7 Methods You Can Use To Make Visitors Want To Read Your Blog Posts

Have you ever spent hours researching and writing a blog post for it to then get very few (if any) reads or comments?

Disheartening, isn’t it?

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?

Heartbreaking, isn’t it?

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Struggling to get your blog posts read?

Over the years I’ve been blogging, I’ve used seven methods that have not only helped me get my blog posts noticed but have helped get readers to leave comments and follow my blog.

Try them out and see if they work for you.

1. Blog Post Titles

I can’t express enough how important the titles of blog posts are. They are like the shop window to your blog.

The title of your blog post can make or break whether it gets any attention. It’s the most critical element in whether somebody will read your post or move on to another blog.

I’ll be honest and tell you that in the past, I’ve given some of my blog posts terrible titles. No wonder they weren’t getting any attention, or any new visitors leaving comments on them. All they did was make my blog posts flop.

If the title isn’t eye-catching or enticing enough to get visitors to click on the ‘read more’ link, then you’ll be losing hundreds of potential new readers and followers.

But first things first! 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. It not only looks strange, but it looks unprofessional.

Of course, it’s easily fixed, but too many blog posts without titles can put readers off from reading any new material from you.

At the very least, you should be previewing all your posts before publishing them, so make sure the preview shows a blog post title.

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. It can sometimes be as simple as that.

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.

And finally, do not use blog post titles you or other bloggers have used before. Why? Because search engines rank blogs that use duplicated titles lower than those with original titles.

2. Add An Excerpt To Your Post

For those followers who get an email notification of your new blog posts, adding a captivating excerpt can also entice readers to then click through to read the post.

If you don’t add your own excerpt, WordPress will use the first 55 words from your blog post as the excerpt. This can often make the post sound confusing, or give no incentive for readers to want to click the ‘read more’ link, especially if the excerpt cuts off midway in a sentence.

Where possible, I always ask a question when writing an excerpt. For this post, I’ve used –

Having trouble getting visitors to your blog or to read and leave comments on your posts? Here are 7 methods I use that have resulted in thousands of readers reading my posts and leaving comments.

The more you make an excerpt intriguing, the more readers your post will get.

The excerpt box can be found under ‘Featured Image‘ in the settings menu that appears on the righthand-side of your screen when composing a post.

Screenshot highlighting where to find the 'Excerpt' box on a WordPress blog
Creating enticing excerpts for your blog posts will make visitors want to read your posts.

3. Opening Line/Paragraph

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 engaging and appealing, 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. If you ask a question that poses a problem, readers will want to find out more because you’ll likely be helping solve the problem. Your post then has a greater chance of getting read.

Again, ask yourself what opening line or paragraph would make you want to read more and comment on the post you’ve written.

4. Images

Like many others, I believe that blog posts that include photos and images look far more inviting to read.

Did you know that 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 help break the post up and creates white space, which all help to make the reading experience more comfortable.

However, be careful when adding any images or photos. 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.

Always reduce the size of any images or photos before adding them to your media library.

I use an iMac and am able to reduce photo and image sizes by clicking on ‘Tools – Adjust Size’ on the toolbar of my computer.

5. 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 –

  • Is the font the right size so that your readers do not have to squint or enlarge the page to read it?
  • Can the font be seen clearly? Black font on a white background is the safest combination to use.
  • Is the background colour of your blog gentle on the eyes?
  • Are paragraphs too long, thus making them blocky. Keep paragraphs to no more than four sentences long. This helps creates white space on the post.
  • 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?
  • Is there anything in the post or on the page (such as a gif) that can distract from reading the post? If so, consider removing it.

As I mentioned in the above points, 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 it a comfortable and pleasant experience.

Finally (and this is something you should always be doing), always preview your post before publishing it so you can correct any issues.

6. Add Sub-Headings

Inserting sub-headings, especially in long posts, 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 helps make the post look inviting and friendly to read.

7. 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.

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 is between 12:00 and 17:00 GMT. Why? Because the mornings are peak-reading times for many.

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 claim the best publishing day and time is Monday at 11 am EST. However, until you know where most of your audience is, this will differ.

