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7 Ways to Make Your Blog Stand Out from the Crowd

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When you first started your blog, you will probably remember the very basic looking design and theme it had. This is because each WordPress installation comes with the default theme of WordPress. If you don’t change this theme, you will then be lost among the millions of other blogs on the internet that have this same default theme. Good for WordPress, bad for you!

However, there is good news. In addition to changing your WordPress theme, there are many other ways you can make your blog stand out from the crowd. In this post we are going to highlight seven of the best ways to make a great first impression with your site, while also looking like an established authority in the process.

Change Your WordPress Theme

As mentioned, changing your WordPress theme is one of the easiest and most effective ways to stand out from the crowd. There are hundreds of thousands of free and premium WordPress themes for you to choose from. Free themes are always nice, but they are often outdated and not the highest of quality.

Over the years, I’ve always had a custom theme for this blog. Right now I’m using a custom version of the RISE theme from ThriveThemes, and I definitely recommend that you check it out if you are serious about the look, feel and customization of your site.

evolutionofzacjohnsonblog

If you can’t afford a custom theme or hiring a designer to do the customization work, there are many other premium theme sites like ElegantThemes.com, which offer a wide selection of themes at a very low annual cost.

Get a Domain Name and Premium Hosting

When starting a blog, you have the option between going with a free hosting service like WordPress.com or Blogger.com, or actually getting your own premium hosting and a domain name to go along with it. The later is definitely your best bet, as it will allow you to not only have complete control over your site, but it will look much more professional than having a long free address off another free service.

Choosing Your Domain Name

Invest in a Logo Design

A great way to make your blog and site name pop, is to have a logo created for your site. Years ago a logo design may have cost a few hundred dollars to create. Now with the addition of sites like Fiverr and many different logo design marketplaces (such as DesignHill and LogoMyWay), anyone can now have a great logo design created for their own site for under $50.

DesignCrowd Logo Designs

Don’t Let Your Blog Content Dry Out

With several hundred million blogs in the world today, many of them have died out and stopped creating content for their sites. This is the last thing you want to happen to your site, as anyone who comes to your site and see the content is a few years old, it’s likely they won’t keep reading or even come back again.

At the same time, this doesn’t mean you need to create content on a daily basis — just make sure it’s consistent over time. Some of the biggest blogs in the world today might only release new content once every few weeks or even per month.

Get Active on Social Media

With over two billion users spread across all of the major social networks, shouldn’t it be a priority for your blog to be there as well? Of course!

twitter_facebook_pinterest

In addition to any personal profiles you might already have setup with Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and so on… you should also create accounts for your blog as well. This way you can easily share blog content with your social followers, while also keep track of who is sharing your content and engaging with your audience on their favorite networks.

Engaging Comments Through Your Blog

Reply to All CommentsJust like everyone is using social media to connect with friends and family, blogging is meant to be the same way. Go back ten years ago and most web sites were created with HTML and were a one-sided conversation. With the introduction of WordPress, blogs are now more interactive and allow people to place comments on any blog posts they like.

To increase engagements and comments on your site, be sure to end each post with a call to action, such as asking for your audience’s thoughts in the comments below. It’s also important for you to respond to these comments as well. Everyone loves to be appreciated, and there is no better way to appreciate a blog comment, then to acknowledge them and follow up with your own response.

Keep Your Distractions and Ads to a Minimum

In the world of blogging, it’s very tough to keep people on your site. In fact, over 70% of the people that visit your site for the first time will never come back. It’s not so much about your site content, but that there is already so much out there already.

For this reason, you need to make sure your blog is limited on how many distractions and advertisements you have. Gone are the days of creating a site and throwing as many advertisements on it as you can. Now it’s all about creating compelling content, building a trusted brand and growing your following on a daily basis. One of the best ways to do this is through the use of the Optin Monster popup window (shown below) to grab your visitors email address and follow up with them through a well thought out autoresponder series.

OptinMonster Popup

How to Create a Successful Blog from the Start

No matter where you are currently at with your blog, it’s important that you always keep all of these methods in place. Starting your blog off in the right direction from the beginning is one of the best ways to insure you find success down the road.

An excellent way to think about how others might find value in your blog, is to simply look at your site or article as if you were a visitor and what areas you might like or dislike. Put yourself in the eyes of your audience and if your content doesn’t provide value to yourself, why would it be worth posting for others to read?

