You've Started a Blog, Now What?

  •    Marketing Manager at MarketGoo, an SEO application for businesses looking to optimize their websites for search engines.

Yes! You’ve started blogging as consistently as you can, taking every free minute you have in order to brainstorm, draft and publish your content. But your posts don’t look like those in the popular websites and blogs you read - from the catchy title to the nice image and perfectly spaced paragraphs, it feels like you’re missing something. The good news is that your content is there, all you need to do is structure and format your post in a way that’s appealing to a reader.

Make your Title Pop!

Let’s start with your title. There are a few basics you should keep in mind when coming up with a title:

  • List Posts are great, but don’t go overboard. There’s a reason you see so many titles like “5 things Moms are always right about” or “10 easy ways to improve your smile”. However if every single one of your posts has a title like this, it can get old for your audience.

  • Make Sure your main SEO keyword or keyphrase is included. This also helps you focus your content - when you write a post, you should think about what the ultimate goal of the post is, and what the main topic is - there’s where you get your keyword. For instance, if you have a cross-stitch kit site, then on Valentine’s Day you would put up a post about Sewing DIY Valentine’s Day Gifts. The post would focus on ideas, link to items on your store and include the keyword in the body of the post and in the title and description as well**.

  • Once you’ve thought up a title, get it analyzed. You can do this instantly with a couple of free tools:

  1. CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer, where you enter your proposed headline and they tell you if it’s catchy enough. They suggest the use of emotional words and power words. Aim for at least a 70% score on their tool. If you’re stuck, on the same page they’ll offer resources to get your creative juices flowing.

  2. SumoMe’s Headline Generator, where you enter your topic and other information you’d like your headline to have, and you get a number of options.

CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer
CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer

Make your Posts Easy to Read

When we write about something we’re passionate about, it’s easy to go on without a break, maybe even slip in a rant or two, and end up with one very long post that’s going to be very hard to read (and might have visitors giving up after a sentence or two).

In order to make your posts legible and attractive at first sight, first of all, make sure your grammar is on point. For this, you can use a tool like Grammarly, which will check for spelling, wordiness and punctuation.

Example of Grammarly’s suggestions
Example of Grammarly’s suggestions

You can complement this with another free tool called Hemingway, which will be especially useful for cutting off really long paragraphs.

Example of Hemingway’s suggestions
Example of Hemingway’s suggestions

Another important tip is to make use of bolded subtitles dividing each section of your post in order to make it easy to scan. This makes sense when your post is on the longer side.

Once your text is completely legible, it’s time to put the final touch: images!

Polishing your Post’s Images

Posts without images perform worse than posts that have at least one main image. Especially if your post is long, images will help keep the reader engaged. Unfortunately, most of us aren’t gifted designers and illustrators that will create a piece of art every time a post is ready for publication. These days, that’s no longer a problem! You can use the following tools to get a professional looking graphic for each of your posts:

A few reminders:

  • Try to stick to a single style. It’s tempting to go wild and test out every new font, image, and colour scheme, but try to keep each image you include in your posts consistent, so you have your own ‘signature’.

  • Simple is better, and don’t try to fill your images with text! Additionally, fancy fonts can be very enticing, but simpler fonts are easier to read.

  • If you plan on sharing your posts on social media (which you should!), don’t assume that your blog images will automatically look great on social too. Each platform is slightly different, so take the time to resize your images for each one of them. Here is a helpful guide on ideal image sizes for Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc.

  • While editing an individual blog post on your Weebly site, go to Post Options > Advanced > SEO Post Title and SEO Post Description in order to enter your Title and Meta Description.