Personalization and Professionalism: How to Make Your Blog Stand Out
If you’re wondering how to start a blog, the name of the game is keeping it unique and memorable in a way that builds a following.
Online users love personalization, but it can be difficult to personalize a site without sacrificing professionalism. It’s easy to get carried away with interesting designs and slogans, and they can certainly help your blog stand out above the rest. However, personalization shouldn’t come at the cost of your users’ efficient, pleasing experience on the blog.
Let’s talk about some ways in which you can make your blog memorable without going overboard on the personalization. These tips will help you stay professional and draw people in, no matter what field you’re in or what kind of content you’re sharing.
Make the Design Recognizable, But Still Clean-Cut
You want your blog to be quickly distinguishable from your competitors’, but above all else, you should focus on making your blog easy to read and browse. This will bring your site more visitors and loyal followers than any amount of snazzy designs or extra features.
Still, your site can be pretty – nearly two-thirds of people would rather read beautifully designed content instead of something expressed plainly. It’s all about striking a balance between function and aesthetic appeal.
Take a look at The Everygirl Blog:
The design features high-quality pictures, a neat grid-like layout, and a few simple fonts that are easy to read. There’s also a handy menu bar that is ever-present at the top of the blog. Navigating the site is simple for any user, and yet it’s still pleasing to the eye.
If you sell products on your blog, one easy way to stand out from competitors is to feature your products on the main page. This quickly indicates the purpose of your site and will drive sales, but it will also give your blog’s homepage an edge. You want your products to be easy to find, so why not place them in the most obvious location for users to stumble across?
Customize Your Calls-to-Action
In order for people to remember your blog and engage with the content, you need to employ more than just generic CTAs.
Instead, make it personal – HubSpot found that “smart” or personalized calls-to-action perform 202 percent better than basic ones. You want to encourage people to act in accordance with your blog’s specific purpose, so spice it up a little.
For instance, if you’re in the t-shirt printing business, don’t simply say “call to learn more” at the end of a blog post. Instead, consider saying something like “make your own custom shirts today!” This hammers in the point of your blog and encourages people to act specifically and quickly.
Keep in mind that smart CTAs are not necessarily cheesy. The message needs to be professional, so leave out the excessive exclamation marks, crazy colors, flashy gifs, or other distractions. Keep the CTA short and to the point, but also punchy. If you can, format it as a simple button to add a little pizzazz!
Learn Exactly What Your Customers Want
The best way to tailor your blog and draw a strong audience is to learn exactly what target readers want from your blog.
This is easier said than done, but bloggers can gather information at any stage in their development. High-income bloggers are much more likely than low-income bloggers to spend time understanding their audience’s goals, attitudes, and lifestyles.
Conduct surveys and monitor the results (social media is great for this) to understand what’s drawing people to your website and what they’re looking for from your industry. Granted, this is a tricky step to tackle. You don’t want to come across as overly pushy. Be tactful in your approach to obtaining personal information, whether you’re sending out a survey email or asking questions in a social post.
According to Dorie Clark, the author of Stand Out, “The more a blogger understands their target audience, the more relevant content they can create. That enables a virtuous circle, in which readers keep coming back and will have increased trust in the blogger’s recommendations for other products and services.”
The bottom line is that successful bloggers don’t just guess at what their readers want. Rather, they take the time to understand what their readers want and need through analytics and responses, then cater to that request. As you learn how to start a blog and keep it going, you’ll find that a deep understanding of your target audience is much more important than the newest WordPress widget or your logo’s key colors.
Let Your Content Do the Talking for You
In a recent study by GrowthBadger of more than a thousand different bloggers, researchers found that the quality of content and eye-catching headlines are two of the most important factors in a blog’s success. Although site design and performance ranks fairly high, too, bloggers who earn over $50K a year dedicate much more time and energy to their actual content. Blog posts are becoming longer and more in-depth than ever before.
Your content should be personal and relevant that readers want to return for more. Additionally, it should be extremely pertinent to your niche audience, not web users in general. Make it a point to create SEO-friendly, attention-grabbing headlines that are between 6 to 13 words in length.
Without engaging blog posts, videos, podcasts, or some other kind of content, why would people sign up to follow your blog?
Keep that in mind as you decide how much to spend on content creation and your blog’s design – appearance isn’t everything, and your content offers the opportunity to personalize as much as you want.
To date, there are at least 500 million websites that are recognized as blogs.
Chances are, your blogging niche is already overcrowded, which means you’ll need to be smart in order to stand a chance against your competitors. Keep your site clean-cut and easy to use, but also tailor it to the desires of your readers.
Remember: high-quality, personalized content will take you much further than any amount of flashy web designs, so prioritize targeted and calculated content creation above all else.
Jaykishan Panchal is an SEO & Content Marketing Manager at E2M Solutions Inc. Implementing cutting edge SEO strategies to help businesses strengthen their online presence is his forte. Apart from helping small and big businesses, he loves to jot down valuable resources for Entrepreneurs, Start Ups, Technology Geeks with his knowledge and expertise of 9 years in the industry.