If you're at the point with your blog where something just doesn't seem right and you're not sure what's missing, this might be the post for you. I wanted to share 5 ways to make your blog better - simple steps that can add more value to your posts and to find more engaged readers.
1. Add More Images
No matter how good you are at writing, if you don't have the imagery to tie a post together your reader may become bored and click away. It is so important to keep visitors on your blog for as long as possible - another word for this is "bounce rate". A high bounce rate means visitors are quickly leaving from the first page they visited on your blog, therefore aren't continuing on to view more of your posts and content. You want to aim for engaged readers, ones who have so many different things to look at that they stick around to take it all in, and then want more.
Adding an array of images to the one post can keep a visitor there for longer. They break up the text, support what you have written and make the reader scroll downwards to keep reading. They don't have to be full size images, you can add smaller ones amongst the text in your posts. In Blogger, add an image into the post as you usually would then drag the image to the side of a paragraph of text and the text will wrap nicely around it.
Go back to some of your most popular posts and see if you can add a few images in for anyone new who lands on them. Otherwise, start with more imagery from your next post.
2. Keep It Simple
The more complicated your blog is to navigate around and read through, the less likely someone will want to come back. The best blogs are clean, aesthetically pleasing, uncluttered and organised. Every component of a great blog layout has a purpose and is there to improve the experience of your blog. If you have any widgets that are unimportant or don't do much for you... remove them. They're just going to make your blog load slower and distract from your content.
You don't want your readers to be searching high and low for your social media links. I've been onto blogs where I become so interested in the blogger than I immediately want to find their Instagram account to follow. I scroll up and down and up and down.... and nothing. Can't find it! They've just lost a potential follower. Make sure your social media icons are "above the fold", meaning in a visible place on your blog before the reader scrolls down.
3. Personalise It
Blogs are so personal, that's what captures readers. They're not visiting the site of a big scary corporation where who knows who's behind the posts... they're visiting the site of a (hopefully) honest, genuine and passionate person. If your blog is lacking in personable features, you need to get them happening asap!
If you can, add a headshot of yourself to your side bar. Find your favourite selfie, edit it how you wish, cut it into a square or circle and add it in. I tend to find circle profile pics to look really nice and friendly on blogs. Having your photo there enables a reader to connect with you immediately. They can see the face behind the words.
Spend time on your blog header. This is the first thing that people see when they visit your blog, and if things go well for you it could become the start of a business logo one day. It all starts with choosing a font, so jump onto a site such as DaFont where you can type in your blog name, see how it looks in all different styles and then download the one you like the most! Once again, keep it simple. Logos are never complicated. You want something that's easy to see, easy to read and memorable.
4. Find Your Niche
Unless your blog is simply a personal outlet for yourself and a selection of people, don't post about everything under the sun. Have a good think about what you love to write about, what you love to take pictures of and what your blog readers or Instagram followers have been responding well to. It's quite difficult to cater to everyone while keeping everyone happy. You are more likely to find success in blogging if you really hone in on what you do best. If you are obsessed with everything beauty, stick to beauty! If you're covering the same topic weekly you're only going to get better at it, and it would be annoying to lose dedicated beauty followers because you did a random post on motorcycles.
If you are still figuring out what type of blogger you want to be, by all means post everything that inspires you. You'll soon find out what your readers like and what they couldn't care less about.
5. Remember Your Readers
I am the biggest culprit of this sometimes. Forgetting that there are actual people reading your blog, looking at the pictures and writing comments. I try to remind myself all the time that there are people following me, because a lot of the time I'm so in my own head thinking that I'm just creating posts for myself. Collages, advice, wishlists and everything else. When you start talking to the people on the other side of your computer screen, that's when they become more engaged and interested. Ask questions in your posts, mention readers, treat them as friends (some of these people have probably known you longer than real-life friends!) and always remember to comment back.