Creating a blog site from scratch and watching it grow into a successful, money-making website is a big, big accomplishment.
I managed to do this after a lot of failures and I have to say; once you realize you can actually make money with this; it’s a feeling that is not often found elsewhere!
There’s a lot of things that go into creating a great blog and I discuss all that I know in the 200+ blog posts I have published so far, but I’ve never actually talked about a few specific things that your readers would like to see on your blog.
The reason this is important is because people that read your content are the key to making all this possible, so why not make sure you have everything needed to get (and keep) the traffic that we so desperately want and need?
Today I am going to talk about 10 things your readers would like to see on your blog. These things will help make you look:
- Much more honest,
- Much more real,
- Much more authoritative and
- Much more trustworthy.
These are the little things most newbie bloggers often oversee but they are a crucial part of developing a great blog online that can make money (and last for a long time).
Remember that there’s no one thing that will make it happen for you. While there are factors that carry huge weight towards your goals, it’s not good to disregard the other “tiny” details while crafting the best blog you can.
These tips today would help you get your blog together for an amazing user experience that will make you successful.
An About Page
Surprisingly, the about page is very important and you’ll often find that it is being visited more than you’d expect by visitors reading your blog.
Creating the about page, which I think should always be done as quickly as possible, will allow people to get to know who you are, what you do and how you can help them.
Once people start trusting you more, joining your email lists and even buying your products, they’d want to know who’s the wo/man behind it all.
I have a guide on how to create an about me page so you can check that to figure out how you can write your own little (yet powerful) about page.
Also as a bonus tip; I suggest you do a mini “about me” on the sidebar of your blog with a picture if ideal, you can see an example of that in my own sidebar.
Now some bloggers may not want to publish a photo of them or even their real name. That is ok too.
If you do not want to publish a picture, then feel free not to (it helps but it’s not a rule) and if you do not want to use your real name, consider using a pen-name which also happens more than you think.
Just make sure you have an about me page as both readers and search engines like to see a bit of transparency online and I am sure you will see the benefits of having one yourself too.
A Contact Page
This is also incredibly important as you want people to get in touch with you.
Again; this helps a lot with building trust and building engagement. I often urge my readers to get in touch with me if they needed knowing very well I could use their communication to be able to deliver much better information and practical help to them .
It doesn’t take much to create a contact page so do not stress this more than it should be.
A simple name (or pen name), your email address and also some social media profiles is enough for starters. You can see my own contact page for examples.
A Home Page With Your Blog Posts
This may be my opinion, but I will mention it also since even search engines like to see this so I’m sure it is a significant thing to readers as well.
Your home page could be a landing page, that’s fine, but it can also serve as your “blogroll”.
Whenever I publish a new post, it will get added to my home page and my blog roll too.
I like this format (instead of having a “static homepage”) since it shows readers all the content I’ve recently published and it also helps in keeping the home page (which has the most SEO power) updated with fresh and original content.
On some sites, I also see that the homepage is just an article where people can read the post entirely on the homepage since the full thing is showing instead of a summary.
This is not an ideal way to go (in my opinion). Since the articles can be read without actually clicking on the links, you will never know which article is getting readers, thus it’s all credited to the home page.
To avoid this, make sure you switch from “all content” to “summary” in your WordPress “Reading” settings
A Frequently Updated Website
I don’t know about you, but once I see that a blog I am reading has not been updated for years, I somehow lose my interest in it and start to the doubt the information I am reading and look elsewhere.
This happens because the blog site appears abandoned and outdated thus it does not provide an ideal user experience.
If you want to blog, then you have to blog. Keep your site updated with new content the very least once a week (4 posts a month).
Also, try to create the best content that you can since the content is the bait to get visitors in. You can never spend enough time on creating the “perfect piece of content”.
Quality Images & Visuals
Another key element people would like to see on your blog is a collection of quality visuals and sharp images that compliment your brand and your content.
Nowadays, it’s easier than ever to find great images to use and no, you do not have to pay heavily for them with a stock photo library.
Simply read my post on where to find free images and use the sources available there to get all the images you need for free.
*I am currently using RawPixel.com to get my images but it’s not updated in the list of recommended sources. Feel free to check out RawPixel first as it’s just been my favorite since I’ve found it.
Adding images is great as it makes the content much easier to read and you can also share your images on your social media.
BTW, if you want to know what type of image works best on which social platform, I suggest you start on Canva.com as they have all the sizes and layouts you need.
The Effort To Minimize Spelling & Grammar Mistakes
Now I know what you’re thinking; you might have already seen a few grammar mistakes just reading this post.
English is not my first language and I use 2 premium tools to catch any spelling and mistakes and still they get through somehow. However, trust me when I say that it is not as bad as when I am actually writing a post as a draft LOL.
