So, chances are that if you’re a blogger, you have most likely stressed about being sure that your blog posts are all optimized and receiving the traffic you deserve for your hard work and effort that you put into your blog on a regular basis. Trust me, I know all too well how it feels to stress over making sure that you are doing all of the right things so that your blog can grow into something really great. And while Sincerely Shirley is only 4 months old (awww, my baby is still so young), I still find myself thinking that I am doing something wrong or not doing enough of something. But, then I have to humble myself and realize that for being a 4-month old blog, I am doing great. And I mean great.
I’m super proud of all of what Sincerely Shirley is and has become in such a short amount of time 😊
One thing I love about the blogging community is that people love to help one another out through sharing their tips, tricks, and success stories to help those who, too, want to be successful. With that being said, here is my list of 11 things that every blog post needs to include. These 11 things should be included in your blog posts, so that your content is optimized, monetized, easily accessible and readable, and shareable. So, come along to figure out all of what your blog posts need to be a major success!
an attractive, honest, and attention-grabbing title
Ah, yes! If you want readers, you have to do what is necessary for getting readers: grabbing their attention enough for them to want to read all of what you have to say. To do this, you have to use words/keywords that truthfully (yes, being honest is key to gaining, retaining, and maintaining readers) make your post 1. stand out 2. fix + solve a (common) problem/misconception 3. give answers or tips + tricks to something that people want to succeed at or 4. sounds very interesting and/or unique.
For example, if you are writing a post about blogging mistakes, giving your post the title of, “Blogging Mistakes” isn’t exactly the most enticing title. So, instead of being basic and boring, take it a step further and title your post, “5 Blogging Mistakes I Made That Temporarily Set Me Back” or “5 Blogging Mistakes to Stop Doing So You Can Make Money Now.”
How are those titles catchier and more attention-grabbing? Easy.
Nowadays, people blog because not only do they love it, but they also want to make money. Right? Right. That said, offering tips and tricks to help bloggers make money or other tips to help them succeed, is a quick and simple way to bring in readers. However, if you give your post a title that makes the claim that if people stop making these 5 blogging mistakes, they’ll be more successful, you have to be able to provide factual information that will back up all of what you have to say. Because let’s face it, nobody likes a liar. And, being a liar will end up costing you readers, subscribers, followers, and traffic. With that being said, when I made the post 400+ Blog Post Ideas for Every Blogging Niche, I had to make sure that I a) provided my read4rs with 4oo+ blog post ideas and b) 400+ blog post ideas that include every major blogging niche.
the post where I give you all 400+ blog post ideas for any + every blog niche; the number 400 is very big, therefore it’s been a very popular read since people want as many ideas as possible!
Headings are a great way to further optimize your blog posts. I need to get back into the habit of using headers instead of the blockquotes because search engines really do love posts that feature h2 (heading 2) headings. For instance, if your blog post is about 50+ ways to use Canva for your blog + online biz, then you would maybe use the headings to divide the 50+ ways into categories, such as —
- social media = icons | social media banners | ads + more
- branding = logos | notecards | business cards | media kits + more
- printables = worksheets | workbooks | ebooks + more
- so much more!
interlinking; links to similar posts
I love being able to use interlinking links throughout my blog posts. Meaning, I love linking to another post (or even page, if necessary) on my blog while on a post that mentions another post I have made. Sounds confusing, but it’s the easiest thing to do.
Ever been on a blog that has “related post: xyz” throughout the post? That is what interlinking is. Sometimes you’ll see the “related post” part or sometimes you’ll simply see a highlighted, bolded, underlined, or different-colored hyperlink that will ultimately take you to a relevant (and/or related) post that has to do what is being talked about. I do this a lot. And when I say a lot, I mean a lot. Keeping your readers on your blog and blog posts is key and helps boost your analytics a ton. With that being said, if a reader comes to your blog and starts reading, providing them with the opportunity to read more of what you have to say!
Also, it is very important that each and every link on your posts opens in a new tab. This is so very crucial. Why? Because like I said above, you want to keep people on your page/post, so having a link that opens in a new tab allows them to finish what they’re reading and then go to the new tab, instead of having to use the back arrow to go back and forth between the posts they’re interested in reading.
my ‘related posts’ section after every post!
Want to make money from blogging? I feel you; most people do! So, to do so, utilizing an affiliate link is a great way to easily generate income. In the post I recently made about the 13 WordPress plugins that all bloggers + content creators should use, I mentioned how much I love the plugin Easy Affiliate Links because I can simply add affiliate links to the “directory” and easily access and insert them into my posts. So, I definitely recommend downloading that plugin, which you can do so here.
