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21 Ways to Improve Your Blog Content

Improving your blog content can provide numerous benefits. But do you know how to use WordPress to make your posts stand out?

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

Image source: Jason Howie
Image source: Jason Howie

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

related-posts-plugin
Image source: Related Links by Contextly

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.

4. Turn Listicles Into Slideshows

NextGEN Gallery
Image source: NextGEN Gallery

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.

5. Make Embed Codes for Your Images

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

Image source: Google Analytics by Yoast
Image source: Google Analytics by Yoast

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.

7. Build a Featured Post Section

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

Image source: Akismet
Image source: 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

add-polls
Image source: Polldaddy Polls & Ratings

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

Image source: Rating-Widget
Image source: Rating-Widget

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.

General Methods

13. Study Design and Typography

design-typography
Image source: Peter Van Lancker

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

Image source: Mike Linksvayer
Image source: Mike Linksvayer

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

Image source: Annabelle Orozco
Image source: Annabelle Orozco

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

Image source: Maria Elena
Image source: Maria Elena

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

Image source: Alexander Henning Drach
Image source: Alexander Henning Drach

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.

Conclusion

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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Brenda Barron
Brenda Barron
Brenda Barron is a freelance blogger for hire and WordPress specialist, with a particular fondness for the latest gadgets. She lives in So Cal with her husband, daughter, and two cats.

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3 Responses

  1. I have been a casual blogger for a few years but I’m definitely not seasoned. A small number of my posts generate most of my traffic so I’m always interested in improving the rest.
    Comment rating? Never heard of it. I’ll will investigate.

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