With over 600 million blogs in the world, a large percentage of blogs are destined never to make it to the big time. It takes minutes to start a basic blog but can take years to build a successful one. If you are hoping to become the proud owner of a prominent blog, you need to know what separates the wheat from the chaff. Here are eight elements that every notable blog should possess.
1. Attractive Cover Images
If your blog consists of just words, it will bore your audience even if the content is informative. A cover image creates visual interest and grabs attention immediately. Make sure that the cover image is relevant to your blog topic. It should be aesthetically pleasing without distracting from your content. It is best to use original photos. But if you cannot produce quality images on your own, you can head to the best stock photo sites to find free professionally-taken images that you can use as cover images.
2. Compelling Titles
The titles of your blog posts and articles should capture the attention of your target audience and encourage them to read on. Make sure that it accurately reflects the content. You may find that some posts have the same title as yours. In that case, try to distinguish your title by changing the way it is phrased. Your blog titles should be SEO-optimized and include the main keywords that you want your posts to rank for in search results. That said, be wary of trying to add too many keywords as it can affect the clarity of your title.
3. Relevant Content
Your blog content should be tailored to the needs of your target audience and focused on topics that they will find interesting. Choose a niche that you are knowledgeable and passionate about. Plan your content ahead of time so that you can avoid creating confusing blog posts with irrelevant information. For instance, if you have a travel blog, try not to post about unrelated topics such as politics, even if they catch your fancy. Your content should be educational, entertaining, and helpful. Where possible, link to reputable sources and statistics to make your content more credible and authoritative.
4. Good Writing
Avoid using long sentences and complex language in your blog posts. Instead, focus on providing simple, easy-to-understand information that is easy for your readers to appreciate. Your writing style should be conversational and friendly to capture the attention of your readers and encourage them to engage. Also, make sure that your content is error-free and provides clear instructions for completing any tasks described. There are many free online spelling and grammar checker tools that can help you to proofread your posts.
5. Images and Videos
Most blogs include some form of visual content in the form of photos and videos. Aside from cover photos, consider adding high-quality images or videos that add value to your content. Visual content helps break up large blocks of text and keep your reader’s attention. It can also make it easier for your readers to understand complex concepts like statistical data or technical processes. Produce your own infographics, photographs, and videos as much as possible. This original content will give your readers a reason to keep returning to your blog.
6. Regular Updates
Consistency is key when it comes to blog posts. Regular updates keep your blog relevant and fresh and encourage your audience to visit your site often. Steady and timely content can also help you to develop a loyal following. Encourage your readers to sign up for your newsletter and receive email updates each time you publish a new post. This avoids them missing a post and also helps you to record higher traffic to your site—a very important factor if you monetize your site with advertisements.
7. SEO Awareness
Search engine optimization (SEO) techniques allow you to optimize your posts for search engines and increase your website’s visibility in search results. This in turn generates more traffic to your blog. As mentioned above, choosing the right keywords to include in your post title can have a great impact on your SEO. You should also ensure that your post content mentions your target keywords and phrases. Other ways to improve the SEO of your site are to properly structure your content with header tags and to include alt tags on your images.
8. Social Media Integrations
Social sharing buttons on your blog make it easy for your readers to share your posts with their friends and family members via social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter. Similarly, when you have a new blog post, you should post an update on various social media profiles as well. This will help to increase the reach of your blog and grow your audience. Cross-channel marketing makes you appear more professional and organized. These links can also improve your search engine rankings by generating more backlinks to your site.
These eight elements can be found on almost every popular blog. Complement your writing with engaging visual content and use SEO and social media to improve your reach. If any of these aspects are absent on your blog, be sure to take time to find out more on how to implement them. With diligent adjustments, your blog can become successful and rewarding too.