existing blog even better! If you are in business, you need a website. And, unless you want to pay big bucks for advertising and traffic, the best way to get your website seen is to optimize your site so it can be found through keywords. There are many ways you can improve your website’s SEO.
Keywords are key
Keywords are the key to your success online. A keyword is a term used by a search engine to find any relevant web pages. So when improving your posts, you’ll want to start out with a basic understanding of the important words used to describe the work you do or the product you sell. Keyword research then is critical for you to increase your blog ranking and following. After all, why do all this work on your blog posts, if no one can find you when they need you?
Don’t worry, keyword research doesn’t have to be hard. With a little think-time and the internet, you’re able to zero in on words and keyword phrases most-searched by others. Google’s Keyword Planner is a free tool to help you get started. So, before you embark on an SEO strategy or website revamp, you’ll want to do your homework to find your ideal niche.
Write awesome titles
Engaging titles are the key to getting search engine referral links. Many writers focus on solutions, and this is a big miss. Most people cannot see a solution when there is a looming problem. Readers are already and always experiencing internal conversations. So, to make your blog posts read, you need to meet a conscious need of your reader. Readers are often more interested in addressing their current pain before looking at solutions. So, consider this before writing titles or content.
Another important distinction between titles is to keep them to 8-10 words only. Titles can get too long and lose their punch. To help you zero in on better titles, I suggest searching free online title/headline generators. A few of my go-to favorites are SEOpresser, Title-generator, blog title generators, or this one from HubSpot. When you know your keywords, title generators can save a whole lot of time and get you past writer’s block!
Search engine referral links
Referral links are links within your post that either link within or outside of your website. Although Google is constantly changing and updating their SEO rules, referral links still help you spread goodwill. Not every link within a post will be followed by a reader, but having them ensures good marketing. When you write a post, consider how your content relates to bigger players in the field. See how you may create easy links to content leaders. In this article, I link both to external players such as Yoast, as well as my own additional and relevant content. Although there’s talk that referral links will die, they’re still good to have within posts.
Address your reader’s problem or pain
Many blog writers focus on solutions, and this is a big miss. Most people cannot see a solution when they have a looming problem. Readers are already and always experiencing internal conversations. So, to make your blog posts read, you need to meet a conscious need of your reader. They’re often more interested in addressing their current pain before looking at ‘solutions. So, consider this when writing your content and key points.
Click-worthy titles typically address a problem already going on, or a conversation already present in a reader’s internal conversation. So, it’s important to think about where a reader is at the point of needing your advice, idea or solution. Start there.
I remember the first four years of my business, I fought blogging tooth and nail. However, once I started, my site began to be more searchable. Forward ten years (and nearly 600 posts later), and I easily see the results of my long and hard journey. Just like investing money, you’ll never be able to make up for lost time. So. Just. Start. TRULY. You can always go back and improve what you’ve done, but you cannot pre-date your content. There’s no other way (besides paying for advertising) to make up for lost time fence-sitting about why you’re not blogging. BLOG, BLOG, BLOG… no matter what. In fact, why not just set a goal now to get you started?
Use specific, practical, concrete language
One easy way to improve your blog posts is to use concrete language instead of abstract concepts. Concrete, specific language works so much better than abstract ideas. Why? Because most people don’t have time to languish over your posts. Looking at my statistics, clearing the chaos of the playroom vs spend 15 minutes picking up toys.
You’re the expert, write like one
People are looking for experts in the areas where they struggle, so it’s important to establish your own unique style of writing. Some refer to this as your brand voice. One of the best ways to sound more confident is to use active voice. Not only does active-voice sound better, but you’ll also improve your SEO automatically.
Consider SEO, always
SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a term used to describe processes to get your web site and blog posts found in search results. There are several different techniques to rank higher in search results with SEO. The most common are Organic, White Hat and Black Hat techniques. Suffice to say, your safest approach is to work toward both high organic searches using White-Hat SEO techniques, and avoiding the black-hat approaches.
Invest in Yoast
Yoast is an amazing plugin for your site that helps you improve blog content, readability, and SEO. It’s an inexpensive way to improve organic SEO. Once your post is written, Yoast provides both an SEO and Readability ‘score’ in the form of colored lights. Red needs improvement, orange is passable, but green is your goal. This one tool has skyrocketed my site’s search results.
Create Cornerstone Content
Cornerstone Content should be the best, most relevant, evergreen topics you wish to be known for. They are the foundational ideas, topics, areas, and thoughts to write about. Cornerstone articles are longer than most blog articles. They are robust, and they should always position you as an expert. According to Yoast, cornerstone articles provide the best, most complete information on a particular topic, rather than sell products. So if you’re embarking on a blog booster-shot, start by writing several robust articles filled with cornerstone content.
Consider article length
Other than Cornerstone Content articles that are long and robust, you may wonder how long a typical blog post should be. Gone are the days of thinking you have to hit a ‘milestone’ number of words in your writing. The fact is, most readers only spend about 90 seconds on a blog post. So, you want your ideas to be consumable in about that same amount. How that translates to article length? Well, the truth is, there’s no real rule. Trends have shifted, as SEO spiders have improved. Where once upon a time, long posts were rewarded, there was a shift to shorten posts. And now, it seems that longer posts (especially for your cornerstone content) are best. So, for most posts, you’ll want to aim somewhere between 250 and 1000 words in general.
How often should you post? There is no one size fits all. Regular posting means that you’re doing it as often as you like, and as much as you can. Google Search loves new content so the more often you post relevant and interesting content, the more highly favored your site will be. However, consistency is the most important thing to consider when looking for ways to improve blog posts. An additional reason to post more frequency is the more quality the content you produce the more open doors you’ll receive for your blog via both search engines and your RSS feed. So, consider your limits, and find your rhythm. Remember to post regularly, consistently and just get started.
