Yes, I’ve gone all romance and girly and pink for this week’s blog!

How’s YOUR blog these days? Do you LOVE it?

Are you IN LOVE with it? Do you romance it regularly?

Do you enjoy reading your posts, once they’re published?

If you’ve answered no to any of these questions, it’s possible your readers feel the same.

Inject some romance into your blog today

It’s time to inject some love and romance into your blog. It’s time to make it pretty and loveable again.

It’s time to go from ‘meh’ to ‘meow!’

So what can you do? Your content is good, but the visual oomph is missing.

This post gives you the tools and tips you can apply to get your blog all lovely and sparkly for 2017.

A teeny weeny CAVEAT:

You’ll also learn the non-romance aspects of publishing a blog post that will look great and attract the right audience (yes, you guessed it…things like optimising images, adding meta descriptions, and so on… not very romantic, but will get you the attention your blog needs as part of your social media marketing strategy, which of course, is part of your overall marketing strategy.)

5 things you can do to romance your blog right now!

#1 Add an abstract image

Me – total right-brain. I am writing about love and romance so what do I search for when seeking an image for my blog? Typical! I entered the word ‘romance’ and was inundated with couples making out. I know, right?

What has lovey-dovey couples and diamond rings got to do with WordPress or even blogging?

So I changed it to pretty, and still got nothing!

Then I remembered I have a list of about 30 stock photo sites that provide something a little different. I used other terms like ‘Spring’ and ‘blossom” and found my beautiful abstract image on piccianeri.com – I am so so happy.

It’s so nice to find an abstract image that allows me to express myself, my blog, and my message.

So next post, seek out something a bit different. If you can use your own images, even better! Stick it in Canva, add your URL and the name of your blog post, and set that as your featured image, like this one:

Kingfisher describes the 5 Steps To Success With Your Virtual Assistant

and THEN!!!

Find a second image that is portrait style and add that further down the post. You can use that as a second image when Facebooking (yes, that is a verb) or tweeting your blog post. A portrait style image is also great for pinning (aka Pinteresting!) Click on the image above to see an example of a portrait style image being used further down the post.

#2 Use the “Quotes” function

The wha? (best said with a Dublin accent)

The ‘blockquote’ formatting button on your WordPress post formatting toolbar:

WP Blockquote<<< It looks like this

Blockquoting your sentence is very cool:

It makes your sentence look like it’s really, really, important – like a proper Quote! This is my quote, for example.

Use it! Either to add an actual quote or to emphasise something you want to highlight or single out. The quote style will depend on your theme. Check it out. Preview it. Test it.

#3 Use headings, bullets and white space

We all know we should use H2, H3, and bullet points or numbering in our blogposts to make it easier to scan, read, and keep readers on your page.

H1 is normally reserved for the title of your post. So the headings within your article should begin with the biggest set to H2, then H3, H4, etc.

What about bullet points? They single out content, they organise content, they are easy peasy to scan, they make things more interesting, and they create structure in your post. Let’s look at this sentence again, in bullets:

What about bullet points? (this heading is set to H4)

  • they single out content
  • they organise content
  • they are easy peasy to scan
  • they make things more interesting
  • they create structure in your post.

See that? Bullets actually beautify your text a bit. Or a lot! They also help create extra white space.

See the way I also use white space to spread out the post a bit: by breaking up paragraphs, using headings (which increases the paragraph spacing between lines),

and snappier sentences! I also use BOLD and ITALICS to emphasise an individual word (or phrase.)

#4 Install enhancing plugins

“Tweet This”

I love this plugin.

Making your sentences and amazing tidbits of information tweetable is not only clever, but it adds structure to your blog post. Like this:

Simply click the tweet above and see how it actually creates a tweet for you. Also, notice it automatically adds my twitter handle @elainerogers. It requires a little set-up, but it’s an easy plugin to add to your WordPress blog.

“SM Shares”

My social sharing buttons are currently not very sexy. I have just updated my website and I am still searching for a great social share plugin that works well with my Divi Theme.

On my last site though, I had I tried romance, but sexy is better, right?

Social Share WP Plugin ScreenshotAdding social shares to your blog will help get your blog to a wider audience.

The plugin I currently use is called Monarch. But the “sexy” plugin I use to use is called Shareaholic but you can also avail of the built-in sharing tools provided with the Jetpack plugin if you don’t want the hassle of adding another plugin. Shareaholic will also provide related posts and other cool thingamajigs to your blog.

#5 Romance your widgets

Widgets are little pieces of content you can put in the sidebar of your blog.

Having a sidebar is a good idea simply because it shortens your blog post sentences (aka lines) on the eye, making the post easier to read. Most themes allow you to have full-width pages and a blog page with sidebar. Your sidebar could be on the left or right, depending on the WordPress Theme you use. I like my side-bar on the right 🙂

So what widgets can you romance?

  1. Add a search box widget so people can search your blog for other interesting (or similar) posts
  2. Add a list of categories (either in full or as a drop-down list) to help your readers stay on your blog page
  3. Add your Social Network buttons to showcase these (bear in mind these will encourage readers to leave your site)
  4. Add a list of your most popular posts to display your best blog posts and impress your readers
  5. Integrate your Opt-in form for your newsletter, or giveaway
  6. Add a segment of your Twitter or Facebook feed to provide some movement and highlight your activity
  7. Add a Tag cloud – generally frowned upon, but they can look very nice, depending on the WordPress theme you use
  8. Add HTML images and links to promote or highlight a service, special offer, course etc.

Less is more for your Sidebar but the very first widget should be a Search Box to encourage your readers to remain on your website. Then, a list of categories if you use them (and you should be!!)

Other romance ideas

  • Install the Jetpack Plugin and add a related blog section to the bottom of your blog post. This encourages people to stay on your site and further explore your writing.
  • Install Yoast SEO (or All In One SEO) plugin to optimise your blog posts – applying a keyword, adding a meta description, adding a summary for search engines to use when displaying your post, and
  • Do some keyword research on your topic to improve your blog rankings with search engines.

Here is a quick peek at my old Yoast SEO settings (and scores):

Screenshot of Yoast SEO blogpost Score

(This is a perfect portrait style image to add to your blog as a second image for ‘pinning’)

My blog is by no means perfect! In fact, I would love to change many things about it, but that would require a lot of customisation. I have applied some CSS customisation to help with branding.

If you have any great suggestions, even improvements we can all make with our blog posts, please SHARE with us in the comments below!

And feel free to share this post using my non-sexy share buttons 🙂

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