Anyways, here are some great affiliate link programs to consider joining:
- Amazon Associates
- Rakuten Marketing
- Target’s Affiliate Program
- ShopStyle Collective + RewardStyle
- VigLink Publisher
- CJ Affiliates
To blog legally (read more here), it is required that you provide your readers with a disclaimer that notifies them that the post may/does contain affiliate links. All affiliate programs require this. The disclaimer can be as simple as follows —
my affiliate link disclosure; the bolded and pink-colored “here” is a link to my blog’s policies page
Ads are another good way to generate income via your blog. And while I do not tend to use ads on my blog, except for the occasional post that calls for it, I do recommend using them if you can do so in a way that doesn’t distract or turn your readers away. Because trust me, every tie I go to a blog post that is covered in ads and runs really slow because of them, I exit the page and usually do not return. It’s annoying and off-putting, believe me. So, to avoid a slow-loading and annoying ad-covered blog post, be sure to go to the WordPress.org plugin library and search around for a plugin that allows for you to insert your affiliate program’s ads in an attractive way that’ll generate income for you, as well as not annoying your readers + subscribers!
High quality + relevant images are super important. And not only do they add to your post, but if they are SEO-optimized, your post will be seen by more and more people, which results in more traffic (and hopefully subscribers) to your blog and posts. With that being said, you want to be sure that you add images to all of your posts. Not only will it be more visually pleasing and more fun to read, but it gives you another opportunity to optimize your blog, so that it ranks in Google searches and other search engines, to0.
Want quality images? You are in luck, friend! Use the following links to be directed to websites that provide free and very quality images for any kind of post you will ever write and publish —
Whenever you add an image to your blog post, make sure to rename the image file so that it matches the title of your blog post. Make sense? I hope so! Also, providing your image with Alt-text text is another way to further optimize your photos.
In my post about the 5 blogging mistakes I made, I made sure to admit to you all that I was opting out of including pinnable Pinterest images for the sole (and stupid) reason that I couldn’t figure out how to have my images side-by-side at the time. Funny enough, I figured it out right after I published the post, but it was a mistake I had been making for a few months, nonetheless. And because I was being stubborn and not including pinnable images, my readers were having to pin any picture that was included in the post. And, those pictures were not Pinterest-sized and definitely did not include the post name or my URL with the “©” sign. No bueño.
So, once I finally decided to include pinnable images throughout my posts,account followers and monthly viewers increased. Yay, right!? I know! Here are two pinnable images I am providing to you all for this post —
So, whenever you publish a post, make sure to have at least one pinnable image included in the post. Pinterest has millions and millions of users, which will help increase your blog’s traffic and subscriber count because pins spread quickly and your pins will be being seen by tons and tons of people! I promise 😊
WANT SOME HELP BECOMING A PINTEREST PRO!? YOU’VE COME TO THE RIGHT PLACE! FILL OUT THE FORM BELOW OR USE MY CONTACT PAGE TO GET IN TOUCH WITH ME SO WE CAN WORK TOGETHER
Call-to-actions are important for multiple reasons. A CTA “is a prompt on a website that tells the user to take some specified action” (optmizely). It’s important to note that CTA’s don’t just have to be, “Want to learn the tips and tricks to mastering Pinterest? Sign up below for my free 7-day email course!” And while they can be that and serve their purpose in growing your subscriber list and selling/advertising your e-course, course, or webinar, call-to-actions can also be a post-engagement tool + technique. In fact, at the end of my posts, I always ask my readers a relevant question about the post.
Being able to share your post on social media is something all readers + subscribers should be able to do. Bloggers emphasize Pinterest a lot, but be mindful that some people don’t use Pinterest as much as they do Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc. That said, you should provide readers with share icons, so that they can share your post on whatever platform they want to. My share icons are strategically located at the bottom of each and every post, so that readers can easily share my content without having to do a lot of searching and scrolling. However, there are many plugins that do allow you to add floating icons to your posts, so that the icons scroll with the page and are easily useable.
my blog’s share bar 🙂
If you want share icons like mine, then go to the WordPress plugin library and download the plugin called Genesis Simple Share. Please keep in mind that in order to use any Genesis plugins, you have to have the Genesis platform (along with your theme)!
embedded opt-in form
Embedded (yes, embedded) opt-in forms are a necessity in each and every blog post you ever publish. Why? Well, your subscriber count is important and giving people the chance to subscribe during or after they read your post is a great way to increase your number of subscribers, as well as grow your email/newsletter list (use MailChimp if you still need an email/newsletter provider; affiliate link). And, while popups are effective, having an embedded form is most important, because it gives people the ability to subscribe when they want to.
my opt-in form at the end of every post!
I love receiving comments from my readers! Turning off the comment section and not allowing your readers + subscribers to ask questions or comment on your post is kind of rude and gives you little-to-no interaction with the very people that support what you say and post. With that being said, be sure to include a comment section/form on all of your posts, so that you can interact with your readers and get to know them better. This helps you build a stronger community of people who know you and really, truly support you and look forward to reading your posts, listening to your podcasts, watching your videos. So, be sure to include a comment section! And, not only that, be sure to respond to each and every comment.
my blog’s comment section!
That’s a wrap ladies (and gentlemen)! Those are the 11 things that need to be included in every blog post! Please be sure to share this post by using the social media icons below, as well as using these pinnable images to share this post within the Pinterest world, thanks!
What do/don’t you include in your blog posts? Let me know in the comment section below because I love hearing from you all!
Thanks for reading and love to you all 🥰