WordPress was originally developed as a blogging platform, and the legion of plugins, themes, and unique features that followed still make it the best one out there. Makes sense then why you should try make your blog content as good as it can be, right? That’s why today, we’ll talk about ways to improve your blog content, both specific to WordPress and not, that are certain to increase engagement and readership.
WordPress Specific Methods
1. Add Social Sharing Buttons
Fairly basic advice, but for good reason. Make sure you use ones with share counts, both so you can have an at-a-glance idea about what’s doing well, and so your visitors will have the extra incentive of social proof to keep passing your content on.
2. Use a Related Posts Plugin to Keep Visitors Engaged with Your Content
As you may have guessed, these plugins show your visitors a list of related posts when they’re done reading one. This is especially good for roping in new visitors, especially those coming in from Google searches. It’s best used on how-to blogs and blogs that cover the same topics frequently.
3. Use Smarter Formatting
In other words, go beyond system fonts and templates, if you’re not already. WordPress offers unlimited customization, so put that to work and experiment.
There are a lot of plugins you can use to do this, and it’s excellent for articles that are low on text and high on images. Be careful, though, as it can easily go wrong. Especially on mobile devices, some of which make slideshow navigation cumbersome at best.
Especially infographics. If your blog also features comics or cartoons that you think are good enough to be shareable, get them in on it too.
6. Use Google Analytics
A plugin like Google Analytics for WordPress will help you get a much better sense for your audience, which is crucial for a format that involves engaging with people—like a blog.
Again, this is a form of content display for which there are a ton of plugins, from carousels to slideshow to just boxes on your homepage. However, they’ll all serve to draw readers to your best work, and to encourage repeat reading.
8. Use Akismet
If you’re not already, that is. Your comments are the hub of your community activity, and no one will want to read them if they’re infested with spam!
9. Use Categories and Tags to Make Your Content Easier to Find
There’s no reason not to link to categories and tags within your own posts. If you post a lot of educational content or cover multiple niche topics, it’s a great idea to create a category so people interested in one can easily find it. You might want to check out this detailed guide for more info.
10. Add a Poll
Polls are a good way to give more of a voice to readers who have an opinion on your content, but don’t want to expend the time and effort it would take to leave a comment, especially when they’d have to sign up for an account to do so.
11. Install a Comment Rating System
As we mentioned, your comments are an important part of the blog experience. Make sure that people have the opportunity to praise the good ones and condemn the bad ones without having to confront anyone directly.
12. Create Post Expiration Dates
…Yeah, this one’s optional. And tangential to actually creating good content. But it’s great for adding a sense of urgency to your posts that can pull in readers, especially if you’re offering up trade secret information.
13. Study Design and Typography
Don’t get me wrong: the way your content looks has nothing to do with how good it actually is. But it has everything to do with how well it’s perceived to be. And adding immersive visuals can serve to turn your blog into an experience as opposed to just some text on a screen.
14. Perfect Your About Page
About pages are the unsung heroes of e-commerce websites. They have the longest shelf-life of any page on your site, and they do the most towards establishing who you are in the least amount of time. It’s crucial to have a good one.
15. Use Social Media to Get Ideas, Not Just to Hawk Yourself
Many bloggers don’t realize this, but if one of your followers asks you a question, or a topic related to your industry is trending, you’ve just been handed a blog idea. Run with it.
16. Create Both Evergreen and Topical Content
The topical content will help to reel in visitors who are interested in the news of the day. The evergreen content will help retain people and keep them coming back for info they can use in their daily lives.
17. Connect with Other Bloggers
Remember that you’re not shouting to a silent audience. Other bloggers can help cross-promote your work, help keep you up to speed on your neck of the blogosphere, and even give you some great ideas for new posts. Utilize your community!
18. Add a Call-To-Action to Every Post
Whatever you want your readers to do, ask them directly. Don’t just sit back and wait for the idea to occur to them on its own. You’ll be waiting a long time.
19. …And Make Them Clearer
This blurs the line between WordPress-specific and non-WordPress-specific, but if you’re trying to get people to sign up for an email list or check out a product, use your formatting to highlight the thing they’d use to do that. This can be as simple as making the text bigger or coloring it, or as complicated as putting the email submission box in a fancily-designed popup with a logo featuring a picture of your smiling face. Whatever you decide to do, make it stand out.
20. Ask Open Questions
On a related note, people love to give their opinions and share their knowledge on certain topics, so give them the opportunity to do so by asking their opinions, or to offer up additional suggestions on the subject. I’ll even do that at the end of this article—watch for it.
21. Write Better
It had to be said. There’s no getting around this one.
We covered quite a few tips, but that’s just twenty-one out of a virtually infinite pool. Any other suggestions? Drop us a line in the comments.
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