9 Ingredients for A Successful Blog Post

There are millions of blogs out there and with thousands of new posts being added daily, how can you make yours stand out from the crowd? How can you cut through the noise? What makes a blog post successful?

Successful Blog

I’m no expert, but I’ve written a lot of blog posts for different clients. I’ve been writing this blog and reading a lot of others for the past 12 months too. Here are 9 key ingredients that I’ve noticed successful blog posts seem to have:

1. Title. A strong heading draws people into your post. Think about who is reading your blog and what will appeal to them? What would entice you to click through and make you carry on reading?

2. Structure. Don’t make your blog post too long or you’ll risk putting readers off. There’s always a debate about how long a blog post should be. It needs to be short enough to keep readers interested but long enough to enhance SEO. I usually aim for between 400 and 1,000 words. There should be a basic structure that gives an introduction, makes a point and then has some sort of a conclusion.

3. Make it Easy To Read. Break up chunks of text with plenty of paragraphs, sub headings, bullet points or lists. I remember recently giving up reading a blog post because it was one long paragraph from start to finish. I’d gone cross-eyed before I’d even got half way through!  I’ve also been dazzled (not necessarily in a good way) by some blogs which have crazy colours, patterns or fonts going on. Help your readers by making it easy to view your posts. I generally prefer to read blogs which are clean and simple in design, and broken down into easy to read chunks of text.

4. Images. Photos and images help to break up the text of a blog post but also add colour to what you are saying. They can help illustrate a point or provide readers with more insight into your life. Make sure your images are optimised to the correct size so that they don’t appear warped. When I first started blogging I had no idea about this and used to stick in an image the size of a thumb nail and hope for the best. Generally images with bigger pixels are better quality and in WordPress I tend to stick to dimensions of about 630 width by about 420 height. Remember to re-name images with a text friendly name to boost SEO.

Photos for Blogs

5. Find Your Voice. The bloggers that I most admire have a very distinctive voice. They write in a particular style whether it be sarcastic, opinionated or with passion. There’s so many blogs I enjoy reading, but here are a few that I’ve got to mention: I love Whinge Whinge Wine because Fran can be quite sarcastic, she writes very plainly at a furious pace that makes me cry with laughter. I adore Absolutely Prabulous because Prabs is not afraid to laugh at herself and this is reflected in her brilliant writing which has me sniggering for ages. I also love 5 Little Doves because Laura truly writes from the heart about her family life, dealing with mental health issues as well as coping with the loss of her baby boy. Her blog has made me truly think about certain topics as well as left me in tears on several occasions.

Successful blogs are not afraid to state their opinion and initiate debate by saying what they truly think. Others are successful because they take a completely new angle or take on a certain subject. Sitting on the fence is safe, but those that take the plunge and speak up about what they believe in, often seem to be the most successful. Sometimes the posts that scare me to hit “publish” are often the ones that work out to get the most views or comments.

Blogging Voice

 

6. Make a Point. It’s easy to just chat along about any topic matter for 700 odd words, but the most successful blog posts always seem to make a point. They may make readers nod their head in agreement, they might make some readers think, or they may fire some people up and cause some controversy like this post I wrote a while back about mums taking their kids to school in pyjamas. Others might be funny and make some readers laugh in agreement. This blog post that I wrote about not getting any of our 4 choice of primary schools for my daughter has been my most viewed post of all time and went viral on Facebook and The Huffington Post. It was successful because it resonated with a lot of other mums out there who were either going through the same thing or were worried about it happening in the future.

7. Be True. The most successful bloggers are those who are true to themselves. They write from the heart and connect with readers by letting them see more about their lives. Readers feel like they get to know the writer and care what happens to them.

Be yourself and let your personality shine through!

Successful Bloggers are True

8. Write With Care. Yes bad spelling and grammar can put me off as much as bad writing in general. But so too can those blogs that are trying too hard to impress, you know the ones with the long unnecessary words which ramble on. I think the blogs that work best are those that write as if they are in conversation, just chatting to a friend.

9. Think About Your Ending. Don’t just stop abruptly. What do you want your reader to do? You can always ask for more comments or ask people what they think.

 

There you have it! My 9 ingredients for what I think makes up a successful blog post. Do you agree? Are there any more factors that you’d add to this list? Which blogs do you love and what special ingredients do they use to make their blogs successful?

 

 

Cuddle Fairy

Mummascribbles

You Baby Me Mummy

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End of The Pushchair Era!

Last weekend my husband went to the tip. He came home and casually announced that he’d “binned” the pushchair. “Whaat?!” I shrieked. “I didn’t say goodbye to it!”

I know I sound ridiculously un-hinged especially as we had previously talked about how we were going to get rid of the pushchair, but it suddenly felt like an abrupt end to a very long era.

Bugaboo Pushchair 3

5 Years Ago

We inherited the Bugaboo Chameleon when I was pregnant with Alice 5 years ago from my sister when she upgraded to a double buggy. It would have cost hundreds of pounds to buy brand new so we were very grateful to get it for a fraction of the cost.

We needed a degree in engineering to master how it worked. It was one of those pram / car seat / pushchair systems. As you can see from the photos below, I was 8 months pregnant and feeling a bit stressed out that I was never going to work out how to get the thing up and down and switching it from carry cot to car seat. Even my husband had difficulty with it and despite a practice session with my sister and using colour coded stickers to show which bit should go where, we still managed to almost break the thing in the first month of using it.

 

The Early Days

I remember the first week after Alice was born, a friend suggesting we take her out for a walk. I refused because let’s face it week one for any new mum is just plain crazy but also because I wasn’t confident with setting the pram up!

Once I’d finally moved on to leaving the house with the newborn, I remember another occasion where I almost tipped new baby out into the road because I hadn’t yet mastered the art of lifting the pram off of the kerb with the back wheels and instead just tipped it down into the road. God knows what the drivers made of me grappling to retrieve baby and pram out of the road…..

It was a clunky big old thing really compared to some of the super light nifty devices I see about today, but it did us proud to last 5 years. As a toddler, Alice would always take her naps in the buggy. When Eva came along, we used our double buggy for a while. But we hung on to the Bugaboo and went back to it once Alice was out of a pushchair. I even used it fairly recently when Eva very occasionally used to fall asleep on the school run and I managed to precariously transfer her from car to buggy.

 

Eva Asleep in Bugaboo Pushchair

 

3 Reasons I’m Sad to See the End of the Bugaboo:

1. End of an era! My girls are all grown up and officially not babies any more.

2. Despite the initial difficulties, it’s lasted us 5 years and before that, my sister had it for 2 years.

3. Some happy memories of pushing a newborn around that was sound asleep.

 

3 Reasons I’m Glad to See The Back of It:

1. Some unhappy memories of pacing the streets trying to get Alice off to sleep!

2. Saving space – it was quite bulky and took up a lot of space in the house / car.

3. I’m looking forward to the adventures ahead of all of us walking together. And hoping I won’t have to end up carrying the youngest around too much.

I didn’t get to say it before it went to the tip, but thanks for the memories Bugaboo! And for giving me some peace and quiet once the kids were asleep!

 

Mummuddlingthrough
You Baby Me Mummy
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
Pink Pear Bear