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5 Reasons Why Your Business Should Be Writing Blogs Right Now

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Blogging is a great way to get your website noticed and generate more traffic and sales. 86% of companies use a blog on their websites, so you can’t afford to miss out.

You may think that blogs aren’t that important, or that they don’t make a lot of difference to your business. But they are a lot more effective than you may think.

Blogging can increase your lead generation by 67%. Whether you’re a new or established business, this can prove invaluable. Here are 5 reasons your business needs to start writing blogs now.

1. Generate Traffic

Blog posts add more content to your website and thus attract more people to visit your site. Creating web content means that you can direct your readers to other parts of your website.

This means you can write a post about one of your products or services and use yours as an example. When readers discover this, you have a greater chance of boosting sales.

2. Boost SEO

When it comes to marketing your business, SEO is king. SEO determines where your website ranks on search engine results. In turn, it impacts how many people find you.

There are a lot of things that affect your SEO. Things like a fully optimized website and using the right links can make a real difference. Hook Agency says that having the right SEO can double or even triple your traffic from search engines.

Once you have your website sorted, blog content is next. The more blogs you write, the better the SEO. Use popular keywords and terms that your audience would search for. This will make your posts rank higher on search engines and get customers your way.

3. Create a Brand Voice

There are a lot of company blogs out there which may be interesting, but they have no distinctive voice. When they have no voice, they all blend into one.

But if you write blogs with a specific voice, you make an impression. When people can recognise your writing style, they recognise your company.

Set featured imageTry to give your posts a personality. They are more fun to read and will keep people coming back to read for more. They make your brand more trustworthy and encourage people to choose your brand.

4. Showcase Your Services

When it comes to your business, you’re the expert. You know all about your own products and services, so use your blog to show off this knowledge!

Explain what you offer and what you can do for your customers. People want brands to know exactly what they’re selling and it makes you more reliable.

It also serves as a free way to advertise your business. You can write as much or as little as you want on the services you’re offering.  

5. You Stay Ahead of the Curve

When you give your website a blog, you’re also future proofing your business. Those who don’t have blogs are lagging behind and missing out on a lot of great opportunities.

It gives you the chance to be creative and boost your business in a whole new way. You can also add other media like videos and photos to your posts to boost your SEO even further.

Chances are, you’ll find blogging very fun. Regular content on your site gives your business a firm presence and will keep you on the SEO map for longer.

Your Business Needs to Start Writing Blogs Now

Now that you know how important it is to start writing blogs for your business, it’s time to get started. It’s a fun creative challenge which can lead to more traffic and more sales.

Want to start a blog on your website? Check out our services and see how we can help you set it up.

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Blogging

Cyber Monday and Black Friday Deals Going on Right Now!

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Black Friday is always a great time to take advantage of the huge holiday sales rush. Not only is this true with retail locations, it’s also MASSIVE for online businesses and shopping as well.

To provide our audience with a selection of the best Black Friday offers on the market today, we’ve hand selected a few of the best out there. Not only are these tools that are trusted and used by thousands, they are also tools and solutions that we love and personally use daily.

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Discover how to start a profitable online business by mastering affiliate marketing, content creation, social media, paid search & more.

Starting a website or a blog is EASY.
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Blogging.org University has created “The Complete Guide to Affiliate Marketing & Blogging” to make the concept of creating an online website, blog, brand, or business easy for anyone.

In these video sessions, industry expert Zac Johnson, will walk students through everything they need to know to create a successful and profitable blog online. Such topics include finding that perfect niche market, creating a site from scratch, how to make money with affiliate marketing, and much more!

And of course, all students get lifetime access to all course content, videos, and updates.

Online Coaching with Industry Expert Zac Johnson

Zac Johnson is the Founder of Blogging.org, and has been making money online with content and affiliate marketing for over 20 years now. Having first started making money online back in the mid-to-late 90s, Zac first found affiliate marketing success with Amazon.com, then started building out his own sites and ad campaigns.

Over the past two decade, Zac Johnson has lunched hundreds of websites, thousands of ad campaigns and has also taught his students how to make millions of dollars in the process.

The Complete Guide to Affiliate Marketing & Blogging” is simply one of the best courses for learning how to create a legitimate and profitable business on the internet, while also being 100% taught through lessons created by Zac Johnson himself.

