It’s a new year, and we think it’s safe to assume that you’ve probably set goals to grow your blog this year. The difficult part about that goal is that it can often be hard to figure out where exactly to start. You may find yourself thinking, “Well, I’m already doing all of the right things… Why isn’t my blog growing?!“
Kory here! I’ve been in that exact place before with my own blog. When you feel like you’re doing all the right things, it can be frustrating to try to tackle your goal of growing your reach and audience. However, I’ve noticed that sometimes when I’m focused on the big things around a goal, the little things tend to slip through the cracks. As crazy as it seems, the process of actually writing your content might be suffering since you’re so focused on sharing, connecting, and networking.
There’s nothing wrong with promoting your blog; heck, we all have to do it. But you don’t want your blog posts to suffer. So today I’m sharing five key elements that should make up your blog posts to help you grow your blog through more traffic and engagement this year!
1. In-depth, helpful content
When I first started blogging, people published new posts 5 days a week. I know there are some niches that still do this, and all I have to say is major props to you. Anyway, writing 5 days a week meant that most of us were writing shorter form blog posts to keep cranking out content year after year. Unfortunately, while shorter blog posts may save you time, they can actually hurt you in terms of boosting your credibility and actually helping your audience.
Regardless of what your posting schedule is, you want your blog posts to contain in-depth, helpful content. This doesn’t necessarily mean a 3,000 word blog post, but for most people that means blog posts they’re writing are around 1,000 – 1,500 words (like most of our blog posts). When you write long form posts like this, it means that you really care about actually helping your audience understand or accomplish something, and your readers notice. They will stick around to read what you have to say, and they’re much more likely to share your post if they found it truly beneficial.
2. Headlines – just like this one
When you’re writing long form blog posts, even if you’ve already been doing so, it’s important for your readers that you’re organizing your content. It not only makes it easier for your audience to find the most important points to them, but having headlines can help boost your SEO. That means if you’ve been skipping out on including headings into your blog posts, your traffic has likely been suffering.
You don’t have to go crazy including headlines in your posts, but instead be intentional about them. An easy example is how we’re using them in this post to outline the different elements. It’s as easy as noting the different main topics of your blog post, and making them an H2 or H3 in your content.
[Tweet “With these 5 elements infused into your posts, you’re sure to get more traffic + engagement”]
3. At least one Call-to-Action
This one is probably pretty common knowledge, but surprisingly I’m regularly reading blog posts that don’t have even a single call-to-action. If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, a call-to-action is anything that encourages your reader to take action. An example of one would be the click-to-tweet above this section.
Having at least one call-to-action in your blog post is important because you don’t want your readers to read your post and then just close out the tab. You want to encourage some sort of interaction with your post. A couple of examples would be a click-to-tweet, a question at the end of your post, or including a content upgrade.
A general rule of thumb that we like to follow is to have no more than 2-3 of these throughout your post. In posts on my blog, I typically include one or two click-to-tweets and a content upgrade if I have one for the post, but that’s it. If you include too many, you’re more likely to overwhelm your audience, and they’ll be more likely to leave your blog without taking any action.
4. Easy to share on social media
While this has to do with your blog post, it also is a little bit about the way your site is setup as well. If you want to get more shares on social media, then it’s important to make sure that it’s incredibly easy to share your posts. That’s why click-to-tweets work so well: the work is basically already done for people. All they have to do is click a few times and your pre-written tweet has been sent by them.
However, click-to-tweets aren’t the only way that you can make your posts easy to share on social media. The most important thing is that you have some sort of social share buttons. Our favorite are the Social Warfare buttons that you’ve likely seen on Krista’s blog, as well as others. You can also add a Pin It button to your site to make your images easy to share on Pinterest. Our favorite for this is jQuery Pin It Button For Images.
[Tweet “Create better blog posts this year by adding these 5 key elements to your posts”]
5. Your voice
The last and quite possibly the most important element of your posts is your voice. With so many bloggers out there now-a-days and so many of us talking about similar things, the key way to make your blog stand out from the crowd is to make sure that you’re writing in your own voice.
When you’re writing in your own voice, you’re giving your personal spin on what you’re writing about. You’re writing it in your own words. This is why so many bloggers can publish posts that are all about the same exact topic. Writing in your own voice also gives your readers a better chance to connect with you on a deeper level. If you like to include funny references or notes in your posts, then do it! That lets your readers get to know you and can encourage them to keep coming back to your blog for more, even if someone else is writing similar posts as you.
Do your blog posts contain these five elements? If not, will you be working on introducing them to your posts throughout this year? Maybe you feel like there are other things blog posts should include? We’d love to hear in the comments!
*This post contains an affiliate link for a product we love and use ourselves.