23 Secrets That Truly Improve Your Blog

Family, Self

If you have a website, your blog is a valuable marketing tool. These tips will boost your blog.

If you’re looking for secrets to improve blog posts, look no further! These 241 tips can help you get started or make an existing blog even better! If you are in business, you need a website. And, unless you want to pay big bucks for advertising and traffic, the best way to get your website seen is to optimize your site so it can be found through keywords. There are many ways you can improve your website’s SEO. 

  1. Just Start

    I remember the first four years of my business, I fought blogging. I even nick-named it 'flogging'... as if it felt like self-torture. However, once I started, my site began to be more searchable. Forward ten years (and nearly 600 posts later), and I easily see the results of my long and hard journey. Just like investing money, you’ll never be able to make up for the lost time. So. Just. Start. TRULY. You can always go back and improve what you’ve done, but you cannot pre-date your content. There’s no other way (besides paying for advertising) to make up for lost time fence-sitting about why you’re not blogging. BLOG, BLOG, BLOG… no matter what. In fact, why not just set a goal now to get you started?

  2. Keywords (And Phrases) Are Key

    Keywords are the key to your success online. A keyword is a term used by a search engine to find any relevant web pages. So when improving your posts, you’ll want to start out with a basic understanding of the important words used to describe the work you do or the product you sell. Keyword research then is critical for you to increase your blog ranking and following. After all, why do all this work on your blog posts, if no one can find you when they need you?

    Don’t worry, keyword research doesn’t have to be hard. With a little think-time and the internet, you’re able to zero in on words and keyword phrases most-searched by others. Google’s Keyword Planner is a free tool to help you get started. So, before you embark on an SEO strategy or website revamp, you’ll want to do your homework to find your ideal niche.

  3. Write Awesome Titles

    Engaging titles are the key to getting search engine referral links. Many writers focus on solutions, and this is a big miss. Most people cannot see a solution when there is a looming problem. Readers are already and always experiencing internal conversations. So, to make your blog posts read, you need to meet a conscious need of your reader. Readers are often more interested in addressing their current pain before looking at solutions. So, consider this before writing titles or content.

    Another important distinction between titles is to keep them to 8-10 words only. Titles can get too long and lose their punch. To help you zero in on better titles, I suggest searching free online title/headline generators. A few of my go-to favorites are  SEOpresserTitle-generator, or this one from HubSpot.  When you know your keywords, title generators can save a whole lot of time and get you past writer’s block!

  4. Add Links

    Referral links are links within your post that either link within or outside of your website. Although Google is constantly changing and updating their SEO rules, referral links still help you spread goodwill. Not every link within a post will be followed by a reader, but having them does ensure connections to other relevant content.  When you write a post, consider how your content relates to other players in your field.  To boost SEO, consider creating easy links to online leaders. Referral links are a great way to build expertise and collaborate across products and services you trust. And when you widen your playing field by referring to external resources, your online clout improves. It always amazes me how often I'm contacted to include external links to services, resources, and articles.

    Although embedded hyperlinks easily connect your article both within and outside of your website, be careful. If you’re linking away, try to limit external links per article. External links encourage people to click away and increase your Bounce Rate. In this article, I link both to external players such as Yoast, as well as my own additional and relevant content.  Although there’s talk that referral links will die, they’re still good to have within posts.

  5. Address Your Reader's Problem or Pain

    Many blog writers focus on solutions, and this is a big miss. Most people cannot see a solution when they have a looming problem. Readers are already and always in their heads, having internal conversations within themselves. So, to make your blog posts read, it's important to attempt to meet the unconscious need of your reader.  This is often referred to as addressing an ideal reader's 'pain' first before you address any ‘solutions. So, consider this dialog and the pain there when writing your content and key points.

    Click-worthy titles typically address a problem already going on for someone. Let's face it, when you're upset with some aspect of your life, you're likely in some stage of looking for help, advice or a solution. That's why it's important to know your reader's pain so you can jump into the conversation already present in a reader’s head. To be truly effective with your blogging, you're going to need to KNOW your reader. When you do, you'll see a big difference in how your blog attracts attention. So, it’s important to start where a reader is before they decide to hire you. Rollback to the problems and pain, at the point they'll search for advice, ideas or options. 

  6. Just Start

    I remember the first four years of my business, I fought blogging. (I even nicknamed it 'flogging' because to me, it felt like self-torture.) However, once I started, I saw some increased activity. Over time, my site began to show up more often in searches. Forward ten years (and nearly 600 posts later), and I easily see the results of my long and hard journey. Just like investing money, you’ll never be able to make up for the lost time. So. Just. Start. TRULY. You can always go back and improve what you’ve done, but you cannot pre-date your content. There’s no other way (besides paying for advertising) to make up for lost time fence-sitting about why you’re not blogging. BLOG, BLOG, BLOG… no matter what. In fact, why not just set a goal now to get you started?