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Blogging

Quick and Effective Tips to Maximize Speed of your Website or Blog

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Few things are worse than when you click over to a new website or blog, and then it’s loading slow as anything. With everyone having an extremely short attention span, and so many options for other websites and entertainment online, a fast loading website is a must for every blogger, brand, or business on the internet.

There are also many benefits associated with a fast loading site, beyond just user experience. Google is now penalizing sites that take too long to load, and boosting up other sites that a mobile-optimized and running super fast.

Depending on how technical your design or WordPress skills might be, the process of speeding up your site and maximizing it’s optimization might vary. To help with this process, I’ve listed a few of the best working methods below.

Optimize your Homepage to Load Quickly

With the homepage being one of the most vital parts of your website or blog, you should be doing everything possible to make sure it loads quickly. Different things can be done to speed up your homepage such as lowering the number of posts on the main page, minimizing applications and widgets from third-party sites, and also optimizing your images so they are either loading as a smaller sized file or through a CDN service. It’s also a good idea to use an SEO friendly theme or template, as these are more often cleaner with their coding and already optimized right out of the box.

Use an Effective Caching Plugin

If you are using a CMS like WordPress or blogger, then using an effective cashing plugin can contribute nicely in the process of making sure your site is loading as fast as possible. Since caching is an apparatus for a temporary storage of web pages to diminish bandwidth and to improve page loading performance as well, it saves the server’s time to make web pages load faster. Caching plugins are easy to install and use. All you need to do is perform some research online to see which plugin is best for your site, then click a few buttons to have it installed right within WordPress. Once this is done, it’s usually just a matter of copying the account number of your CDN and letting the hosting provider and WordPress plugin do its work.

Use CDN (content delivery network)

We’ve already referenced content delivery networks or CDNs, a few times now. The way these solutions work is that they host a version of your site on their server, and then loads the content from another server that is closest to that individual’s location. More and more site owners and bloggers are using CDNs not only to improve page load speed but to provide users with a great experience to make them stay longer on the website. Also mentioned earlier, this can help with how well a site ranks in Google, while also moving your site above the competition. Moreover, if one of your server locations is overloaded due to huge traffic and visitors, then users can automatically be switched to a new server location to enjoy fast loading website experience.

Improve Your Hosting Plan

If you have a slow loading website or blog, it’s likely due to your hosting plan. If you are pushing a lot of traffic through your site and making money in the process, you should definitely upgrade from a shared server. Shared hosting is often fine for new site owners and bloggers, but as your site gains more attention, backlinks, and traffic, it will also likely be using more server resource. On a shared server, your site is also sharing the server resources with many other sites — sometimes hundreds, or even thousands! Upgrading your hosting plan to a VPS or dedicated hosting package can greatly improve the performance of your site as well. So, if you are still using a cheap web hosting plan with an average price below $5/mo and receiving massive traffic from search engines, then it would be the right time for you to upgrade your hosting plan with a better one to speed up your website loading speed.

Use Optimized Images

Big images take up a lot of space and resources when it comes to loading data from your site. This is especially true with very high-quality images. While these images are going to play a big role in the beauty and engagement on your site, there are still ways to optimize such large images so they load faster and put less stress on your server. There are many plugins are available that can drastically reduce the file size of an image without reducing the quality. Image optimization will not only help you boost website load time but will also save disk space for more files and media. If you really don’t want to overload your website with plugins, then you can also use online image reducer apps and software to optimize image before uploading to the media library of the site.

Minimize HTTP Redirects Requests

How and where content is being loaded on your site can also affect its overall performance. You may need to use redirect requests to redirect the web browser from one URL to another. There are a variety of reasons as to why you might want to do this, such as to specify a new URL location, to track visits and clicks on the site or to connect different elements of the website with each other. Since redirects might be necessary to enhance overall UX of the website, you should only be using the redirect requests that are most important because excessive redirect requests can have an ultimate impact on the loading speed of your website/blog.

Don’t Leave Your Audience Hanging

When browsing the internet, few things are more annoying than accessing a slow loading website. It’s hard enough to get someone to visit your site, let alone stay for a few seconds. Don’t give them a reason to leave right away because your site isn’t loading as fast as it should be.

Follow each of the simple and effective site speed optimization tips above to make sure your site loads as fast as possible, ranks higher than the competition and also doesn’t disappoint your audience when they hit your site.

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