Which brings me to my next point; you absolutely need to make the effort to check and proofread your content if you want readers to keep coming back.
A while back I got an email from a subscriber telling me she is going to stop following me because she was an English teacher and I had quite a few grammar mistakes in my emails.
While that sucked and it did get a bit under my skin, it was a great lesson to actually spend actual time properly proofreading my blog posts.
And in case you were wondering, yes my emails did have more than a few spelling mistakes. but they have been fixed now (I hope).
Great Content That Serves Them
Unless you are a popular celebrity or an influential person, the readers coming in to read your content are not there for you, they are there for your content.
In a way, your content is the “face” of your blog.
Which means; people will always flock to where to the best content is. And this is not something they pick either so keep that in mind.
Sure anybody can find your content online, but if it’s not good enough to get ranked in search engines and it’s not “hitting” enough to be shared on social networks, then your content is not going to get you far.
As a blogger who is providing valuable information you need to do just that; provide information about a specific subject or niche and do it to the best of your ability.
Find out what content your target audience wants and create that. You can expand and diversify later but for starting out, only publish content that you know people are looking for.
How do you do that?
There are many ways but the most obvious / popular way to do it is of course through keyword research.
Keyword research lets you know what content your audience is after (and how many times a month they’re looking for it too) so it’s a good way to get some ideas flowing in and start writing.
I have a post that talks about how to do free keyword research. Although I do recommend getting a premium service to really harness the power of keywords, using these free methods here; you can get a lot of content ideas that will keep you busy for months.Just try it out and see how that goes.
Just try it out and see how that goes.
An Email List With A Free Give Away
Yes people say email is dead, and people also say they hate receiving emails but lock in a free offer to sweeten the deal and you will see your subscriber rate shooting through the roof overnight.
I have tried not giving away freebies (as I used to associate that with an outdated model) but I was horribly wrong.
A free giveaway still works like magic and if you have any hopes of building an email marketing campaign, then this is something you should definitely work on.
Here are 5 things you can give away to your subscribers in exchange for their email address.
Read that list carefully, get an email service (like Aweber), lock in the freebie and thank me later.
People / readers love this and they will be more than happy to get in touch with you over email to get a free object.
Your job now is to keep them entertained and “coming back for more” with clever use of email followers ups and broadcasts, but that’s a completely different blog topic to be discussed.
A Fast Loading Website
We’ve talked about a few things your readers would like to see on your blog, but the main thing is; they want to see it fast.
A slow loading website is a nightmare, (as I am sure you know by now) so if your site is not on the upper end of the scale, then you are going to be suffering and losing more readers at a higher rate than gaining them.
It doesn’t have to be Usain Bolt fast so don’t freak out about this but something that is “bearable” is ok too.
I had a lot of issues with my site speed in the past as I was uploading huge image files to my media library which really took up a lot of space and bandwidth for me, thus making the “loading up” incredibly slow.
The thing is, since your computer is ‘used” to loading the site (hello caching), then you wouldn’t know if your site was fast or slow.
The best way to check if your site speed is up there + some more tips on how to improve it, you can try out this free Google tool where you plug in your URL and let it do the calculations.
That is how I realized my site speed is basically dead and that’s also where I got the recommendation on what is wrong and how to fix it, so I suggest you give this tool a go. It will only take you a few seconds.
Comments & Interactions Taking Place
One last thing I want to talk about before this post goes way too long, is the need to have social proof and social interactions happening on and around your blog.
A site with 0 followers and 0 comments means that it probably has 0 readers too which begs the question whether this site is good enough.
If you’re starting out, do not worry about this as of course; you’re not at the level of getting comments on a regular basis (yet).
This tip applies mostly to the bloggers that have been blogging for 6 months or more which is when you will likely start seeing comments coming in on a regular basis.
Also, it’s important that you reply to every comment or email that comes in.
This will show that you care, that you are still around being active on your site and also; seeing you reply will be a more motivating factor in commenting for other people.
Comments on a popular engaged post are also great for SEO purposes since there is live social proof (which Google loves) and also it adds more to the content (yes “comments content” does get ranked as well).
So what do you think? Do you have most of these or have I just given you a huge to-do list to work on this week?
Remember, these tips are not a “must” so don’t worry about having them in place straight away, it’s more of a roadmap to follow and a checklist to constantly improve your style of blogging and your style of communication.
There is a lot to be learned more about this subject so I’d like to invite you to get on my free starter membership at Wealthy Affiliate and let me mentor you on all the things you need to know (and do) to build yourself a successful blog which you can make money from.
I really hope this post has inspired you to get moving towards your goals and dreams and I look forward to being able to help you do it.
Let’s get it!