10 things your blog needs to attract more readers

We know you love blogging. You get to pour your heart out and write about things you love. 

However, what the point of writing day in day out if no one is reading the awesome things you are writing. As you post consistently on your blog, you must also think about steps you can take to increase your blog’s traffic. 

We have 20 things you can do today if you want more people to be attracted to your blog. Take a look at the list and implement a few of them as soon as possible. Your blog will thank you. 

1. Have a clear brand. Yes, your blog is a brand and that brand must shine through with every post. Pay attention to brand elements such as colour, design of images, writing style, tone etc. 

2. Meet the needs of your ideal reader. Don’t forget your reader. Make sure they actually find your blog worth visiting and reading. 

3. Sort out the tech stuff. Your blog needs to be responsive and mobile friendly. It’s 2017. We don’t need to say more. 

4. Work on your homepage. A drab homepage will drive readers away. Spend a bit of time working on your homepage. Use eye-catching images and some fun words/ phrases on your home pager. 

5. Easy to navigate. Your readers should not struggle to search for things on your blog. Life is already stressful. No one wants to come online to be more stressed. 

6. Access of previous posts. If your readers want to read your old posts, you should make it as easy as possible for them to find those posts. Have a neat archive for your posts that is visible. 

7. Don’t be all over the place. You blog should be simple. Messy blogs are tedious to read. It’s like too much is going on at one. Keep it as simple as possible. 

8. The comment section. Make it easy for your readers to leave a comment. No one wants to climb a mountaing just because they want to drop a comment on your blog. 

9. Add some variety. Your content shouldn’t be the same day in day out. Switch things up. Use video, memes, quotes and guest posts to make your blog more interesting.

10. Contact page. Wondering why this is there? What if someone wants to contact you to offer you a big opportunity or a really big platform wants to feature your content on their site, how will they contact you? Create a contact page on your blog and include your contact details. You might want to limit this to your email alone so you don’t begin to have stalkers. 

We hope you can begin to implement some of these tips as soon as possible. 

 

5 Storytelling Mistakes You Must Avoid as a Blogger

Blogging is fun. It requires you to share a story with your readers. This story could be about your experience, thoughts or events happening around you.

If you want your readers to keep flocking to your blog, you need to master the art of storytelling. Bloggers are story tellers. Didn’t you know that? Well, now you do and today we have some storytelling mistakes that you must avoid so that your readers can have the best experience when they visit your blog. 

Writing the stories you want to read. 

Yes, we know it’s your blog but if you keep writing only the stories you want to read, you will alienate your readers. You must be wondering, ‘Doesn’t this conflict with the advice to write from my heart and write the things I am passionate about?’ No it doesn’t.

While you are free to choose the theme you want to write on, you must write your story in a way that will be interesting to your audience. It’s not just about the story but how you tell it.

Forcing yourself to sound like a storyteller.

Authenticity is key when it comes to storytelling. When you tell yourself that you must sound like a storyteller, you can be assured that you are doing it wrong. Don’t force the story neither should you try to fake it. Authenticity goes a long way in telling stories effectively.

One tip we can give is for you to make your story as real as possible. You can use real people and real events to achieve this. 

Prolonging the story beyond what is necessary

Storytelling doesn’t mean you have to write an epistle. This is not a series or a book. It is a blog. Make your story short, sweet and simple. When a story drags on, it may get boring and you don’t want your readers to be bored right?

If you want to write a long story, consider breaking it into parts and let your readers anticipate the next installment. 

Starting in a boring way

The story may be great but if the opening sentences are boring, you may have wasted a good story. Your readers may not get to the end or read the interesting parts of the story.

Sometimes, the best place to start a story isn’t right at the beginning. Come up with creative ways to start your story. This is will make your readers eager to read more. 

Not having a main point of focus

What’s the point of writing a pointless story? You would have wasted both your time and energy. Let your story have a key message; something your readers will take away at the end. Even if the story is just to make your readers smile, write in a way that you will allow you to easily achieve this purpose. The last thing you want is for your reader to get to the end of your story and say, “What did I just read?” 

