"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
Information & inspiration to hone your craft and increase your cash...Since 2009

Friday, July 19, 2013

5 Things to Add More Bling to Your Blog!

Happy Friday, folks.
I hope you're having a great week and surviving this oppressive heat. :-)

As summer has now unfolded, how we market and construct our blogs will make all the difference between keeping our audience "engaged" and actively reading our sites, when there is so much competition from outdoor activities, and a more "laid back" focus .  Adding to the equation are vacations, reunions, weddings, and school breaks with the kids. Oh my...!

With this in mind, today's post will show you a few ways to add "oomph" to your site, to make the most of your blogging efforts, through the challenging days ahead.

(Have you noticed a decrease in your stats over the last month or so?) I have.
(Do you find yourself reading less, or commenting less?)

That's my point exactly.

So, let's look at things that will enhance your blog, not just during the summer, but year round.

1. Contests
A great way to keep the fun factor going, and to drive traffic to your site as fierce as the Eisenhower Expressway, is to sponsor a cool contest. And here's the great news: it's not rocket science. It can be something as simple as a trivia contest based around your blog. It could be tied into a holiday or observance day. If your blog is devoted to cooking, it can be a recipe contest. Get the idea here? Prizes could be copies of your books, or your services, or even gift certificates. Get creative and get going!

2. Do a make-over.
Make-overs are all the rage!
From home improvement shows, to weight loss make-overs, to wardrobe and image transformations.
Why not your blog? Come on, when was the last time you looked at your site from a new reader's eyes? Is it clever? Competitive? Easy to navigate? Attractive? Does it have good take-away value? These are things to consider. 

3. Brand your blog.
Branding efforts work like commercials do in T.V. advertising; through association, it helps you to stand out and be remembered. A few things that can help you to achieve this are logos and tag lines. For example, my tagline here at Pen and Prosper is : "Know more. Grow more." My logo is a green and gold pen that is symbolic of growth and richness. How about yours?

4. Add an attractive and personal "About Page."
Your "About me" page is crucial to building connections. It should always include some type of photo, a bio, and a few things to let readers know a bit about the person behind the words. Perhaps your hobbies, your publishing background, your pet peeves, etc. If yours doesn't, revisit and revamp.

5.  Use colorful images and photos to accompany posts.
There's great truth to the expression, "A picture is worth a thousand words."
Readers enjoy visual variety, and images break up the text, so that it's easier to read.
To accomplish this, check out sites like Freedigital photos.net and Stock Photos for free. Many times, you can even use your own photos taken from your camera. Just make sure that it is a quality shot that is properly focused, with good lighting.

Well, there you have it folks: five ways to add more zing to your blog and stand out from the competition. Make the most of them to give your readers a better blogging experience.

Have you tried any of these in your blogging efforts? Will you?
Thoughts here?

Image: Freedigitalphotos.net


  1. Jennifer--This came at just the right time. Thanks. At least a couple of those suggestions are prodding me in the butt already...

  2. I saw your guest post on C. Hope Clark's Funds for Writers today. Thanks for posting there; I'm a new fan! Now, to go check out some of the posts that I've missed.
    Trisha Faye

    1. Hi Trisha,

      Welcome! Welcome! So glad to have you join our blog "family." :-)
      Pull up a chair, grab your favorite drink, and get acquainted. There's much to discover. I look forward to future conversations here. :-) Thanks for signing up, and
      let me know if you have any questions...

  3. As usual, you know your stuff! Stay cool.

    1. ...And you've got good taste, girl. :-) Thanks so much, Lin.

  4. Great ideas, Jen! Been thinking of doing a makeover on the blog for a while now. I tweak it from time to time, but would like to get a new header. Need to get my graphic designer (my son:) lined up for that. Been keeping him busy with other projects so far this summer.

    Stay cool!

    1. Good to hear, Karen. Keep me posted. :-) Thanks for adding to the mix.

  5. Great things to brainstorm about
    and/or to implement Jennifer,

    Not so long ago I done a little make-over, so now you can discover a little more - Magazine Style - Writing Blog with besides a Most Popular Posts-list also easy to find topics, and a practical 'Search this Blog' Button.

    Also you occasionally can see little updates in the About Page. I also occasionally brainstorm about branding, things like a possible Pay-off for my Tagline and thing like that.

    I might actually make that into a Contest :)

    1. H.P.
      Thanks for sharing this. Let us know about the contest in the future...

    2. Mmmm, an actual contest does look like one of the many possible attractive way's to add something extra to a blog, and to Challenge, Engage & Reward you as a reader..., Only it still is just in the brainstorm phase,

      (for example I also thought about possibly doing something else like doing a Q&A Column or something like that etc. etc.)

      So you never know if one of these day's there will be an actual new post to read. If not, it might be a great way to help build up anticipation, so feel free to check it out frequently :)

      (Or just to look at any of the many other posts
      that are already on it.)

    3. Thanks,H.P.

      Something to look forward to. :-)