Whether you’re gearing up to launch a new blog, or you’re taking a look at your existing blog to make sure it’s serving you well, it helps to know what the key elements are. Blogs big and small can all benefit from having 8 key elements to provide value both to your reader and your business.
When people navigate to your blog, they want to be able to learn more about you and your business. Who is the person behind the blog posts they’re reading, and why should they trust their expertise? While this doesn’t have to live at the top of every blog post, it should certainly be easily accessible. A great place for your about section to live is in a sidebar that links to a longer about page.
Your blog’s design needs to be an extension of your website and your brand. When people navigate to your blog’s page, it should be a cohesive transition that uses the same brand colors and fonts. That also means that if someone navigates to your blog without first visiting your website homepage, it should be immediately recognizable that it’s part of your site.
We live in a visual culture, but that doesn’t mean that people won’t take the time to read what’s on your blog. Investing in great imagery is a seamless way to grab people’s attention and drive them to reading the content you’re creating. Imagery should compliment what you write, not the other way around. Again, make sure that the imagery on your blog is cohesive with your overall brand.
It may seem obvious, but your content should teach your audience something new. Set yourself apart in a competitive market by becoming an expert in your field. Continue learning, and then share those learnings through your blog. This not only ensures that you are providing your audience with valuable content, it also builds their trust in you and your business.
You aren’t writing a college paper, so it shouldn’t sound like you are! Your audience is interested in hearing what you have to say, so don’t try to sound like someone you’re not. Keep your blog posts informational but also friendly and approachable. Let your audience get to know and trust you and your expertise.
People want to connect with you and your business across multiple social platforms, so make that easy to do. Incorporate your live Instagram feed onto your blog so that people can see what’s going on in your Instagram feed, and easily navigate to it. I use SnapWidget to show all of my current photos at the bottom of my blog. Not only is it attention-grabbing, it also pulls different elements of my business together into one place and solidifies my brand and what it looks and sounds like.
A great way to turn readers into engaged participants is to provide a way to take action and sign up for your newsletters. I use MailChimp, which has an integration that generates the HTML code that I can pop right into my blog. Whenever someone signs up they are automatically added to my email list. I’ve gained a more engaged audience member, and they get be alerted whenever new blog posts go live.
Consistency builds trust. The people who are reading your blog won’t continue to return if they don’t learn to expect new blog posts. Even if you can only commit to writing once a month, commit to that and stay consistent. Your readers will come to trust that new content will be available monthly. You can always build up to creating more content down the road, but don’t overload yourself all at once and then let your blog go stagnant. A great way to ensure consistency is to create a content calendar for your blog posts. You can read my post about how to create a content calendar here.
These 8 essential elements are a great place to start when you’re ready to take your blog to the next level and start building meaningful relationships with potential clients.