What does your blog look like? The storage room in which miscellaneous boxes end up? A practical but unexciting laundry room? Or is it the feature wall that wows your visitors?
In this blog post, I want to invite you to think of your website’s blog post as you would a feature wall or focal point in a home. It should be part of your home you are proudest of, have spent time and energy thinking about designing, and love showing your visitors. It’s the beating heart of your website, with everything else revolving around it. The way it is designed demonstrates your creativity, your taste, or your resources.
5 ways to ensure it’s a feature wall
1. Make your blog easy to find and read
You don’t hide a feature wall, that would be beside the point. Make sure your blog is:
- Easy to get to wherever your visitor ends up on your website
- Gets linked to regularly in all your forms of communication (emails, social media, word of mouth, and so forth)
- Easy to read! Avoid fancy fonts with low colour contrast between background and text. Your blog might look beautiful, but if it isn’t designed to be easy to read, you’ll put off many visitors.
Readability is key here – avoid long unbroken blocks of text. Become instead a fan of subheadings, bullet points, block quotes, and images to help guide your reader. The truth is that many of your visitors will be skim reading to find the part of your blog that is most relevant to them. Breaking up the text will make it easier for them to get value from your writing.
2. Offer your blog post in other formats
Not everyone likes to read blog posts – we all have our favoured methods of digesting information. You can increase the chances of your blog being popular by making it a habit to share it in other formats too such as video, podcast, Slideshare….
The other advantage of doing this is that you can also share those other formats separately, therefore increasing the visibility of your work.
Here are a few tools I’d like to suggest to do this:
- Lumen5 can turn your blog post into a video easily
- Use Zencastr or Cogi to record a podcast version of your blog.
- Canva is your go-to for making great looking slides.
3. Avoid Stock Photos
Images play a huge role when it comes to attracting an audience to your blog posts – you want to choose your header image carefully so that it chimes with your title but also fits in with your overall branding.
A feature wall is less exciting to share with visitors if everyone else already has it in their home. Likewise, there are certain stock photos that are favoured by so many companies that they can become a turn-off.
As with Powerpoint presentations, it’s a good idea to avoid being too literal. For example, if you’re talking about strategy, avoid the chess board. If you’re talking about collaboration, ditch the suited handshake. If you’re talking about targets, avoid a bull’s eye.
Instead, you want images that are going to stir people’s imaginations and make them want to find out more.
Where do you find such images?
- Death to Stock does what the name suggests – unusual and original photos and videos to make your blog stand out
- RawPixel has a fantastic database of images, including vectors and illustrations.
4. Banish easy-to-avoid mistakes
DIY mistakes and blunders can dampen the effect of your feature wall. Perhaps there’s a big blob of paint that’s gone outside of the margin, or you’ve torn some of your wallpaper. You still love it, but your amateur skills are showing.
Similarly, typos, grammar mistakes, and factual blunders can really dampen the authority of your blog posts. As with all renovation work, if you want to make sure it’s perfect, hire a professional editor.
However, if that’s outside your budget, don’t worry! Various free tools can help you avoid the most obvious errors:
- Grammarly is a very popular tool for checking your spelling and grammar
- Hemingway Editor will prune your overly florid sentences and keep things readable.
5. Have a concept behind your blog posts
A feature wall that doesn’t relate to the rest of the home can be a real eyesore. You want each of your blog posts to not just relate back to your business and its branding, but also to each other. If you’re just throwing all sorts of paints at the wall without a plan, you’re probably just going to make a mess you’ll need to repair later.
You need a plan! Lucky for you, I’m giving away some freebies here, including a template to plan your blog posts with.
A plan doesn’t have to be an inflexible thing, but you do need to know where you’re going if you want to measure your efforts and keep growing.
Share your feature wall with me!
Do you have a blog that you’re proud of? Let me know in the comments!
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