  7. Use Practical Language

    One easy way to improve your blog posts is to use specific, concrete language. You'll want to speak directly to your reader. Instead of using abstract concepts, break your ideas up into concrete, specific language. Why? Because most people are scanning blogs for important ideas and tips. They're often in transition: waiting for someone else, sitting on a subway, or perhaps even scrolling at home while the TV is on. The point is, your blog is likely to encounter some competition for a reader's attention. Therefore it's important to keep your language relatable and direct. Most readers won’t have time to languish over your articles. To stay practical, proofread your articles after you draft them. Try to remove passive tense and long, wordy sentences. If you can say things more clearly or with fewer words - REVISE! Looking at my statistics, I see the articles written in direct voice with punchy, easy-to-consume titles are more often 'clicked' (and I assume read) than those with longer, looser titles. 

  8. Write Like An Expert

    When people are struggling with something, they're looking for guidance, direction, and options. Many people postpone action because the don't know where to turn. So, if your reader is looking to be rescued from their current trouble, they'll more often seek an expert in that area. This is why it’s important to establish your own unique style of writing and step into that space as an expert. Some will refer to this as establishing your brand voice. And one of the best ways to sound confident is to use active voice. Not only does active-voice sound better, but you’ll also improve your SEO automatically.

  9. Consider SEO, Always

    SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a term used to describe processes to get your web site and blog posts found in search results. There are several different techniques to rank higher in search results with SEO. The most common are Organic, White Hat and Black Hat techniques. Suffice to say, your safest approach is to work toward both high organic searches using White-Hat SEO techniques, and avoiding the black-hat approaches.

  10. Invest In Yoast

    Yoast is an amazing plugin for your site that helps you improve blog content, readability, and SEO. It’s an inexpensive way to improve organic SEO. Once your post is written, Yoast provides both an SEO and Readability ‘score’ in the form of colored lights. Red needs improvement, orange is passable, but green is your goal. This one tool has skyrocketed my site’s search results.

  11. Create Cornerstone Content

    Cornerstone Content should be the best, most relevant, evergreen topics you wish to be known for. They are the foundational ideas, topics, areas, and thoughts to write about. Cornerstone articles are longer than most blog articles. They are robust, and they should always position you as an expert. According to Yoast, cornerstone articles provide the best, most complete information on a particular topic, rather than sell products. So if you’re embarking on a blog booster-shot, start by writing several robust articles filled with cornerstone content.

  12. Consider Article Length

    Other than Cornerstone Content articles that should be your best content, written thoroughly. Often these posts are on subjects you want to be seen as an expert on. Cornerstone content articles are typically robust and can be well over 2,000 words. However, you may wonder how long a typical blog post should be. Gone are the days of thinking you have to hit a ‘milestone’ number of words in your writing. The fact is, most readers only spend between 1 minute and 90 seconds on a blog post. So, you want your thoughts trimmed enough to allow others to consume the ideas in about that time. How that translates to article length? Well, the truth is, there’s no real rule on how long an article should be. But, we know that blogging trends have shifted, as technology has improved. Where once upon a time, long posts were rewarded, the pendulum swung back to reward shorter posts. And now, it seems that longer posts (especially for your cornerstone content) are more favored. So, for most posts, you’ll want to aim at somewhere between 300 and 1000 words. 

  13. Post Regularly

    How often should you post? There is no one size fits all. Regular posting means that you’re doing it as often as you like, and as much as you can. Google Search loves new content so the more often you post relevant and interesting content, the more highly favored your site will be. However, consistency is the most important thing to consider when looking for ways to improve blog posts. An additional reason to post more frequency is the more quality the content you produce the more open doors you’ll receive for your blog via both search engines and your RSS feed. So, consider your limits, and find your rhythm. Remember to post regularly, consistently and just get started.

  14. Limit Ideas

    Remember, most people scan blog posts today. While in line, waiting to pick up kids, or hanging out in the bathroom… people are scrolling to pass time. Often they're looking for easy-to-assimilate ideas and entertainment. They may indeed want advice, but most of us have become chronically impatient. Readers want your blog article distilled down to the basics, and easy to read. So, try not to introduce too many new ideas in one post. If you tend to ramble, try to work from an outline for each article. If you need help, think back to when you wrote school essays as those basic outlining rules still work.  Try to limit a post to 3-5 key ideas, then craft your introduction and summary paragraphs. This will truly help you to stay focused.

  15. Use Headings and Subheadings

    Headings and subheadings can easily break up the densest subjects. So, It’s crucial to use them to chunk longer paragraphs down into more consumable ideas. They will help to engage readers today. Additionally, headings and subheadings make your posts easier on the eyes. Instead of long, arduous paragraphs, break your thoughts up using headings and subheadings. Not only will your content be more scannable you’ll instantly add easy, consistent formatting to your posts.

  16. Use Bullet Points & Lists

    Everyone loves lists. They seem to make a chaotic world more doable. So, I suggest you use them in your posts as often as you can. The general rule of thumb is to make sure bulleted items are all related. A great technique is to use bullets as an outline upfront, then use subheadings to flesh out the content later in the post.

