We often hear people say that having a blog page is great for driving website traffic. With more traffic, you can get more leads, which can translate to more sales in the long run. With a blog page, you’re also in a better position to establish your credibility, thus strengthening your authority in your industry. All these benefits and more make the addition of a blog page to your website quite appealing. After all, how hard can it be to write and maintain a blog?
Unbeknownst to many, having a successful blog that generates engagement and interest can’t be achieved just by winging it. For your blog to realize your objectives, you need to have specific, calculated strategies in place. From its conceptualization down to its maintenance, taking some simple but highly effective steps will keep your blog page from ending up dead in the water.
In this edition of our how-to series, let’s take a look at the best practices to help you build and sustain a thriving blog page:
The first step to making a successful blog is knowing who you’re creating content for. Determining your audience will serve as the ultimate guide that will direct you towards creating the right content, not only for the short term but the long term. Find out which demographic your core audience belongs to. This will tell you about important elements that should be considered when making your blog page content, such as:
- Their pain points and how to solve them with your product or service
- What drives their interest or what catches their attention
- How you can make your content relatable to them
- What hours or which time of the week they can best engage with your blog page content
- What questions you can ask to get feedback, which would also increase engagement
Creating a blog page isn’t just about crafting textual content. What makes it appealing and memorable to people is how you present your blog page content. When conceptualizing the layout of your blog page, be consistent with your branding. This means using your business’ brand colors, logo, and typography for easy recall.
You don’t need lots of different colors to make this work for your website. In fact, Medium is a great example of a blog site that has a rather minimalist approach but is recognizable to many. Each blog page has a uniform layout that incorporates the site’s logo, chosen typography, and user interface. The idea here is, at first glance, people should be able to tell that your blog page belongs to your business or brand.
Of course, you can’t just write about anything you want in your blog. That might have worked a decade or two ago when the internet wasn’t as much a part of our daily lives as it is now. These days, the competition for a dedicated audience is stiffer and people are more discerning of the value that a blog can provide.
To make visitors engage longer with your blog page content, make sure that you focus on quality information. Link to credible sources and present information that provides solutions. Resist the temptation to write about topics that only you’re interested in. Instead, keep your audience in mind and entice them with content that they will find helpful.
You might have the best idea for a blog, but if your visitors can’t read it properly then it’s a wasted opportunity to spread your message. Thus, when creating a blog page, don’t just use any font you fancy. Make sure you use readable font styles for your blog content. Some general guidelines to follow include:
- Avoiding script or overly complicated fonts
- Having a maximum of three fonts that complement each other
- Finding balance between your fonts by considering their size
- Choosing fonts that align with your branding
- Paying attention to kerning (the space between individual characters) or tracking (the space between a range of characters)
With the right fonts for your blog, your audience will have an easier time reading your content, which will make them perceive it as valuable.
In blogging, timing is crucial. Precisely because the competition is stiff, you need to strengthen your blog page’s online presence by posting regularly — and at the right time. Often, this part is where businesses or website owners begin to think twice about adding a blog page to their site as it can be challenging to post quality content every day or even every other day.
To mitigate this obstacle, schedule your posts in advance. Have an editorial calendar that outlines your blog page content for the following week or even month. This way, you have enough time to actually create your content and still be on schedule.
Additionally, you need to know the best time to post content that drives engagement. For instance, if your core audience is composed of teachers, it’ll be counterproductive to upload your latest blog during school hours because they’ll be too busy with their classes to check your site. Instead, upload during their free time, such as after school or after dinner as they’re more likely to browse the internet during these hours.
Nothing is more frustrating than visiting a website or page that’s difficult to navigate. While visitors will come to your blog to view a specific type of content, not having a user-friendly interface will discourage them from engaging with your other blogs since they likely won’t find where those pages are. Even worse is if a complicated or unfriendly user interface ends up discouraging your audience from reading your blog altogether. This would mean increased bounce rates, which can be detrimental to your site’s ranking.
Make it easy for your readers by making important elements of your blog page visible. This includes the menu, the search bar, archives, recommendations, and links to the latest or previous blog posts. This applies to both desktop and mobile layouts of your blog. HelpScout’s user interface design for its blog is a good example of a simple but easy-to-navigate page.
Another old blogging practice is stuffing keywords into your content. This has long been outdated by updates made to Google’s algorithm (that which makes your site or page rank among the top search results).
Instead of stuffing your blog content with keywords, maximize this helpful feature by balancing short keywords or phrases with long-tail keywords. Sprinkle them across your content and incorporate them naturally. Avoid making your content sound repetitive by proportioning your keyword use with the length of your blog.
Being bombarded with walls of text can be intimidating, even nauseating, to many website visitors. Seeing so much information packed in paragraph chunks can have the opposite effect of making your blog seem valuable. Just the sight of so much text can already cause a visual overload that’s guaranteed to turn your readers away from your blog.
To make your content more digestible, always make sure you have visual breaks. This can include headers, images, videos, or infographics that can serve as breathers for your eyes. This way, your readers won’t feel as though they’re reading a textbook, allowing them to enjoy your content more. You can also use these visual breaks to your advantage by adding more information through images or infographics.
Additionally, using lots of white or negative space in your blog page layout can dispel the claustrophobic feeling that comes with seeing too much text on a page. An example is The Museum of Peace and Quiet, which creatively utilizes white space in its design.
Nothing is more off-putting than a blog that’s riddled with misspellings and grammatical errors. Since the purpose of your blog is to help establish credibility and authority, make an effort to always edit and proofread your content before uploading. Expertise is often equated with stellar communication skills, so packaging your content as trustworthy and compelling means it should at least be rid of basic errors.
One fact of modern life is that people are always busy. Because of this, they want answers right away. While you may have worked hard to write a lengthy blog post, don’t forget to include a summary box or main takeaways section at the end of each post.
Of course, the goal is to have your readers stay on your blog page for longer, but a summary box at the end can serve as both a valuable wrap-up and a sneak peek that entices busy readers to return to your blog and read the entirety of your post during their free time.
Adding a blog page to your website requires thoughtful planning. To make sure that your website’s blog helps to achieve your goals, work with PERC’s experienced team of designers and developers. Contact us now and PERC up your blog page today!