Always bear in mind that honing your storytelling skills comes with practice and the content you consume. Visit blogs where the owner tells beautiful stories. It will rub off on your own storytelling skills. 

 

Your blog readers mean much more than you think

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How many times do bloggers try so hard to get more readers, get more likes, more shares and more comments.

Countless number of times. All in a bid to have a great blog. All these are good but one of the most important aspects of your blog is are your readers.

Can you imagine producing great content day in day out for your readers. Every time you publish a blog post, there is a tribe waiting to read and if possible comment and share. In no distant future you will increase your followers, readers and community because those people will share the content they love with their friends. 

However if you focus on just promoting posts, begging people to follow you, you may not get that. large following. 

When people love what they see and notice that you are consistent they will advertise your blog for you. 

Don’t focus on having a great blog. Focus on producing a blog that’s great for your readers. Identify what your readers want, like and need and stick to it. Your followership will increase in leaps and bounds. 

Every blogger needs to read this

3 ways to get great pictures for your blog

How do you feel when you see bloggers who write posts and get 20 comments, 100 shares and even gets endorsement deals because of their blog. It makes you wonder what you are not doing right.

We saw this quote and we were encouraged and being the great people that we are, we have decided to share. This quote was shared by Darren Rowse.  He said

99.9% of great bloggers are not awesome on day one. Their awesomeness is the accumulation of the value they create over time.”

How profound is that? 

This means that you have no business getting envious of other bloggers and their successes because they have done so much work overtime to get to that point. You can’t be blogging for one month and expect the same results as someone who has been blogging consistently for one year. 

No blogger becomes perfect by writing just one blog post. Perfection and mastery comes from blogging over and over and over again. So if you are feeling depressed as to why you are not seeing results be rest assured that they will come you just have to keep blogging.  The more you blog the better you become at editing posts, creating images and sharing your thoughts. 

We know that there are some people who will argue that they’ve been blogging for a while and still no results. Our advice is this keep blogging your time will come. 

 

These tools will help you blog like a boss

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Sparkle Writers, how are you doing? and your blog? Fine we hope.

You know how time consuming it is to manage a blog right? It’s even more difficult when you are trying to do things right. In between finding the right images for your blog, editing the images and posting on facebook, twitter and instagram time never seems enough. 

Here are a few tools that can help you blog like a boss.

Fiverr

Ever heard of this amazing community? It has a pool of experts that can help you with several blog activities. Logo design, template creation, programming and lots more. All you need to do is get started by signing in. What’s best? It costs $5dollars. Well you can get them for that amount or higher, depending on what you want. 

Grammarly 

Grammarly is a great tool  that helps you improve your writing. It helps to correct your typos and grammatical errors. What do you think about having something that helps you edit your work just as you are typing.  Well that’s if you sync it with your computer. Grammarly is that tool that can work for you.

Mailchimp

What serious blogger does not communicate with his reader via email? Not sure there is any. Mailchimp helps you send messages to your reader, talk about blog posts and grow your community. They have free and paid versions so you can choose what plan suits you.  

 

 

How responsive is your blog design?

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Hey Sparkle Writers, did you know that mobile users spend more than 63 percent of their time on their phones accessing mobile websites and apps? 

So what do you think this means to you as a blogger? Your blog design must be responsive enough to accommodate all kind of users. 

Mobiles and tablets are now a primary source of web traffic all over the world.

If your theme doesn’t respond well to the smaller mobile screens there is a good chance you will be losing valuable traffic as people click away to find something easier to navigate

If you want to keep these people there’s only one way to do it, make your blog design responsive. 

You can use this to test to find out if it is responsive or not.

We’ve checked ours and its very responsive! 