Let’s Recap

  • Blog post titles are the shop window to your blog. They can make or break your blog.
  • Make the titles of your blog posts enticing enough to make visitors want to click the ‘read more’ link.
  • When creating a blog post title, ask yourself what title would make you want to click the ‘read more’ link.
  • Never use duplicate blog post titles. Search engines rank blogs and posts with duplicate titles lower than those with original titles.
  • Adding your own excerpts to your blog posts are far better than allowing WordPress to use the first 55 words of your post as the excerpt.
  • Hook readers by making the opening lines of your blog posts enticing to make them want to find out more.
  • Blog posts that contain images or photos are 70% more likely to get read than those that do not contain any images or photos.
  • Reduce the size of images and photos before adding them to a post. This will help your post download more quickly.
  • Make sure your blog posts are kind to the eyes. Avoid glary colours, tiny font, and combinations of colours that make the font hard to read.
  • Use no more than four sentences in each paragraph, as this helps breaks up blocks of text that can look intimidating to read.
  • Use sub-headings in long posts to help break the post up.
  • Find out where the majority of your followers are located, and schedule posts to publish during the morning in the timezone they are in. Mornings are peak-viewing times.

What do you do to entice readers to read and leave comments on your blog? Please share your tips in the comments section.

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Copyright © 2022 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

Are You Using This Little Known About Block That Helps Promote Your Blog?

Of all the blogs I follow, I’ve never yet seen them using the block I’m promoting today. I wonder if you’ve used it?

Once I tell you about this block, when showcasing some of the least visited parts of your blog, you’ll want to use it too. I’ll certainly be using it a lot more to help promote some of the parts of my blog that seldom receive visitors.

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Have you discovered the Pages list block?

Do you feel sorry for the ‘pages’ on your blog?

If you’re unsure what I’m talking about, I’m talking about the pages you’ve created that sit behind the scenes of every blog. Blog posts are the performers, whereas blog pages are the behind-the-scenes folk. 

What’s the difference between a blog page and a blog post?

Posts are entries listed on your blog in reverse chronological order. Think of them as articles or updates you share to offer up new content to your readers. Every time you publish a new post, a notification gets sent to your followers, and, in most cases, it appears on the WordPress Reader.

Pages are static and are not affected by date. Think of them as more permanent fixtures of your site — an About Me page, a Contact Me page, and a Home page are great examples of this. When you publish a page, your followers do not get any notifications that you’ve published it, nor does it appear on the WordPress Reader. Therefore, they rarely get viewed unless visitors to your blog click on links to them or on the menubar of your blog (where links to pages appear). 

What happens if the home page of my blog is a page? 

It should already be getting lots of views. I have the ‘about Hugh’ page of my blog set as my home page, which means it’s one of the most-visited parts of my blog.

What’s the block I’m referring to in the title of this post? 

The ‘Page list‘ block. It’s there to help bloggers promote the behind-the-scenes pages of their blogs. I’ve included one on my ‘Meet Hugh‘ page. When you add it to a post or page, it automatically pulls through links to all the pages you have on your blog.

Before I add the ‘Page list’ block to this post, please don’t be tempted to click on any of the links in the block until you’ve read the rest of the post. You’ll discover why towards the end of this post.

Here’s my pages list.

Meet Hugh – this is my blog’s ‘about me’ page. An ‘about me’ page is something every blog should have. Not sure what to put on your ‘about me’ page? My post, Why Every Blogger Should Have an About Me Page on Their Blog, gives full details.  

Contact Hugh – is a secure way for visitors to my blog to contact me without leaving personal information in the comments section of any of my posts or pages. Every blog should have a channel for visitors to contact the owner, other than via leaving a comment. My blog post, How To Create And Add A Contact Me Form To Your WordPress Blog, gives full details.

My Books – details of all my books, what they are about, where they are on sale and some reviews.

Disclaimer & GDPR: This is something every blog should display. Never think or believe it doesn’t apply to you and your blog. It does!

Tales From Under The Rainbow – The first chapter of a work-in-progress I have underway. The blogging community helped by giving me feedback on sections I published on my blog. It’s the final result. Let me know what you think if you give it a read.

The Newlyweds – a flash fiction piece that turned into a short story after participating in the weekly 99-word flash fiction challenge hosted by Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch. It’s a strange tale led by prompts. If you read it, let me know what you think about it.   

Those are the six pages I have on my blog. In turn, all of them appear on the menubar of my blog. 

Can the ‘Page list’ block be improved?

Yes. When clicking on any links on the ‘Page list’ block, they don’t open in a new tab on your device. It means you lose the post you’re reading. However, you’re still on the blog you’re reading, although in a different part.

You may not want all your pages to appear in the block, so another improvement is to have the choice to select specific pages you want to appear (as happens in the ‘Blog Posts‘ block).

I’m feeding both suggestions back to WordPress.

Where should the ‘Page list’ block be used?

I recommend not clicking on any of the links on the ‘Page list’ block earlier. I’d recommend inserting the block either towards or at the end of any blog post. Readers will likely have read most of your post before clicking links and taken away from your post.

Therefore, I’m including my ‘Page list’ block again.

Have you discovered the ‘Page list’ block? Have you used it? Will you use it? Can it be improved? Tell us what pages you have on your blog.

