Blogging Tips

April 01, 2016 Explorer Gabor 0 Comments


There’s heaps of information on the web about how to start a blog and what you should do to be a successful blogger.  There is so much it can be overwhelming.  How about a simple list of tips on those little extra bits to make your blog look good?  Or some easy to use free resources to help you create great blog posts?   Whilst I’m not exactly an old hand in the blog world, I’ve done my research and found some great free resources that are easy to use for an early blogger.

Create Headers, Banners & Graphics

You can make a killer header, banner or graphic using Canva.  So easy to use and most of the designs are free.  You can save creations in your Canva account in case you want to make changes or download another copy in the future.  There are also templates to create other things such as great looking social media posts and marketing materials.  The graphic at the top of this page was made in less than 15 minutes using a free Canva template.  You can download the image in .jpg or .png format.

Create a Personal Signature

To create your online signature, like the one that appears at the bottom of my posts, check out MyLive Signature.  Using the signature creation wizard, you can choose from over 100 font styles, various sizes, colours and angles.  It’s free and so easy to create your signature.

Create a Favicon

If you don’t know what a favicon is, it’s the little icon that appears in your browser tab when you load a page.  Mine is the little gold footprint.  You can create a free personalized favicon at…Favicon.  Very cute and easy to use.

Check how fast (or slow) your blog loads

It's widely reported that most readers will click away if a website takes more than 4 seconds to load.  That’s not very long so you need to ensure your blog is optimized to load as fast as possible.  There are lots of tools you can use to check your loading time, such as Google Page Speed Insights.  Just type in your blog URL and it will generate a score out of 100 for loading on mobile and desktop devices, as well as tips on how to improve your loading time.

Compress your Images

You probably already know that large image sizes slow down your blog.  That is, if you use a photo straight from your camera, it could be 3MB, which means your pages will load slowly. As readers don’t like slow-loading pages you need to speed things up.  By using TinyPNG you can compress your .png or .jpg images down to less than 200kb without compromising image quality.  All the images on my blog are 200kb or less.  Some are under 50kb!   Tiny PNG is free and really easy to use.

Write great blog post headings

You’ve written a blog post and want to check if you've created a good heading, one that is interesting and makes people want to read the post.   It's worth running your heading through Headline Analyser to see how effective it is and get ideas on how to make it better.  The analyser will report your mix of common, uncommon, emotional and power words, the character and word count, the sentiment of your heading and key words used.   You'll be given a score out of 100, aiming to score 70 points or better, although if I'm happy with my heading and it scores over 65, I can live with that.

Writing and reviewing your blog posts

You’re in the middle of writing a post and just can’t find the right word to use.  The word you keep thinking of is pretty bland and you’d rather use a word with more punch.  Put the word you’re thinking of into the online Thesaurus and it will generate a list of synonyms to help you find the right word.

Once you’ve written your blog post, you can review its readability using Readability-Score.  Just paste your text into the box and the site will generate a readability score from 0-100 and give you a grade level (based on the US education system) equivalent to the number of years education a person has had.  It will also generate statistics including character, word and sentence counts, as well as keyword density so you can see how you’re going with SEO. Alternatively, type in the URL of an existing page and Readability-Score will generate a report for that page.

I hope you enjoy exploring these resources and they help give your blog that little edge you were looking for.

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