Have you ever spent hours researching and writing a blog post for it to then get very few (if any) readers or comments?
Have you ever been deflated when all your hard work and time put into writing a post ends up giving back little if any reward?
Here are seven things I do to ensure that my blog posts stand out and attract hundreds of readers and comments.
Blog Post Titles
I mentioned this in my recent post 7 Ways To Get More Readers To Your Blog. The title of a blog post can be the most critical factor into whether somebody reads your post and/or leaves a comment.
If the title isn’t eye-catching, then you could be losing hundreds of readers.
First things first, though, always ensure your blog post has a title before hitting the ‘publish’ button.
That may seem like common sense, but I often see blog posts without a title, resulting in WordPress giving the post a random number as the title instead. It not only looks strange, but unprofessional.
Of course, it’s easily fixed, but too many blog posts without titles can put readers off from continuing to follow a blog or reading any new material.
Always ensure your blog post has a title before publishing or scheduling it.
If you’re stuck for a good blog post title, ask yourself what title would make you want to click the link to read the post you’ve just written.
Once you have your title, try inserting it into a headline analyser and see what score it gets. The higher the score, the more likely your blog post title will attract search engines and readers. I use CoSchedule for this. Click here to try it out for free.
Add An Excerpt To Your Post
For those followers who get an email notification of your new blog posts, adding a fascinating excerpt to the post can also entice readers to then click through to read the post.
Where possible, I always ask a question when writing an excerpt. For this post, I’ve used –
‘Having trouble getting visitors to your blog? Here are 7 things I do that have resulted in thousands of readers reading my posts and leaving comments.’
The more you make the excerpt alluring, the more readers and comments your post will get.
The excerpt box can be found under ‘More Options‘ in the settings menu that appears when you are composing a post.
Just as the excerpt to your post should be enticing, so should the opening line or paragraph. If your opening line or paragraph is not attractive, then readers are more likely to move on or skip over the post without leaving a comment.
I often begin my blog posts by asking a question. That question will have an answer or answers that many readers will want to find out.
Again, ask yourself what opening line or paragraph would make you want to read and comment on the post you’ve just written.
Like many other bloggers, I believe that images or photos added to a post make it far more inviting to read.
In fact, blog posts containing images are over 70% more likely to get clicked on and read than those that do not include any images.
Adding images or photos also help break the post up and help rest the eyes of readers.
However, be careful when adding them. Large images can slow down the speed at which your blog post opens. If your blog takes too long to open, many readers will move on rather than wait for everything to download.
Click here for a great tutorial on the recommended sizes of images and how to resize them.
Be Kind To The Eyes
You may have a brilliant blog post title and great excerpt to entice readers, but if the body of the post isn’t kind to your readers’ eyes, or not attractive to look at, many will move on quickly.
A few things to consider about the body of your posts are –
- Is the font the right size so that your readers do not have to squint to read it?
- Can the font be seen clearly?
- Is the background colour of your blog gentle on the eyes?
- Are there enough paragraphs in your post so that it doesn’t look like a massive block of uninviting text?
- Is the spacing between each paragraph correct?
- Does any of the text run into any of the images you’ve inserted on the post, resulting in paragraphs breaking up in the wrong place?
- Have you lined up images correctly, so they are in line with the correct text?
I’ve found that a good rule to apply to a paragraph is to never have more than four sentences in it. This helps break up a post nicely and makes reading really comfortable.
Finally, always preview your post before publishing it so you can correct any issues.
Inserting sub-headings, especially in long posts, can break up a post nicely, giving readers a more enjoyable and comfortable read. They’ll be more likely to keep coming back if they’ve found reading your posts a pleasant experience.
As you’ll see from this post, I’ve changed the colour and the size of the font to the sub-headings I’ve added. This also helps make the post look inviting and friendly to read.
When To Publish Your Posts
As you publish more and more posts and visit more and more blogs, you should get an idea of when are the best days and best times to publish your blog posts.
In my recent post, 5 Ways You Can Save Time When Blogging, I talked about ‘high peak’ blogging times. What I mean by ‘high peak’ blogging times are the times of the day and the days of the week when you feel that the blogging world is at its busiest.
For example, if most of your readers are based in the U.S.A (and you’re based in the UK) the best time to publish your posts would be between 12:00 and 17:00 GMT. Why? Because it’s believed that mornings are the peak reading times for many readers.
Remember that your posts will appear on the WordPress Reader of the bloggers who follow you, but will slowly disappear as more and more posts drop onto the reader.
I’ve read many articles about when is the best time to publish blog posts, and most of them have said that the best publishing day is Monday at 11 am EST. However, until you know where most of your audience is, this will differ for many.
What do you do to make your blog posts stand out and get read? Please share your tips in the comments section.
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