 

 

 

 

Your blog is a brand; treat it as such

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We know there are many reasons why you could have started your blog.  For a lot of people, they started their blog because they needed something, somewhere to document their thoughts and words but as time goes on you will realize that there is more to your blog than just documenting your thoughts. 

Your blog is a brand. Your brand (Yes you read that right). It is a brand and you should begin to treat it as that. 

If you haven’t realized that yet, it’s probably because you have not taken deliberate steps to make it one. 

Here are a few things you can do to change that;

Give your blog a tagline.

A tagline adds insight into your blog’s personality and content that is integral to your brand. Consider your blog’s focus and keywords. For example, the Sparkle Writers uses simple facts to truths to encourage writers not to give up . Ours is this ” We believe every writer has a sparkle. We can help you discover yours.”

Choose a memorable address.

While options such as WordPress.com and Blogger are freely available, it’s advisable that you start using your own URL for your blog. This gives your blog its individual identity. Don’t use just any name, use something memorable, a name your readers will easily remember. 

Be distinctive and original

Your blog must be original to be an authentic brand. Don’t go copying other people’s  blog posts and ideas just to keep your blog alive Remember our post on copying blog posts?  It’s not just right. A brand should not be built on copying and piracy or plagiarism. It should carry your essence and only you can make that happen. 

 

Your ideas are valuable

Your ideas are valuable

If you are a blogger then you already know that blogging is not all cake and ice cream. You need a lot of work and plenty ideas to keep your blog running. One post per month will not do justice. 

So how do you keep your blog running properly? The trick is to maximize every idea you get. No idea is useless and you have to learn that.  To keep the content coming, you need to have ideas to write about. When you get an idea, write it down. You don’t have to use it now but just write it down. You never can tell when that idea will make sense to you. 

Again, no idea is useless. So when next you get inspired by something seemingly unimportant, grab your journal and note it. A day will come when you’d want to develop that idea but if you can’t remember the topic how you will you flesh out an article?

Another option is to curate content from others or do an alternative post, such as using video.

Whatever option you go for, just know that every idea is valuable. You never know who needs to read that next post. 

This is why bloggers must be honest

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Blogging can be a very attractive activity. Just knowing that you have a tribe of people who love you and are loyal to you is enough. Most times bloggers tend to inflate the truth  or edit their reality just to make people interested. You want to pretend to be who you are not because other bloggers are doing it. 

Here’s a piece of advice. 

Stop faking it. Bloggers who are not honest will not last. You will not be able to keep up for a long time. Imagine having to always put up a picture with your face made up because you’ve made your readers believe that you are a beauty enthusiast when in fact you have days when you just want to walk around with your bare face. 

When you write, write honestly. Don’t try to fake another bloggers writing voice because you think that’s why he has so many readers. It won’t work. 

Readers sense fakes a mile away.

Most times you want to follow the trends, when they say there is a new style in your niche you immediately want to jump on it and even put your on twist to it.  After all blogging and trends have a lot in common. But you must be careful so you don’t loose yourself and essence in all the trends. 

Your readers love you, they want to see you don’t disappoint them. 

 

This is why you should not set unrealistic publishing schedules

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Hey Blogger, 

How are you doing? We know that you have heard how important it is to publish posts frequently on your blog and as a result it is not strange for you to decide that you will henceforth publish a blog post everyday. 

How realistic is that though? Let’s think about it. Can you really post Monday to Sunday? Do you know how much work that would require? 

At first, you’re going to think that publishing every day won’t be tough at all – it will be tough and days will come when you will begin to slow down and get really overwhelmed. 

We are not saying you should not have a schedule at all. That isn’t good but you need to make sure that your plan is realistic and workable. 

When you publish too frequently (or infrequently), you create an unpredictable pattern that can frustrate your readers and cost you an audience.

Be honest with yourself and start small. Commit to publishing on a schedule that makes sense for your real life and other obligations. Space out your posts (don’t publish five all at once!) so that you have a steady stream of content to keep people coming back.

Does that sound okay to you? We hope it does.