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Enjoyed reading this post? Check out these posts about the Block editor.

Copyright © 2021 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

How To Create And Add A ‘Contact Me’ Form To Your WordPress Blog

Every week, I get contacted via the ‘Contact Hugh’ button on my blog’s menu bar. If I didn’t have a way for visitors to my blog to contact me securely, I could have missed many opportunities. 

Blogging Tips From Hugh

Many of those who contact me usually ask me questions about blogging.

However, I also get people contacting me with guest posts invitations, information about my books, and even business opportunities to advertise on my blog. 

Suppose somebody can not find a secure way of contacting you. In that case, they may well pass on any opportunities they wanted to offer you to somebody else.

Don’t miss out. Have a secure way for visitors to contact you rather than leave an unsecured comment on one of your blog posts.

How To Create a ‘Contact Me’ form.

  • On the navigation bar of your WordPress blog, click on Pages and then on Add New.
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Pages
  • On the lefthand side menu of the page that opens, click on ‘Contact.’
#blogging #bloggingtips #WordPress
Contact Templates
  • There are four templates to choose from. However, most of them require you to add personal information such as your email address, home/business address and contact phone number. 
  • Unless you’re a business blogger, never share any personal information on your ‘Contact Me’ form or anywhere on your blog. Keep those details safe and away from spammers and spambots. These details include your personal email address, address, phone number and date of birth.
  • Instead, open a blank template by clicking on the ‘Blank Page‘ button located at the top of the menu.
  • Give your new page that has opened a title such as ‘Contact Me‘ (I use ‘Contact Hugh’), and click the ‘add block‘ button.
Title your page and click on the ‘add block’ icon
  • In the search bar, add ‘contact‘ and select the ‘Contact Form‘ block.
Select the ‘Contact Form’ block
  • Save and preview the form before publishing it on your blog.
  • I have also added a line above my contact form informing visitors how to contact me securely. Here’s what it looks like.
My ‘Contact Me’ page
  • I also recommend adding some tags and an excerpt to your page/contact form before publishing it. Also, decide whether or not you want visitors to the page to leave any comments. Note – not all WordPress themes allow you to add tags to pages documents.
Add tags and an excerpt to your ‘About Me’ page

Now we’ve created a ‘Contact Me’ form; it’s time to add it to your blog’s menubar.

  • On the navigation bar of your WordPress blog, click on ‘Appearance and Menus.’
#blogging #bloggingtips #WordPress
Appearance and Menus
  • Choose either an existing menu or create a new one.
Adding a button to your menu bar
  • As I already have a primary menu on my blog, I’m going to add a button for my ‘Contact Hugh’ page to it. 
  • Click on the ‘Add Items‘ button and scroll down the list of your pages and find the ‘Contact me‘ form you’ve created. Click on the ‘+‘ symbol next to it. 
Adding a button to your menu bar
  • Save your changes by clicking on the ‘Save Changes‘ button at the top of the page. 
  • Your ‘Contact Me‘ button now appears on the menubar of your blog. Here’s an image of where it appears on the menubar of my blog.
Hugh’s ‘Contact Me’ button
  • Click on the ‘Reorder‘ button to change the order of the buttons on your menubar.
Want to reorder the buttons on your menu bar? Click on the ‘reorder button
  • Don’t forget to click on the button you’ve just created to make sure it’s working.

Let’s wrap it up

  • It’s important to have a secure way for visitors to your blog to contact you. Many will not like leaving unsecured messages containing personal information and/or opportunities in the comments section of a blog post.
  • Creating and publishing a ‘Contact Me’ form on your blog is the perfect way for visitors to leave you secure messages.
  • Creating a ‘Contact Me’ form is easy to do.
  • Adding a ‘Contact Me’ button to a menu on a blog is easy to do.
  • Make sure your ‘Contact Me’ form is easy to find. The best place to put it is on the menubar of your blog.
  • Any messages sent to you via your ‘Contact Me’ form will be emailed to you by WordPress.
  • Messages can also be viewed by clicking on ‘Feedback’ (just under ‘Comments’ on the dashboard of your blog).
  • Make sure you respond to messages sent via your ‘Contact Me’ form as quickly as possible.
  • Don’t publish personal information anywhere on your blog. This includes, your personal email address, home address, phone number and date of birth. Don’t give scammers a chance of obtaining your personal information.

Does that help? Do you have any questions? Feel free to leave me a comment or contact me via the ‘Contact Hugh’ button. 

Layout, content, settings and format might differ on self-hosted blogs.

