10 Elements Every Blog Should Have to Be More Awesome

Awesome

one

A newsletter sign-up box

This is by far the most important element that you need to have on your blog/website. Without it you have no way of staying authentically connected to the people that wish to stay in touch with you. These people are amazing quality leads that have taken specific action to be involved in your brand. Whether you’re offering a free report or a weekly newsletter, the key is to make your sign up box as enticing as possible. It doesn’t matter which autoresponder or email service you are using (Mailchimp etc) there are so many amazing WordPress plugins you can use to make sure that it looks as pretty as you wish.

Three important integration points:

  • Top right had side of your blog
  • Below your posts
  • As a pop up box. This can apparently boost conversion rates by up to 300%

I recommend: Hybrid Connect, OptIn Skin and Pippity.

two

A super-dooper about page

If your visitors love your content and want to discover more about who you are and what you do, then your about page has to be stellar. So often I go to about pages that aren’t very informative at all. The best thing to do is give a little personal snapshot of who you are, have an ‘official bio’ and a list of reasons people might wish to connect with you. You might even consider listing out any press you have received. The key here is to really flaunt how awesome you are so that people feel compelled to stay connected with you. Check out my about page as an active example.

three

Social buttons to share your content

People tend to go overboard with social media button on their site so that it can look visually cluttered. The most important thing you need to do is find yourself a plugin where you can add your Twitter name so that the tweets are pre-populated with your details for people to connect back to you. Have the little social buttons that show the count number of times each piece of content has been shared is really important for social proof. The placement of these buttons are also really imperative to the conversion of each post as well. I highly recommend the floating social media bar by DiggDigg. You will always need Facebook like button, a tweet button and  Google Plus. If you have a lot of eye candy that is visually sharable then I would endeavour to add a Pinterest share button as well. This is why it’s a good idea to always properly label your images when you upload them too for maximum impact with linkage.

four

A Facebook ‘like’ button to your page

If you have a fan page (which most, if not all bloggers should have) then make sure you place a ‘Like’ box in your blog sidebar. This flaunts a really lovely opportunity for your audience to join the conversation surrounding your work and your community.

five

Monetised elements

What are you selling? Have you got an eBook? A physical book? Advertising space? I always advise people against linking to external products in the high traffic areas on their site because it entices the audience to leave and go elsewhere. You want them to stay on your page as long as possible. Make sure that you clearly have the high-traffic areas of your website laced with products where you make the most profit And if you’re getting a decent amount of traffic, building a reasonably sized list then you really need to get creative and think of ways to increase your profitability as an online presence. If you’re thinking about creating a book anytime in the near future as a possible income stream please email me. I’m about to launch a new company that is like no other in this new paradigm of publishing opportunities. Ask me about it.

six

A good use of white space

Visually clutter contributes to your audience feeling overwhelmed when they visit your site. There is nothing better than clean, clear and fresh space on your site that isn’t overloaded with too much to absorb. Think about how beautiful Apple is and how customers trust their brand because it’s a trusted clear space. CLEAN always equals trust. You just have to see the difference in a clean vs dirty looking restaurant to know that you’d much prefer to spend your money on something that looks vibrant and pure.

seven

Fonts that are easy to read

Make sure that the title fonts of your posts and pages are all easy to read. Frilly and decorate fonts (like the one in the pink circles here) are not good for blog post titles. People need to be able to read them clearly and understand what they say. Apparently ‘TAHOMA’ is the best type for blog posts. For me it’s a matter of personal choice and what looks good. Make sure it’s a suitable size for people to read too because if it’s too small people will be reluctant to return.

eight

Branding that really represents your message

Does your branding represent your mission and your message? So often I find that people take it to the extreme and complete miss the point. There’s this one lady (naming no names) that uses a shoe for her logo that begins with an S and it makes the branding look really confused. Make sure you invest in someone who can breathe life into your vision in a really classy way. Choose a colour palette that represents the message you are trying to convey too. As you can always see with me, pink is my super-power hue. I went through a phase in my early 20s of loving purple, but pink is where it’s at!

nine

Clear ways that people can contact you

Always make it easy for people to connect with you and your customer support team. Make sure you have a direct email address on your about page or create a contact page/form for your site. Never give away personal details such as your phone number if you work from home or your address. Trust me, the internet is full of weirdos. In fact, I met one on Twitter and we’re getting married in September! Ha.

ten

Unique content that showcases your brilliance

Make sure you dance to the beat of your own drum and create content that is authentic + reflective of your true spirit. Blogs are a great way to radiate your brilliance to others and leave a stamp on the interwebs that is uniquely yours. SO what I’m trying to say here is don’t ever try to be someone that you’re not. Be real. Be true to your mission. Revisit your mission statement often and stay clear about the message you’re wishing to convey. It’s also worthy to note that you need to TEST and monitor the feedback on the content you’re producing. Analyse the social metrics, the visitor stats etc to get a super clear picture to see if your heartfelt efforts are indeed converting into sales, happy customers and the genuine growth of your blossoming brand.

Questions or Comments? I’d love to hear them…xo

Comments

  1. Dave Lucas says:

    I don't do that well when it comes to white space, but I'm okay with that…
    http://dave-lucas.blogspot.com
    Is it too crowded or will it pass muster?

    1. Sarah Prout says:

      Wow! That is really crowded but it's such great content! You really want to cut back on some of those ads and figure out a way to present them so that it looks cleaner. Poetry needs to be framed like a beautiful picture, so as a fellow wordsmith I'd love to see how you could make some more space there :-)

    2. Dave Lucas says:

      As has been said too many times, i will do it "when I get a round tuit." Actually I am writing a little post about your 10 elements and it should be up in less than 24 hours. I have one big criticism that may be browser related. Nothing bad! So stop by much later and you'll see!

      I promise when I get a chance I will try and spruce those adverts up!

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  3. Anonymous says:

    Dave Lucas. You have too much on a much too long page on this connection. You talk about tip jar journalism, which sounds like a brilliant idea. However, the only donate button I could find is under join and prosper and looks like a link away from you. It puts me off leaving anything since I want to be sure of exactly where my details are going before I do anything. Take this as a tip instead today please – I am unemployed and looking to start my own ebusiness. Also, having something poetic from a poet when you first arrive on their site is encouraging…clicked on about me and had to go back a page to go anywhere further…to poetry page, like the linked page, too long to scroll to bottom (life is too short, you don't want to "cash your chips in too early"!)…first post updating The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, excellent :)). Perhaps you should make time for that declutter sooner than later and get the tipjar in an easyily found spot – should be far more lucrative than advertising. See Chris Guillebeau:$100 Start-up. Wow that was a lot for a quick look out of curiosity. <:)