Picture this: You’re at a fabulous networking event in a room packed with exactly the kind of people you want to work with. The speaker on the stage asks for questions about blogging – and promises great advice if you raise your hand.
So you raise your hand. And she picks you!
Then it happens….
She wants to know your blog address. It’s going to be displayed live on the big screen on stage. This is your big moment…. Hundreds of eyes are riveted on the screen.
Do you shout out your blog address?
Or make a run for the door?
“Blog Shame.” It’s a nasty thing. You’ve got a blog. And it may have been wonderful when you first started. But it’s been a few years and it’s gathered a little dust. No recent articles. The branding is outdated. The topics not in sync with what you’re doing today.
The key to making connections with your target audience and attracting loyal readers for your blog is to provide great content in an attractive package. You don’t need to spend a lot of money or hire a team of techies to get your blog up to speed, though. In fact, I’ve got 5 things you can do to transform your blog and dazzle your readers – And never feel like running for the door when someone asks to see your blog again!
1. Design that Draws Them In
When readers first visit your blog, you want design that welcomes them in. Get clear on your brand colors, fonts and the overall message you want your design to project. Keep it consistent, supporting your topic and making the reader feel confident in your value and your expertise. Whenever I update or add elements to my blog that need design I am confident in, including new free reports, quotables, infographics, slideshows, banners or more, I turn to these three resources for high-quality work that won’t break my budget: Fiverr, Creative Market, and Canva.
2. Exceptional Images
In the increasingly visual world of social media (think Instagram and Pinterest) it’s absolutely essential to have attractive art for your blog that attracts the eye, adds value to your content and is perfect for sharing across multiple platforms to increase your online exposure. Stock photos are great and there are many budget-friendly, even free, options out there. A few I use include Pixabay, Skitterphoto, and MorgueFile. Here’s an idea, though. How about using your own photos? Creating exceptional and original content AND photos is a great way to build up a stockpile of fantastic photos that perfectly fit your unique style and message, and a free way to support the growth of your blog, site, and business. Grab your iPhone, Android or fancy camera and head outside, around the office, to a beach or into your kitchen. Recruit your sister, your mom, your BFF and have them add to the pot. Think about the photos that you love to pin and repin on Pinterest to get ideas flowing.
3. Be Consistent
Did you know there is a tool that can cut your blogging time in half, boost your writing quality and creativity, AND give you more time to focus on other tasks that really need your attention? Yeah, baby, it’s called an Editorial Calendar. Start with a blank calendar. (Click HERE to download a free printable version of the one I use). I like to plan my blog out 3 months at a time. Schedule events on your calendar such as special holidays or events, guest articles, sponsored posts, giveaways, participation in joint ventures, and ideas/topics for other posts. Now indicate on your calendar marketing and promotion plans for your blog via your social media channels. Bottom line? By taking 30 minutes at the start of each month to create this Editorial Calendar for your blog you’ll save time and stress, become much more consistent, and never have to do that panicked digging through little post-it notes and old emails to remember what the heck you were supposed to write each day. Use an Editorial Calendar for a little while and you’ll start wanting to hug it; it will become your best blogging friend.
4. Share Your Unique Story
One of the most important elements of a blog that many bloggers forget about is…. YOU! Your story, who you are, why you are writing, your message, your passion, and all the quirky, fun, silly, serious, and awesome things that are a part of your story is the secret to transforming readers from curious skimmers to devoted fans. Don’t neglect sharing your story on your blog’s About Page or in a Bio Box or Introduction Article. Need some help with ideas for writing a truly captivating bio? I know it may seem impossible to condense all your awesomeness into only a few sentences, but you can click HERE to check out my advice for writing a short bio that is sure to make an impact.
5. Add Passion & Personality
Perfect is out! Passion and personality are in! If you remember one thing from this report, please let it be this: Don’t be afraid to let your personality and passion shine through in your blog. Personality humanizes you. Passion cuts through the crap. They both work together to make your readers sit up and take notice. People you want to connect with will hear you and want more. And unlike bland monotonous copy that is easily forgotten, personality and passion make you memorable. This goes for your blog articles, your social media content, quotables, infographics, expert reports and even images. Everything can be improved with an injection of down-and-dirty personality. Just like branding experts tell you that branding needs to be consistent throughout your biz – so does the voice / personality that you share throughout your blog. If you are not passionate when writing content, it will be bland and boring and that is something that you should NEVER do.
If working on all five of these ideas seems overwhelming, here’s a non-stressful way to add pizzazz to your blog. Just pick the one that stood out to you most and start working on it. Sooner than you know , you’ll have a new blog you can brag about with awesome design, interesting images, passion, personality, consistency and the magic that only Y-O-U can bring to blogging for your business.