Blogging Tips & Tricks: Improve Your Blog Posts & Gain Followers

Hi, friends. Today’s post includes some tips for improving your blog posts and (hopefully) gaining loyal followers. My readers with an acute memory might see a few points rehashed from the past, but let’s be honest, do bloggers ever get tired of reading these types of posts? Not in my observation! Let’s get started.

Quick preface: I know that many bloggers I follow don’t abide by these tips or care about increasing their following. This is simply my advice for bloggers looking to grow.

Create an Informative & Intriguing Title

So many times, I have read an awesome post and thought the writer sold themselves short on a minimalistic title.

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Let’s say that someone started writing a post near Thanksgiving talking about their blessings; maybe by the end, they realize that they primarily spoke about moving to a new house. “Feeling Thankful” is a vague title that might be easily overlooked. “Appreciating my New Home this Thanksgiving” is more specific and piques my interest…thus, I’m more likely to click on it.

Adding more details makes it even more enticing. Hypothetical examples:

  • “From City Slicker to Country Gal: Appreciating my New Home this Thanksgiving”
  • “Appreciating my Cats, my Husband, & our New Home this Thanksgiving”
  • “A New Home & a New Philosophy on Life: Counting my Blessings this Thanksgiving”

You get the idea. Give ’em the old Razzle Dazzle. [Yes, I recently watched Chicago.]

Use Pictures

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Use at least five images to get the image slideshow above the post preview in the Reader.

I’d say that you should select a featured image at minimum, but including pictures throughout a post is a good idea. People retain information from text better when it’s reinforced by images (Read more here). Also, do we need to look further than social media (esp. Instagram and Pinterest) to see that people simply enjoy looking at pictures? My favorite image resources are Pixabay and Unsplash.

If you use five or more pictures in the post, the post appears differently in the Reader. Posts with the images across the top will draw the eye more and probably get more clicks.

Share on Multiple Platforms

“Build it and they will come” does not apply to blogging (or almost anything besides drive-thru restaurants). The more you use social media to promote your blog, the more people will see it. Social Media Sharing Options:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Snapchat
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Tumblr
  • Etc.

Use Tags

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Browsing through the results of tags is a way to find cool blogs (recommended for new/small bloggers), but whether you actually look at tags or not, using them will expose your posts to more people on WordPress. [Just like using hashtags on an Instagram photo brings more likes.]

Sidenote: If you are using the tag Humor, don’t literally type #Humor; type the word Humor and hit “Enter.”

Vary the Formatting

The more variation in formatting, the better. We have evolved past walls of text in 2018. Ways to Break Up Format:

  • PICTURES
  • Bullet lists & numbered lists
  • Bolding & italicizing
  • Blockquotes
  • Sections with headings
  • Emojis (use sparingly)
  • Hitting “Enter” every few sentences

Do a Series (But Not in “Parts”)

Success almost never comes easily, so be forewarned that some of your series ideas will crash and burn in dismal interest. However, if you think of a series that does intrigue people, you will gain more return readers. Consider creating one featured image for the series on Canva to use for each post.

I caution you to make all the posts in your series stand-alone rather than having part 1, 2, 3, etc, even if the posts do have some chronological connection. Seeing “part #” in the title can be a turn-off (because it subconsciously sends the signal “this is going to take extra work”). Just my two cents.

Incorporate Your Personality

Readers return first and foremost when they like you. Let them get to know you by displaying your humor, your kindness, your witty sarcasm, your optimism, your vulnerability, your realness, or whatever makes you who you are through your blog. Don’t come across as distant and disconnected from your writing!

Network With Other Bloggers

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Unless you’re already a viral sensation, you will have to work to build a readership. Read, like, and comment on other people’s blog posts. Respond to every comment you receive with individual care and attention. You reap what you sow!

Thanks for reading! What do you think of my blogging tips? What would you add or take away? Let me know in the comments.

67 comments

  1. “A New Home & a New Philosophy on Life: Counting my Blessings this Thanksgiving”

    Cor, I like that! I’m stealing it. (Just kidding!)

    Very cool post, Lily! I have to keep my titles quite short otherwise it messes with the formatting of my blog. But I love my theme so I’m willing to make that sacrifice, it just means I have to try to be very creative with just a few words. Not always easy!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Good stuff Lily. Sounds like you’ve learned the ropes at a young age with this one: “… so be forewarned that some of your series ideas will crash and burn in dismal interest”.

    One thing I found somewhat distracting when reading other’s blogs are word misspellings. It gives the impression that the blogger has lit up their inspiration and like a chainsaw ripping through a good old NC oak limb, does not care about the saw dust they leave behind during their creative flow of consciousness.

