15 things I’m fed up teaching you about how to improve your blog

Every teacher wants to see their students improve and be more successful, and the faster we can get them there, the better.

I spend a lot of my time teaching and coaching marketers and entrepreneurs how to get better results from their content.

That’s my job, and I love it.

Every week I read dozens of articles, and although the quality of the content is good, there are many common things that people frequently do badly, and it’s hurting their results.

I don’t want to keep teaching the same things every day.

You don’t want to hear me teach the same things every day.

So let’s at least make sure we’re doing these things, if anything, so we can focus our time and attention on something else.

Ready? OK, let’s do this.

Prefer to listen? In this audio session I share with you the solutions for the most common blogging mistakes the businesses and marketers are making today.

Listen and subscribe on: iTunes | Stitcher | Soundcloud

15 things you can do to improve your blog immediately

1. Font size & style

The font is too small.

Increase it to at least 16pt and it’ll make for a much better reading experience.

Try 18pt and see what it looks like.

…and only one font style please.

2. Font colour

The font is too washed out and grey.

Black, that’s what we want.

3. Background colour

The background is too dark.

White or a light colour is what we want.

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4. Width

The page is too wide. I have to move my head to read your blog on a desktop.

Box your blog content in so it’s easier and quicker to read.

Just like this blog you’re reading now.

5. Subtitles

Use them. Often.

Just look at how you read content.

You probably skim first, then take a deeper dive if you find something interesting.

Use subtitles to help the skim readers find what they are looking for – also called the ‘dual readership path’.

Subtitles are also a great way to capture some more SEO gravy –  an opportunity to rank for additional keywords and phrases.

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6. Titles

Create better titles.

Don’t write your title as an after thought. Think about your title from the very start.

Keep it specific and be clear on the keyword or phrase that you want to rank in search for.

I should be able to look at your title and know immediately what you are trying to be found in search for.

Not only that, your title is one of only a few things that appear in search and on social platforms.

In some cases it’ll be the only thing that encourages someone to click.

Write at least 10 titles and pick the best one.

Don’t be lazy with your title.

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7. Uncategorised (tag)

Stop using it right now.

Rename the tag to something that makes sense for your blog.

8. Author bio

Complete it.

Image, bio, social links.

Don’t leave it blank.

It looks stupid.

9. URLs

They’re too long. Make them shorter.

Keep the keywords in there.

Remove stop words like on, and, in, of, so, to, we…you don’t need them in there.

Shorter URLs look better, are easier to share and look less spammy.

Remove category, dates, and anything else that’s unnecessary.

10. Lists

Use them.

  • Bullet lists.
  • Numbered lists.
  • Tick lists.

Whatever.

Make it easy for the reader to get the information.

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11. Call to action

Have one on every blog.

Sign up, download, buy now, subscribe, comment.

Make it clear what you want the reader to do next.

Related content:

“Chris pointed out that I didn’t have calls to action in my blogs. I was spending ages writing the best possible blog articles with helpful content but it was fruitless until I added in the calls to action. Now my content is continually growing my email list thanks to this gem from Chris. I’ve also found that adding video to my blog articles helps with SEO and drives more traffic to my website.” Ramin Nakisa – Pension Craft

12. Mobile

Mobile experiences are a big deal.

Look at your blog on mobile devices to experience the pain your readers are going through.

  • Do the calls to action work?
  • Do the images look ok?
  • Is it loading quickly?
  • Where’s the side bar?

Fix everything that looks ridiculous.

Oh, and get rid of that full screen ‘in your face’ pop up while you’re there. It’s ruining the experience.

13. Open and finish strong

Your introductions and conclusions are crap.

You should be thinking about the reader throughout, but especially at the start and at the end.

At the start tap into how the reader is feeling about the problem you’re about to solve, and what questions she might be asking herself.

  • How is this blog going to help her?
  • Why should she read it?

More empathy is needed at the start.

When the reader gets to the end, what’s next? How should she use this new found knowledge and information?

Have one person in your mind that you are writing for, and produce the most valuable blog you can for her.

Put yourself in her shoes.

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14. Images

They’re not on brand, they’re too big and take too long to load.

Use something like Canva to make better images for your blog.

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15. Join the dots

Join up your content and make it easy for your reader to find relevant content.

Add links into your blogs to previous blogs that you have published to encourages your readers to stay on your website.

Think about what their next questions might be, and direct them to that content.

If you haven’t done this, go back through all your blogs and look for opportunities to join your content together.

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See what I did there 😉

All was well until I reached the end of Chris’s article and he told us to “join the dots”. That’s something I need to do much more of. You see, as my blog has grown, I’ve neglected to go back to older posts and insert relevant links to the newer ones. I know it will help SEO – so thanks for the reminder, Chris!David Withington – davidwithington.com

11 great blog examples

Here are 11 great blog examples from our very own CMA Members:

  1. Jammy Digital (B2B)
  2. John Espirian (B2B)
  3. David Withington (B2C)
  4. Denise Cowle (B2B)
  5. Millie’s Beach Huts (B2C)
  6. Pension Craft (B2C)
  7. Anne Johnston (B2C)
  8. Gavin Bell (B2B)
  9. Superfast IT (B2B)
  10. Membership Guys (B2B)
  11. Content Boost (B2B)

…and there’s plenty more where these came from. Follow in their footsteps and join the CMA Membership Community today.

Prefer to listen? In this audio session I share with you the solutions for the most common blogging mistakes the businesses and marketers are making today.

Listen and subscribe on: iTunes | Stitcher | Soundcloud

Finally…don’t be crap!

There’s so much crap content being published every day on the Internet. If you want to have even a slight chance of being seen, you can’t create crap.

It has to be better.

Don’t forget that people judge you online before they judge you offline.

Someone’s first experience with you is likely to be a blog article, so lets make sure it’s a good first experience.

  • Is your blog good enough?
  • Is your blog the best it can be?
  • What can you improve?

Use this article as a checklist for your own blog. If you have some gaps, make a point of sorting them out today.

If you can’t do it, find someone that can.

Let’s get the basics covered so that your readers have a great experience with your content.

You didn’t get into business to be average, so let’s get to work 🙂

DFTBA!

Chris.

PS. If you need someone to kick you in the ass every week and help you to create world-class content, join the CMA Membership Programme.

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About Chris Marr

Chris is the leading voice of the growing Content Marketing movement in the UK. His pioneering work has helped countless organisations grow through content marketing. His drive comes from a desire to help people break free from the world of interruption marketing.