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5 Powerful Blogging Tools That Will Work For You

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Getting readers to engage with you by leaving comments on your blog posts is something many bloggers crave. And when those comments clearly show that your post has been read, it’s one of the best feelings in the world. Those types of comments are like finding a rainbow.

However, once you get visitors reading your posts and leaving comments, you need to do all you can to ensure they keep coming back.

Writing great quality posts is one way to keep your readers returning, but you also need to ensure they can easily find your other similarly themed posts; which are often buried deep in your blog archives.

And if you’re someone who leaves ‘likes’ or comments, you need to ensure other bloggers can find you.

Here are five blogging tools that work for me. Not only do they give my readers a way of finding more similarly-themed content, but these tools have also helped bring me hundreds more readers and followers.

The other day, I was writing a new blog post and wanted to include some links to some posts I had read on other blogs.

However, try as I might, I wasn’t able to find one of the posts I wanted to link to. Even worse, there was no search bar on the blog concerned.

It wasn’t long before I gave up looking for that blog post. I didn’t have the time to hunt it down.

Something all bloggers crave is that their blog posts are shared. You can make it very easy for readers to find what they are looking for by including a search bar on your blog.

Does your blog have a search bar? If not, WordPress has a ‘search’ widget. Click here to find out how to install one.

Once you’ve installed a search bar, open up one of your blog posts and check you are happy where you have placed it. Make sure it’s visible and easy for visitors to find.

Remember, too, that you can use the search bar when looking for your own posts. You can save yourself a lot of time by doing this instead of scrolling through all your blog posts on your blog’s dashboard.

The Menu Bar

Navigation is of prime importance on any blog. Make it difficult for visitors to navigate, and they’ll probably give up and never come back.

That’s why it’s essential to have a menu bar on your blog.

As I mentioned earlier, when talking about the search bar, it helps visitors find what they may be searching for rather than them spending valuable time hunting for something they’ll soon get fed up looking for.

Having a menu bar gives your readers an opportunity not only to check out what else is on your blog but also helps direct them to the parts of your blog they’d like to explore.

Many bloggers can be frightened by the thought of including a menu bar on their blog or adding items to it. However, it’s an easy and straightforward process.

Click here for details on how to set up a custom menu bar on your WordPress blog.

The ‘Contact’ Page

Just imagine another blogger, an editor of a magazine, or somebody from your local radio station wanting to contact you to invite you to write an article or appear on a show, and they can’t find a way of reaching you!

Not everyone wants to leave a comment when they want to invite you to write a guest post, be interviewed, or ask you to appear on a show. If you don’t have a ‘contact me’ page, and nobody can find a way of contacting you, then they’ll probably move on and give that opportunity to somebody else.

On my blog’s menu bar, towards the top of my blog, you’ll see a ‘Contact Hugh’ button. That’s how many people contact me via my blog.

I get lots of people contacting me every week. As a result, I’ve written guest articles, appeared on radio shows and recorded podcasts; all of which have given me the opportunity to promote me and my blog. In return, I’ve got hundreds of new readers and followers to my blog.

In fact, I was recently invited by the lovely people at Missinglettr to record a podcast about blogging. Click here to listen to it.

Make sure you’re contactable. Click here to find out how to set up a ‘contact me‘ page.

The ‘About Me’ Page

Ever since my early days of blogging, I heard it said that many new visitors to a blog will want to find out a little about the blogger behind the blog before deciding whether to follow or not.

It’s true of me. When I visit a blog for the first time, the first thing I do is look for an ‘about me’ page so I can find out more about the blogger.

If the blogger doesn’t have an ‘about me’ page, or it’s difficult to find, then I’m more likely to move on than check out the rest of their blog.

If you do have an ‘about me’ page, ensure you give new visitors an opportunity to introduce themselves by allowing them to leave a comment. And, don’t forget, a friendly reply is more likely to keep that visitor coming back to read your posts.

The Gravatar

The image that appears next to a comment is known as a Gravatar. In fact, as soon as you leave a review or comment on the internet, a gravatar is created for you.

How many times have you clicked on the gravatar image of somebody who has left an excellent comment on a post and not been able to find their blog details? Frustrating, isn’t it, especially when you think it may be a blog you’d like to follow.

Unfortunately, one of the biggest mistakes many people make, as soon as their gravatar is created, is they forget about it. Many don’t realise they can add an image or even leave a link to their blog on their gravatar.

Yes, you can leave a link to your blog on your gravatar! Not only that, but you can also leave links to your social media accounts.

If a reader then clicks on your gravatar they’ll see the links to your blog and social media accounts and be able to visit them. That’s all it takes; just one click. That means more visitors to your blog and social media accounts which could result in more followers.

What powerful blogging tools do you use on your blog, and why do you use them? Share them with us by leaving a comment.

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