Running a blog is a labour of love for most of us. We spend a lot of time planning, creating, and promoting our work. There will come a point where you need to decide what you’re doing it for and up your game. If it’s just a hobby, that you dip in an out of from time to time, then you can probably get by with a relatively simple site that you update as and when you need to.
If, on the other hand, you’re wanting to build your audience and make money from your blog, then you’re going to need to treat it differently and make sure you’re using whatever time and resources you have to make it look more professional and user-friendly.
Here are some of the easiest ways to do this.
Give Your Blog A Facelift
You aren’t supposed to judge a book by its cover, but let’s face it, we always notice when a website looks awful. While no beautiful website is going to make up for bad content, the reverse isn’t always true. If you’re looking to work with brands, they want good content that looks good too.
There are so many good templates out there for the various blogging platforms. You can get Showit website templates, WordPress, Blogger, and Squarespace templates that look very professional and cost a fraction of the amount it would cost to get something built from scratch. Just make sure that you take the time to make sure the template you choose has all of the features you want. My movie blog is currently on a really old, free template I chose years ago when I was just starting out. I’m in the process of building a new site behind the scenes with a fantastic template that looks like I’ve spent thousands on it.
As well as saving you time and money, all modern templates are designed to be mobile optimized too. Google loves this, so it’s important for your search rankings.
Use Better Imagery
With so many great free photography sites and high-spec cameras on our phones, there’s no excuse for terrible images on your blog anymore. If your blog looks like it’s covered in WordArt from Windows 95, then you need to get on this.
Sites like Unsplash and Pexels are great for finding free stock photos. Buffer has put together a great list of free resources in this area. I’m probably guilty of relying on these too much. So I’ve signed up for an online course to teach me how to take better photos myself.
Upgrade Your Posts
When you read a post or page on your website, what does it look like? Is it a continuous block of text? If it is then you might want to think about how you arrange your posts to keep people interested.
Luckily, these are really easy.
- Use paragraphs and headings
- Insert images or embeds or videos, social posts, or GIFs
- Use blow quotes to highlight important sections
- Include external links to relevant or interesting sites
These are some of the ways you can improve the quality and user-friendliness of your blog. There’s a lot more I could go into and I’m currently working on a guide that looks at the technical side of blogging and SEO in much more detail, so watch this space.