With all the work put into your blog, you assume that the sweat and tears alone have made it the best there is. However, many bloggers are so focused on creating outstanding posts, they forget that content is only 1/6th of the equation. There are five other important pieces necessary to complete your blog puzzle.
Great content won’t stand the test of time, so consider including these five blog fundamentals.
Create Your About Me Page
Many people underestimate the importance of this page. This is where your readers go to get to know you better; where they put an image to your faceless writing. Whether your blog is professional or hobby, it’s important that you have a dedicated “About Me” page, or something of the like. Make sure you include:
- Your credentials: What is the experience that brought you here? Tell your readers why they should trust in what you’re writing.
- Your personal story: Give your reader a glimpse of who you are as a person, keeping it short and sweet. The goal of your blog is to build community with your readers; when they can get a picture of who you are, suddenly they are more emotionally attached.
- Suggestion: This is also your chance to direct people where you want them to go. Proud of a particular page? Think they’ll get hooked after reading a certain post? When they can click a link, it’s that much easier to get them there.
Don’t Forget Contact Info
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve found a blog I love, only to find that they haven’t listed contact information. As someone looking to guest post, I can be a valuable asset to their blog. A critical piece of your blog is making yourself accessible to your readers. Leaving out your contact information can get your blog tossed into the useless pile. Being reachable can lead to great opportunities.
- Guest posting: Whether you’ve accepted guest posts up until this point or not, someone may be looking for somewhere to write. If they love your blog, it’s important they can get a hold of you. Having a guest blogger gives you a break on content for a little bit and can lead to broader readership and traffic increase.
- Questions: If your readers have a specific query, you want them to be able to reach you. While the comment section welcomes questions or concerns, you should be available for someone who feels more comfortable contacting you directly.
- Other opportunities: You never know who’s tuning in each day for your posts. If the CEO of a multimillion dollar company is an avid reader of your blog, you don’t want to miss out on the off chance they show interest in working with you.
Clearly Display Social Media Icons
Social media is the best way to increase traffic to your blog. Whether you are promoting posts yourself or giving others the opportunity to do it for you, it’s the bread and butter of your blogging success.
- Icons at top of your blog: Putting the icons at the top of your page ensure that no one will miss them. For the casual reader, even if they don’t get halfway down the page they’ll find it.
- Sharing after each post: Be sure that you give your loyal fans a way to share each post. When one person shares, your blog reaches a whole other audience that you may otherwise not be able to tap into.
- Easily understood: If you choose to customize your icons, make sure they are recognizable. Fun icons can add to your overall theme, but are useless if people can’t decipher what they are.
Include Your Call to action
There is a good chance your casual readership is much higher than loyal daily returnees. In fact, according to MastersofSEO.com, “The vast majority of visitors to your site will not return. No matter how many visitors your site averages a day, the ratio of return visits, to new visits, is typically at least 5:1 and often much higher.” How do you turn this around?
- Pose a question: At the end of every post, ask a question. It can be thought provoking or simple, but give your readers a reason to think about what they just read and comment. Once they’ve commented, it’s likely they’ll be checking back for other responses.
- Direct them: Within your post, in one of your pages, or even in your side bar, direct your readers to your best posts or most addicting content. Make it easy for them to buzz around your blog.
- Similar posts plug in: While this is a stretch of “call to action,” you can get your readers to stick around longer and give them reason to come back again, by suggesting similar reading. I have been known to surf a blog for at least 10 minutes longer because of this alone.
Have A Landing Page
A landing page is a great addition to your blog. This is the first thing readers will see upon entering your blog. Utilize this space to include all the pieces that have been discussed in this post. Take this opportunity to create the best landing page.
- Introduction: Briefly introduce the blog, and link to your “About Me” page.
- Suggested reading: After your intro, suggest a starting place for your reader.
- Allow for sharing: At the bottom of your landing page, place sharing icons. Allow readers to share right out of the gate.
Loyal readership, increased traffic and personality are crucial to a successful blog. Don’t waste any more time pouring your heart and soul into your blog until you’ve checked off all these items. Without them, your content is meaningless.