Remember, most people scan blog posts today. While in line, waiting to pick up kids, or hanging out in the bathroom… people are scrolling for ideas and entertainment. They may indeed want advice, but they are impatient. Readers want blog information distilled down to the basics, and easy to read. So, try not to introduce too many new ideas in one post. Think back to when you wrote school essays. The same rules still work. Limit yourself to the key 3-5 ideas, create introduction and summary sentences for each one, and limit your words.
Use headings and subheadings
Headings and subheadings can easily break up the densest subjects. So, It’s crucial to use them to chunk longer paragraphs down into more consumable ideas. They will help to engage readers today. Additionally, headings and subheadings make your posts easier on the eyes. Instead of long, arduous paragraphs, break your thoughts up using headings and subheadings. Not only will your content be more scannable you’ll instantly add easy, consistent formatting to your posts.
Use bullet points
Everyone loves lists. They seem to make a chaotic world more doable. So, I suggest you use them in your posts as often as you can. The general rule of thumb is to make sure bulleted items are all related. A great technique is to use bullets as an outline upfront, then use subheadings to flesh out the content later in the post.
Use lists and introduce them
Another way to improve blog posts is to use lists whenever you can to break up big ideas. Start by introducing a list so your reader can follow. Then, be sure each list appears in order. Whether it’s a series of steps or chronological order, the reader wants the information to make sense. The more logical your lists, the easier the content is assimilated.
Link to a free offer or newsletter list
Another way to improve blog posts is to begin with the end in mind. For instance, most small business owners want to generate interest or leads to a product or service offering. Therefore, consider linking people to your newsletter opt-in, or even a relevant free offer. Blog posts can generate interest and opt-ins when done well. (Here’s an example of one of my free offers for business owners.)
Use pictures next to key points
Today’s posts are brought to life with images and videos. But, be sure you purchase images for editorial use on your site. Image services such as Storyblocks and Deposit Photos make blog images very affordable. It’s easy to set up an account and explore their image collections.
It’s critical for you to keep records of your downloaded images for use on your site. Copyright trolls scour the internet every day searching for websites who (often unknowingly) have used images without authorization. Just because you find an image on a search, does NOT give you permission to post it on your site. In essence, a blog post is published work. Just like your content is covered under copyright protection, an image is as well.
So, do yourself a favor. Pick an image service, get a subscription that meets your needs and budget and avoid the hassle. Further, if you currently have un-authorized images on your site, take them down. Even old post and pages are still searchable. So, to improve your blog posts and save a whole lot of hassle, go into your website host, and delete every unauthorized image in every size from your php records. If you need help reach out.
Use paragraphs and white space
Formatting is important. Be sure to tag your content and use both white space and paragraphs throughout your posts. If using Yoast, it will help you by showing you the paragraphs it considered ‘too long’. When you have such easy-to-implement improvement ideas, take advantage of them.
Use formatting and tagging consistently
Another easy way to improve blog posts is through formatting. Most blogs have easy ways to change the formatting. Get familiar and make good use of the paragraph and header tags. Use boldface and italics where needed, but don’t overuse them.
It always amazes me how often people contact me to include links to either their services, resources, or articles. Hyperlinks are easy ways to connect your content within and outside of your site. If you’re linking away, try to limit how many external links you offer in each article, as external links encourage people to click away and increase your Bounce Rate. BUT, hyperlinks are great ways to build expertise and collaborate across products and services you trust.
Write a clear call to action
Let your reader know when you are almost done. Use a subhead. Include a clear call to action. If you promised your reader something in the headline make the call to action related to that promise. Be sure you tell them what you want them to do. Regardless of where or how you’d like them to connect, be sure to include your very next step of how people can find out more about you.
Invite guests to share articles
Guest posts are highly recommended to help expose you, your brand, your products to attract new readers. You can link traffic directly back to your own blog/site. Guests also provide a break from the (sometimes) exhausting pursuit of creating new content. If you’re expanding to guests, create a special (hidden) page on your site with your blog requirements: readers, demographics, hot topics, and any other specifics you require.
Write a tight, juicy, descriptive byline
Your byline is the line at the bottom of a post that describes you. Consider your byline as a marketing tool. Be descriptive, call your ideal clients to you and work until you get it. Branding happens every time you put your name on something.
For instance, consider the difference between these two examples:
- Cena Block is the CEO of Sane Spaces, LLC and the Founder of the Time & Space Style Inventory.
- As a Productivity Consultant and Certified Organizer Coach (COC), Cena Block helps professional women and entrepreneurs with ADHD hack their blind spots and skyrocket results. She founded SaneSpaces.com and created the TSSI – Time & Space Style Inventory™.
I don’t know about you, but I’d much prefer to hang out with the second person over the first, any day. And hey, I’m the same person! So, to improve your blog posts, be sure to write a catchy, descriptive byline for yourself.
In conclusion, the secrets to improve your blog posts are simple. In general, you want to begin with a plan, know your readers, and then meet your readers where they are. Before you begin, think about what your audience expects from you. Don’t overwhelm them, but don’t underwhelm them either. If you have too much to say about any given topic, consider creating two related posts vs. over-writing one post. Remember how most people consume information these days. Most often they’re looking for quick, easy, low hanging fruit sort of topics and solutions. So, give them what they’re looking for, and watch your readership soar. By following these 24 secrets, you’ll easily improve your blog posts.