I have the confidence that I have a pretty good looking blog and along with good content, my blog is attractive to look at. The overall aesthetic of my blogs initial impression hopefully draws readers in.
So, besides good content and all the other bells and whistles it takes to make a blog, a blog. Let me share with you what elements there are to a blog post to draw people in.
Post a relevant image.
I cannot stress how important this is. Along with some other elements (mentioned in this post), an image posted in your blog post is imperative if you want to rise above the millions of other blogs spawned everyday. This says ‘I care about my image and my blog’. Not only does the image draw the reader in to at least check out your headings, but you’re blog looks more like a magazine than a scribble pad.
Some other things you can do with images is use them to break up very large pieces of text, like with a thesis post of large teaching. But if your info’s gonna be big, rather do a teaching video explaining it properly. Not only is it more entertaining, it also help seeing something done instead of reading about it.
The Vlog video.
If you look at this post you will see a video. This helps create a sense of professionalism and doing a video post along with text will immediately raise you above other bloggers. It doesn’t have to be a Hollywood video. Neither would do you need to solicit the help of The Station every time you want to put a video up.
The idea here is to vlog (Video Blog Log) where you just share your years of wisdom on a subject, or rant about something you’re miffed about. To add even more value, you can even do a screen capture video to explain how a program works or some other teaching as that could be done online (like from a Powerpoint Presentation).
If you want more info, feel free to visit Gideon Shalwick’s blog.
Break up text with headlines.
When you have a large chunk of text (like in this post), do what you would do when you have a large steak in front of you, like at a BBQ. You chop it up into bite size pieces.
The benefit to the reader of your blog, is that he has several sentences in bold spread all across the post. He could then scan this if he hasn’t got the time to read the entire post at once. He absorbed the information, and if he likes what he reads, he will either keep the post open to read it all later, or he will bookmark the post to share with others and consume at a later stage (this is a good thing).
Write interesting material.
It’s very important to take on a format in your writing, for your blog, that people would want to read. You can read more on popular blog post formats here.
Ps. Your blog posts’ text should usually be a transcription or an accurate reflection of what is said in your video, if you choose to use one.
Insert an MP3.
This is usually an audio extension of your video (if you used one). It just gives an impressive touch to your blog and allows your readers to be able to listen to your content, like with a podcast or a radio show. Being able to listen to teaching over and over allows for greater retention of the information. If you have a MP3 audio clip or a podcast posted (without a video), you may want to transcribe the audio and place it as text in your blog as well. So, people that don’t have speakers or time to listen can scan your content quickly. See how valuable the text break up is?
To do this properly, you need the WordPress Audio Plugin. You can customize the design to fit your blog and all you do is make sure your audio has a proper path from your server host (make sure to test the audio before the link is posted). Once it’s all working just insert your link in between the text where you want the player. WordPress will automatically insert the player in the post for you. If you’re guest posting and you either don’t have access to the player or cannot upload the plugin, simple use anchor text to promote the MP3 and post the link into it.
Insert quotations into your post.
There’s nothing really to it besides it making your blog look good. To explain, allow me to quote myself:
See, if there is a quote highlighted here, which WordPress does for you (check the fifth button in toggle mode), the reader is automatically drawn to read what it says. Here, you can quote someone (which I like to do a lot), or your could simply highlight parts of the text (like magazines do). Looks good don’t it?
And that’s is basically the whole shebang. There’s nothing really to it, but attention to these simple tricks (and hard work of course) will raise your blog above the rest to hang out with the rest of us pros. Try one of these things at a time, and by the time two weeks is finished, you’ll be riding high with blogging celebrities.
P.s. If you find ait hard work to implement all of these, try posting one time less a week on your blog (like 3 times instead of five). Not only will you produce better quality content, but you won’t find producing excellent posts (like this one) so tiring.
Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono