When I am not blogging about books I am a professional digital designer and marketer. One of the reasons why I am too busy to blog sometimes is that I am occupied helping companies grow their online presence or creating things for them. So, to give back to the blogging world a little, I thought I would list a new tips to help other bloggers grow their audience and improve their content.
I could go into things like SEO, design and the more technical side of WordPress but maybe I will do those another day. These are just some basics.
Tip 1: Why Should People Follow You?
Are you funny? Do you have a lot of knowledge about a certain genre? Do you have a talent for design? Do you write a good review? It could be any reason really. But why should people follow your blog?
Don’t be afraid to stand out. Create content that you are proud of and love and the people will come. And don’t limit yourself to what is popular, think outside of the box. Maybe try taking part in a tag if you normally only write reviews, or share something personal about yourself, do a life update or share something cool you just learned. A blog it about your personality as well as whatever topic you are writing about. Give people a reason to tune in. There are thousands of blogs out there so stand out and be yourself.
When I started this book blog I used to only write about popular YA novels but when I swapped it to horror, and writing about things I actually loved, my readers loved it too.
Tip 2: Create Actual Content
This is something I have seen on a lot of starting blogs. No content. You would think it would be impossible to write a blog post without any real content but people manage it.
Your blog is there to share something or inform people. DONT just post a list of titles or images of book covers and call it a tag, EXPLAIN why you picked those books or at least give the reader a summary of what the book is about. EXPRESS YOUR OPINION. Also if you want the reader to read those books telling them what a book is about is a good idea.
Honestly if I see a blog that is just a list of titles or images I am not going to bother looking those books up.
- If you want to help your reader out even more provide a link to the book’s GoodReads page so they can add it to their own to-read list. It saves them a bit of hassle.
Tip 3: Check Your Blog on Your Phone
Ok, you are a blogger, not a web designer, but this still applies. Double check all of your new posts on your phone. What looks good on a computer screen might not work on a phone.
Today 70% of internet browsing is done via smart phone. Bloggers have to keep this in mind when creating content and choosing a layout for your blog.
- Centred images are more responsive. If you align an image to the left or right it can mess up in the phone version of your site.
- Use PNG files for images with a transparent background.
- Side bars can look very strange on a homepage and can make it look messy. Maybe remove the sidebar and only let it appear on posts. This tip really applies to the theme you are using on your blog.
- Some WordPress themes don’t have a different colour or format for hyperlinks so make sure readers can tell a piece of text has a link on it.
Tip 4: Set a Featured Image
When you write a blog post make sure to select a featured image for your post. Your blog theme might not need a featured image but that image is what people see first when they are browsing the Reader screen in WordPress. If you don’t pick one yourself WordPress will pick one for you, and it will be the first image you uploaded when creating the post. That doesn’t sound too bad but you want WordPress to pick the right image, so do it yourself. This will be what people see before they even bother to read your post, whether your theme requires it or not.
- Use collage apps to create featured images. For example, if you are doing a “Top 5 Tuesday” create a collage of all the books you will be featuring in the tag.
- Pexels.com is a great website for FREE professional stock images if you are ever stuck.
- Gifs work too.
Tip 5: Be Part of the Community
Even with all of these tips, the biggest one I can give you is, have fun. Blogging opens you up to a whole new range of people online for you to talk to so take part in the community. Follow other blogs, comment on their posts, get a GoodReads account if you are a book blogger, and just take part. You will end up making friends who will be reoccurring readers on your blogs because they are interested in you, just like how you are interested in their posts. It is brilliant.
- Do some research. Some blogs host tags and challenges that will help you generate more readers. They are not only a lot of fun but your blog will be shared on their page.
- Don’t limit your blog to just WordPress. Get the news out there when you create a new post. Share it on social media.