If you’re a writer, or have any aspirations to be considered as such, then you’ll know that your online presence is an important part of getting the word out about your writing and developing an audience. The only problem is, most people overlook some of the fundamental rules of making their blog not just readable, but outright exciting to visit. Of course, your craft should be what you spend the majority of your time working on, but don’t forget that a blog that is engaging and draws people in can have as much an effect on its success as the content that’s on there (nearly…). Here are a few tips to give your blog a much needed spruce up and make it more enjoyable to read.
Mixing Up The Length
Now, there is something to be said for a blog that stays committed to delivering the same amount of words in every post that’s published. However, if you’re sticking to 500 words for each of your blogs, then you had better really have 500 words to say on every one of your topics. Most people, however, do not. They extend blogs that should be 300 words to reach their goal of 500 words, and cut short in depth articles just so they’re quick and easy to read. In the future, mix up the length of your posts. You see professional outlets do this all the time. At The Guardian, for example, there is no set word limit for any of their posts. Some, like ‘The Long Read’, can be 5000 words, while others are 250 thought provoking snippets. It all depends on what is being discussed.
And The Content
Similarly, you shouldn’t be exclusively limiting yourself to just the written word. There is so much more out there that you could be making use of to get your message out, and which will make your blog all the more engaging. For example, a cartoon might be more effective in some instances than a blog post. Also, videos are the biggest and most favourite medium for information these days, so you should be mixing it up and posting videos every now and again. No one likes only seeing walls of text on the internet, no matter how great the text may be.
A Professional Makeover
When you start out, you’re probably more focused on getting the blog up and running than you are about making it look professional. However, when you begin to step up as a writer you should be aiming to make your entire outfit look more like the real deal. If you have a collection of great articles that you know group together, create a magazine cover with Adobe Spark and put them into an online magazine. This also helps breathe life into your old articles that might be lost in the haze of all your other posts. It’ll also look great when it comes to applying for writing jobs, too.
Inviting Talented Friends
Your blog is very much your space to show off your creativity, but there’s plenty of creative people out in the world, and you might just benefit – creatively and in terms of website visitors – if you invite others to publish their work on your blog. One great way to do this is to create a theme for the week/month at your blog and invite cartoonists, artists, and other writers to submit their related content to your site. This can be a reciprocal arrangement, too: when they invite you to post to their site, return the favour and you might find that you gain some new followers as a result.
Investing in a New Website Design
Don’t have the website design for where you’re currently at in your writing career; have the website that reflects where you one day want to be. Take a look at your favourite writing websites and see how your current website design compares to theirs. It’s amazing what taking the time to get a new website look can have on a blog. You might be pushed to go for a minimalist site and only publish the absolute best content you can create, or you might decide to expand your website and open it up to articles on many more topics. The choice is yours!
Push the Boundaries
Nobody is going to read your blog if you’re offering the same old rehashed opinions that everyone else is already saying. If everyone already has these opinions, then who exactly are you trying to tell them to? Instead, push the boat out. You only get one life, so there’s no reason to stick to safe ground. Put yourself out there – you won’t be able to please everyone, but you don’t want to anyway, do you? The people who are interested will become loyal readers.
Research, Research, Research
You should be writing each of your blog posts as if you were going to submit it to a review by experts. There’s not a paragraph in the world that couldn’t be improved by the author taking extra time researching the topic to ensure it’s absolutely watertight. If your blog posts are well structured, researched, and written – just like a university essay – then it’ll be able to stand up to any critical lens (and the internet is nothing but a critical lens) that is cast over it. It’s all about creating quality content, in the end, and research allows you to do that.
Don’t Make It All About You
You are the subject that you comfortably know the most about, but you shouldn’t be making every blog post all about you. There’s only so much of your personal life readers will be able or willing to read. Instead, look at the bigger themes, and connect your blog posts to your readers in some way. If you’re a niche website, then what are the issues that affect everybody, not just you? Ultimately, you should be aiming to find the balance between putting yourself out there and giving your readers what they want.