Have you ever finished a blog post and just felt, “eh”?
You know, that feeling when you’ve done your research, put in the time to craft a compelling case, and written a complete narrative … but when you read it back, there’s just something missing.
Pin, save or bookmark this article for those underwhelmed moments of writer’s blog.
These 5 quick fixes can be easily applied to give your blog post a boost. Use them to prep a new post before publication, or give new life to an old post that lacked pizazz. You can try one or all, and see what works best for you. Sometimes even the smallest tweak can be what it takes to turn your blog post from “eh…” to “ah!”
Quick Fix #1: Add a power word to your headline.
Once you’ve written your post, revisit your headline. Is it the strongest option available? Will it compel your audience to read more?
If your headline feels commonplace but you’re lacking inspiration, consider adding one of “The 5 Most Persuasive Words in the English Language”:
Why these five? Copyblogger does a great job of breaking down the proven reasons why these power words work – and why they shouldn’t be squeezed into every headline you write. So take the time to read the article before you power up your post.
(By the way, see what I did here? I promised blog posts that will instantly pop … and you’re still reading.)
Once you finesse your headline to perfection, test it out using the nifty Advanced Marketing Institute Headline Analyzer, which will determine its emotional marketing value. (Hat tip to Rebekah Radice for recently sharing this tool on her blog.)
Now that your headline is powered up and ready to get you the click-throughs your masterpiece deserves, it’s time to move on to the rest of that bad-boy blog post …
Quick Fix #2: Upgrade your blog image.
By now you (should) know that simply doing a Google image search for a photo is a big no-no – but that doesn’t mean you have to shell out the big bucks for a killer blog image.
Imagery on both pixabay and unsplash are totally free to do with what you wish – no attribution necessary (although it’s always nice to give credit where it’s due).
On Flickr, however, you have to pay attention to the rights detailed on each individual image. Use the “Advanced Search” to find results with a Creative Commons license. While these are free to use, many still require specific attribution, so make sure you check them before downloading.
Even if the picture you select isn’t perfect, you can most likely find one that you can work with. Remember, the blog image is simply another way to draw readers in, much like your headline.
Once you find your image, make it unique to your blog. I love using PicMonkey for online photo editing. It’s a free service that lets you add text, filters, embellishments and more to images from your computer, Dropbox, Facebook or Flickr. It even includes easy “canvas” templates that help you size imagery to fit within specific social platforms (such as your Facebook cover photo).
Picmonkey is also key to quick fix #3…
Quick Fix #3: Make your blog image Pinnable.
You worked really hard in Quick Fix #1 to craft an amazing headline. Put that headline to work by adding your blog title directly to your blog image, as well as the URL for your website or blog.
Adding your headline to your image will instantly make your blog post more attractive on Pinterest. Pinterest is a visual platform, so you want your image to be as eye-catching as possible. With your killer headline directly on your image, Pinterest users will be drawn in without having to read the caption.
A blog image with supporting text will also benefit you on other social networks, such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+. Articles with images get 94% more total views*, and readers want to know what benefit they’ll get from reading a post before committing to the click-through.
Once you’ve enticed your audience with your beautiful image and captivating headline, you better deliver. How? With tip #4…
Quick Tip #4: Pretty up your blog post.
We’re all writers, so it’s safe to say we all love words (right?). Unfortunately, no matter how amazingly smart and insightful our words are, they’re no longer enough to entice our audience to read – and share – them.
While your words and ideas are important, so is what I call your post’s “pretty factor.” Is it aesthetically pleasing? Does the layout help move your eye from key message to key message? Is there enough white space to let the brain breathe?
I recently had a reader comment: “Really nicely written copy, and pretty blog. #goodread.” And I was psyched. Because aesthetics matter. They not only support your overall brand image, but also show your readers that you care about their experience on your site.
So how can you up your post’s pretty factor?
- Add subheads
- Shorten your sentences and paragraphs
- Bullet copy wherever appropriate
- Increase the white space
- Bold words
- Add both internal and external links
- Edit! Edit! Edit! Cut any and all extra words
In the same way you consider your word flow as you write, consider your reader experience as it flows through your post. Please your audience, and they’ll devour everything you write. Which leads to …
Quick Tip #5: Claim your authorship.
You’re not just a blogger. You’re an author. And if you have not already done so, claim your Google Authorship today.
Google Authorship is a way to connect your Google+ profile to the content you create. When you link your content to your Google+ profile, your content will be displayed in search results with your photo and your byline, giving your content (and yourself) more credibility.
Why is your Authorship important?
- Your content will be more credible and easy to distinguish as your own.
- It makes it easier for people to find your content from different sources across the web.
- You establish yourself as an authority in your area of expertise, making it more appealing for people to not only read your content, but also add you to their Google+ circles.
- It helps you discover and stop plagiarism of your work.
- You can now access analytics for your content in search.
Read more about Authorship and learn how to claim your own in our post “A Content Marketing Guide to Google Authorship”.
Does your new post pop?
Apply one or more of these tips, and it will make a difference. Still not overwhelmed? Maybe it’s time to put the post aside to revisit at another time. Because if there was a Quick Tip #6 here, it would be to give yourself a break. Not everything you write will be a masterpiece. As Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg says, done is better than perfect.
Do you have any tips to add? Share in the comments below, or join our conversation on Google+.
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