You don’t want to start a blog just for the sake of having one out there. Whether you are starting a blog to promote your business, enhance your e-store, or share your passion about a hobby you have with the world, you want your blog and the things you write to have an impact.
There are thousands of blogs out there though. So how do you create one that stands out from the rest? The key is to start with a good foundation and a good guide for starting a blog. Take a look at these five tools for making your blog an impactful one.
Visually Attractive Design
The appearance of your site matters a lot, just like the appearance of the building for a physical business matters. The curb appeal of your website, or the visitor’s first impression when they see it makes a big difference in whether they stay or go, and whether they trust your content or not.
If the user never reads a word on your site because the looks turn them off, you don’t have a chance at making an impact. This is why you must choose the right theme for your site. What that theme is depends on the topic, or theme of your blog. The theme is essentially the template for your web design.
WordPress has hundreds of free themes, and even more premium ones that you can customize to your heart’s content. The key is to research which themes are best for your design or choose a premium theme like the DIVI builder by Elegant Themes that lets you customize and rearrange your site in any number of ways.
Just make sure the photos, colors, and overall theme are relevant to what you actually do, and the theme and message you want your website to send.
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO if you are not familiar with it, is vital to the success of your website as it determines in large part where your site will rank in Google and other search engines. This is determined by keywords, blog post titles, and how you use words, phrases, and categories on your website.
The good news is you don’t have to take a college course or study long into the night. You can get good SEO on your site by using a plugin. There are several, but one of the most popular and the trusted is Yoast SEO. It comes in a free version and a pro version as well, the pro version offering you more options when it comes to keywords and tweaking your website data in the best way possible.
Even the free version helps as long as you have a reasonable understanding of SEO and the keywords you are trying to rank for with a specific piece of content. The key is in knowing what you are trying to accomplish with your blog.
Visiting sites like moz.com and looking at their blog, or other sites like singlegrain.com will help you with your understanding of SEO and how it works.
Allow Content to be Shared Easily
The more people that share your posts, the more impact they will have, and so you need to make sharing as easy as possible. We have all seen the share buttons on websites that have all of the typical social networks listed at the top, bottom, side, or both of posts. These let you share the post without ever leaving the page.
There are several ways to add these as well, including widgets and plugins. The key is to make sure that you select one that works well with mobile as well as the desktop version of your site. The reason? More people than ever are reading websites on their mobile devices like phones and tablets, and never looking at them on a traditional computer.
This means that not only should the site be compatible with these devices, but so should social buttons and the ability to comment. If they are not, your blog will be shared less and therefore have less impact.
While you want comments on your blog posts, you don’t want spam comments by bots or trolls who are just looking for attention. This is where plugins like Akismet come in. They prevent most of the spam comments in the first place and have settings where you can control how those comments are limited.
Like others, this plug-in has a free and pro version, the pro version offering even more features and spam filters. Secondly, you should approve the comments on your posts. Not every spammer or troll will be caught by even the best software, and you want to make sure comments are legitimate before they appear on your site.
This is a part of your WordPress settings you should explore thoroughly. Understand how comments work, how they affect your search engine rankings, and how best to control them for the greatest impact.
They key to knowing how impactful your blog is comes from analytics. You need to know what kind of traffic you are getting, where it is coming from, and how to best use that information to change your marketing and sharing strategy.
Using Google analytics and the analytics data provided by WordPress is a good place to start, but there are plug-ins like Monsterinsights to add an additional layer of detailed reports and data you can better use to amplify the data you are already getting. Once your blog has a considerable following, you may want to consider working with a marketing agency to sell your ad space.
You need to know if you are hitting your targets and achieving the goals you have for your blog. Gauging the impact and improving it is vital to your success.
Starting a blog is easy. Starting one that has a dramatic impact is harder, but with a few tools and some hard work on your part, you can easily do so. Good blog content is essential to any entrepreneur’s efforts. Why not get started on yours today?
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