Actions speak louder than words, as the saying goes. But words can speak louder than actions, given the right circumstance, like a first impression with a potential date or a job interview. Online forums and blogs are a few places where words are the only things that matter – like with the many modes of e-communication. And those words effect readers and make a lasting impression about your blog. So what criteria makes for a blog that’ll stand apart from the others?
1. Content Quality
Unless you’re smart about search engine optimization and keyword placement , others can tell if your content is tailored more for search engines than humans. If you do SEO poorly, it will show, even to readers who have never heard of the topic. If your keyword placement is great, or you hire professional writers and reputable SEO services to optimize your content and pages, your blog will fare even better.
While a handful of people are irascible grammar nazis, and another group aren’t very good with English, most native speakers are somewhere in between. Too many spelling, grammar and punctuation mistakes make for reading that’s hard to follow.
Off-topic rambling, while okay for some people, turns off others. If you want your blog to advance and prosper in the social arena, brushing up on writing skills can only help. Poor writing can make some readers assume that you’re less educated.
When reading blogs, ask yourself, “If I ran this blog, how would I improve keyword placement and content?” Judging is what we do, and it’s particularly helpful to apply those conclusions to our own work, revealing where improvements could be made.
2. Look and Feel
How do people navigate your blog? Are the navigation buttons easily viewable and accessible? Make navigation difficult for your readers and they are unlikely to hang around for long, or find the information you would like them to.
Where is your most interesting content ? Hopefully not languishing on a page nobody will ever read. A simple and structured navigation scheme is paramount for blogs. Intuitive navigation caters to a sense of orderliness.
The choice of presentation is equally important. As with navigation, a haphazard layout of writing, images and other content is distracting.
Presenting your information in an orderly fashion is preferable to a seemingly aimless layout. A reasonable presentation speaks to your ability to think and act sensibly.
With the exception of Super Bowl ads , almost nobody likes advertisements. To let this point sink in, Mozilla claims that Firefox users download the AdBlock Plus add-on over 800,000 times per week. Put your ads in annoying places and those who are unaware of this add-on, or those who use another browser, will probably leave your blog with little incentive to return.
Good ad placement prevents visitors from thinking that you’re the type of person who only runs a blog to make money. Show that you’re a fellow enthusiast, not just a salesperson.
3. Friendliness and Availability
How approachable are you? Catering to the character of a wide audience is terribly difficult, and you will not please everyone. Sure, some people make it their mission in life to troll others, both online and off, but the overwhelming majority are more sensible.
Some personalities dish out angry or negative comments upon first contact, but you can turn a few of those characters around, and it’s worth a try. Many people who initiate rudeness do so because they expect you to be rude or dismissive in your response. Surprise them. A kind word can go a long way, and it may even enhance conversion rates.
How available are you for discussion or to address questions and issues? It is said that in real estate the most important aspect is location, location, location . For an entrepreneuring blogger, the most important factor is arguably time management, also in triplicate.
When you must take time away from your blog, let that fact be known. Update your readers and followers while you are away; upload photographs of what is keeping you away from blogging. Blogging is social after all, and what is more social than making the time to stay in touch?
This is a guest post by David Murton, you can check out the guidelines to guest post here.
Image Credit: All Picture No Sound