    Yeah, this is verbose & an extreme way of putting it, but I think you understand. I know CISO’s who will throw out proposals (writen by companies with very talented staff) simply because of grammatical errors. Correct grammer shows you care. Which we know you do because that is your background (BTW – if you’ve endured reading this far you deserve a sip of cool sweet southern iced tea 😀). Peace!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, David! I know I will always have more to learn, but I have definitely learned a few things along the way–this time last year, I was excited if a post got more than 5 likes. There’s been a lot of trial and error!

      I agree that a post riddled with misspellings is a turn-off (and I appreciate the picture you painted with your analogy, haha). If the person speaks English as a second language, I am forgiving, but it feels rushed and/or unprofessional otherwise. I’m a bit of a perfectionist, so I spend more time editing my posts than writing the initial rough drafts.

      Like

  3. Ohhh, I love these tips!!! Thanks, Lily!!! I’ve been wanting to get back more into the blogosphere lately, because I left on a semi-hiatus for a while XD
    But I really want to use these tips!!! I love them!! Like, YES to all of these. And bringing your personality into your blog posts is like…..so important!!! And using interesting titles……YES. And the series thing I totally agree with. I tried to do serieses in the past with terrible results XD XD XD XD But I love all of these tips!!! Great post!!! 👌👌❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I appreciate these tips, Lily, especially the one about post titles. I’m always overthinking my titles and still not satisfied in the end. You also made me think about the placement of my photo in my post. I’m going to experiment with placing it closer to the top to see how that works.
    Best to you as you share your tips, insights and encouragement.
    Marva | SunSparkleShine

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for stopping by, Marva! Often, I write something for the title when I start writing a new post, but I usually end up adjusting the title after I finish. What I try to do is assess the main point(s) of the post and think of a pithy phrase to summarize the main point(s).

      If you are only using one image, you may want to set that image as the featured image (in the toolbar on the right that appears when you write a post). I have noticed that when you use an image anywhere in the post, the WordPress Reader automatically presents that image next to the post preview; however, if I share a post with no featured image on Facebook or Twitter, it will not show an image in the preview unless there is a featured image.

      Best to you as well!

      Like

  5. Great post, Lilly! I was really struck by your remark on not naming series posts as part 1, part 2, and so on. Really good idea. I’m guilty of that but I think I’ll do it differently in the future 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Irene! Definitely not a hard and fast rule, but I imagine people are more scared off when they see “part 3” from thinking 1. “I’m out of the loop b/c I haven’t read the first two” or 2. “Eh, this seems like an ordeal…I just want to read a post and be done *keeps scrolling*”

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This is all so good, Lily. I’d like to add: Include a good photo of yourself. We relate to people and the more ‘YOU’ you put into the article, the more we feel close to it and believe it is real. That’s because…well, because it becomes real as we open up ourselves for others to see. That’s why Lily is so good. She is so intimate and vulnerable. Consequently, we all believe and trust her as we know that she is REAL. Merry Christmas to you all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Tom. Vulnerability is a great thing because we can all relate to struggles. I agree with you that a photo of the blogger is a good reminder that, behind the screen, they are a real, regular person. I also have a bit of a nitpick about bloggers with no name. I understand that some feel more comfortable with being anonymous but just a first name or even an alias (like Agent X) is better than none because I want to be able to address the person specifically in a comment. When the blogger is nameless, I end up using pet names like “hun” and “dear.”

      I’m sure we’ll talk again beforehand, but just in case, Merry Christmas!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you liked them, Holly! Honestly, I only make a point to do that with certain posts that, for one reason or another, I think would look nice with the slideshow, like my post on seasonal decorating. For some reason, that rule didn’t work with this post, so there’s really an extra lesson here–WordPress is not 100% seamless, haha.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Whoops! Hit ‘enter’ too quickly there lol. What I was saying though, was that I need to get better at pictures and stuff like that. I’m not creative so it’s a bit of a hassle haha. The titles though! You’re so right! It’s what grabs the reader’s attention in the first place.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Loved the tips and your witty comments you added in. I’ve recently started my own blog, “Write drunk, edit never.” and its such a great outlet for creativity as well as resources. Your post was great, thanks for the info.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. No thank you, I had an interior debate on how I wanted to be viewed on this platform but of course I over thought it. So I decided I’d just write what I was feeling and than try to use fancy words.

        Like

  8. You present excellent points in this post, Lily. I agree networking with other bloggers is a key part of developing our individual blogs as well as being a great way to collaborate and spark creativity within the blogging community. Thanks for sharing your insights. Blessings.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thank you so much for writing this. It was fun to read and really helpful. I actually use # all the time and have always wondered if it was right. Thank you once again Lily.

    Like

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