    Another way to improve blog posts is to use lists whenever you can to break up big ideas. Start by introducing a list so your reader can follow. Then, be sure each list appears in order. Whether it’s a series of steps or chronological order, the reader wants the information to make sense. The more logical your lists, the easier the content is assimilated.

  17. Link to a Free Offer

    Another way to improve blog posts is to begin with the end in mind. For instance, most small business owners want to generate interest or leads to a product or service offering. Therefore, consider linking people to your newsletter opt-in, or even a relevant free offer. Blog posts can generate interest and opt-ins when done well. (Here’s an example of one of my free offers for entrepreneurs.)

  18. Use Pictures and Videos

    Today’s posts are brought to life with images and videos. But, be sure you purchase images for editorial use on your site. Image services such as Storyblocks and Deposit Photos make blog images very affordable. It’s easy to set up an account and explore their image collections.

    It’s critical for you to keep records of your downloaded images for use on your site. Copyright trolls scour the internet every day searching for websites who (often unknowingly) have used images without authorization. Just because you find an image on a search, does NOT give you permission to post it on your site. In essence, a blog post is published work. Just like your content is covered under copyright protection, an image is as well.

    So, do yourself a favor. Pick an image service, pay for a subscription you can afford and avoid the hassle. Further, if you currently have un-authorized images on your site, take them down. Even old post and pages are still searchable. So, to improve your blog posts and save a whole lot of hassle, go into your website host, and delete every unauthorized image in every size from your php records. If you need help reach out.

  19. Formatting is Your Friend 

    Since most people scan blog post formatting your articles is really important. You'll want to take advantage of the automatic formatting by using header tags consistently. You also want to think about how you use both white space and paragraphs throughout your posts. Shorter paragraphs tend to be easier for people to scan, but that shouldn't mean you skimp on quality. Instead, push yourself to edit and use juicy, direct language to enrich your posts.

    If you use Yoast, you'll receive feedback on 'readability'. This can truly help boost organic SEO when you trim paragraphs considered ‘too long’. Such easy-to-implement tools can help you instantly improve your writing. And when you are a better writer, it follows that you'll attract more readers.  ideas, take advantage of them. Another easy way to improve blog posts is through formatting. Most blogs have easy ways to change the formatting. Get familiar and make good use of the paragraph and header tags. Use boldface and italics where needed, but don’t overuse them.

  20. Use Hyperlinks

    It always amazes me how often people contact me to include links to either their services, resources, or articles. Hyperlinks are easy ways to connect your content within and outside of your site. If you’re linking away, try to limit how many external links you offer in each article, as external links encourage people to click away and increase your Bounce Rate. BUT, hyperlinks are great ways to build expertise and collaborate across products and services you trust.

  21. Add A Call To Action

    Any marketing guru will agree that the difference between good and great marketing (or networking, or sales) is in the call to action. You'll want to be sure your post ends with some mini action. Be sure you tell them what you want them to do. This will leave the reader with an idea of the very next step. To help your call to action 'land' for a reader use a subhead. Be sure your call to action makes sense to the content. Many people use their byline as an opportunity for a call to action. 

  22. Share and Ask For Help

    Guest posts are highly recommended to help expose you, your brand, your products to attract new readers. You can link traffic directly back to your own blog/site. Guests also provide a break from the (sometimes) exhausting pursuit of creating new content. If you’re expanding to guests, create a special (hidden) page on your site with your blog requirements: readers, demographics, hot topics, and any other specifics you require.

  23. Boost Your Byline

    Your byline is the line at the bottom of a post that describes you. Consider your byline as a marketing tool. Be descriptive, call your ideal clients to you and work until you get it. Branding happens every time you put your name on something.

    For instance, consider the difference between these two examples: 

    • Cena Block is the CEO of Sane Spaces, LLC and the Founder of the Time & Space Style Inventory.
    • As a Productivity Consultant and Certified Organizer Coach (COC), Cena Block helps professional women and entrepreneurs with ADHD hack their blind spots and engage their superpowers. She founded SaneSpaces.com and created the TSSI – Time & Space Style Inventory.

I don’t know about you, but I’m intrigued about the second person over the first. And, I’m the same person! So, improve your blog posts by writing your unique, catchy, descriptive byline for yourself.

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In conclusion, the secrets to improve your blog posts are simple. In general, you want to begin with a plan, know your readers, and then meet your readers where they are. Before you begin, think about what your audience expects from you. Don’t overwhelm them, but don’t underwhelm them either. If you have too much to say about any given topic, consider creating two related posts vs. over-writing one post. Remember how most people consume information these days. Most often they’re looking for quick, easy, low hanging fruit sort of topics and solutions. So, give them what they’re looking for, and watch your readership soar. By following these 21 secrets, you’ll easily improve your blog posts.

This article was originally published at Cena Block, Sane Spaces.com. Reprinted with permission from the author.