8 Ways To Make Your Blog Posts More Readable

To run a successful blog, it takes more than just writing great content and posting it on your site. You need to have a plan to catch your reader’s attention.

If you’ve been blogging for a while you may have heard that 20% is about creation and 80% is about marketing and guys, it is true! There are many ways you can market your blog, but one of the most important ways to keep your readers around it to make sure that your blog posts are easily readable. Not sure what that means? Keep reading!  

How many times have you clicked on a pin on Pinterest, just to quickly navigate away because all there was, was a glaring mass of text? You may not have realized it at the moment, but chunky blocks of text are one of the quickest turn offs for a reader.

If your blog post isn’t optimized for readability, your bounce rates will go through the roof and many people won’t take the time to read your thoughtful post. Like many things in life, you need to put your blog post in a pretty package to draw in more attention and that means making your blog post easy to read. Here are 10 ways to make your blog posts more readable.

1. Adjust the Font Size and Style

Adjusting the font doesn’t just make your blog easier to read, it also sets a mood. It’s said that fonts can affect the reader’s mood while reading the blog, similar to how colors also affect your disposition. One thing for sure is that the font you pick has to be readable. If you want to emphasize the title or a phrase, consider making it bold, underlining it, making it bigger, making it italic or changing the color. 

Having these changes in the text will help readers skim your posts and stay engaged. 

2. Add Graphics or Images

Depending on your blog topic, adding photos and graphics may make the blog more interesting and understandable. For example, if your blog is about food or your latest travel destination, then adding photos would best. If you’re talking about business, Infographics would be the way to go. 

I personally add a photo every few paragraphs to break up the text and give my readers something pretty to look at before moving on to the rest of the post. If you are a food blogger, lifestyle blogger or fashion blogger, incorporate different angles or shots that are relevant to your post in between your text. 

3. Use Short Paragraphs

Remember everything you learned in junior high about the perfect five sentence paragraph? Yeah, throw that out the window. Keep your paragraphs short and to the point. 

You can even have a just one line of text. Short paragraphs are easier to read. 

4. Use Bullet Points

On that same note, consider implementing bullet points into your post. Pick out key points and bullet them. This works especially well if you are recommending a variety of products or if you are explaining steps to a process. You also can number your posts. Like this post, for example, is broken up by numbers one through ten. 

5. Consider the Length of Your Blog

A good blog doesn’t have to be super long. I have found that around 8,000 - 2,000 words works best for me, but this may have some variation based on your niche (I recommend that your blog posts are at least 400-500 words). This way I still can give value and get my message across but it isn’t a novel. 

People are busy and oftentimes don’t have 30-minutes to sit down and read a blog post. Most will skim through your post to read the key points. If you have a big topic you want to cover, consider breaking it into smaller posts and having a series on that topic. I, for example, have done a few different series on my blog, one about how to make money blogging and the other about the foundations of email marketing.  

6. Have A Simple Layout and Design

Making your layout and page design simple and coherent with your theme and branding is very important. It makes everything come together and not cluttered. You maybe to put a patterned background, ads or other bells and whistles, but keep it simple. Make sure to also choose a font that is easy to read and stick to black or dark gray text. 

7. Keep to Your Style of Writing

If you are running a blog, stick to the style of writing that feels natural to you. Writing the way you want to and the way you always have doesn’t just show your personality, but it also makes your reader feel comfortable and is familiar to them. If you are implementing SEO be careful to not excessively use your keyword or use sentences that sound robotic or out of place.  

8. Have One Message

You don’t have the teach the entire topic in order to have a helpful post, instead focus on taking your reader from point A to point B. Think of where they are at now and what you want them to be able to do, or know or bake by the time they finish reading your post. Actionable content that they can follow along with is best! 

10 Things to Do Before You Launch Your Blog

Ready to start a blog?! Make sure you do these ten things first. | how to start a blog | blogging tips | blogger | wordpress |

Congratulations! You probably have decided or considered starting your own blog. It’s scary and exciting at the same time, but anything worth doing in life should be, right? 

Blogging is a great way to share your knowledge to other people, to inspire them and to have a creative outlet. As a mom, it has been so rewarding to be able to use my blog to connect with likeminded women, share my talents and make friends. Starting a blog has been one of my favorite things ever! 

Blogging is also a great way to earn and to be an entrepreneur with little investment upfront. You can work from your own home and be able to work at your own pace. Perfect for mamas like us!

For your blog to become successful, it will take a lot of time and dedication. It is not an overnight success sort of thing, but don’t worry!

Here are ten things you need to do before you launch your blog.

1. Decide what you want to blog about

What are you passionate about? What are you interested in? What can you talk about hours on end? These are questions you should ask yourself before deciding on a niche for your blog.

It doesn’t have to be something popular like food or fashion. You shouldn't copy a successful blogger you admire. You should blog about a topic that means something to you, no matter how different your idea may be. 

2. Study your market

In any business, you should know who your market is and understand what they want. Yes, some may argue that a blog is something that you start first and foremost for yourself and that statement may be right, but why stop there? 

If you want you can earn a steady income from blogging and profit from your passion. There’s nothing better than doing something you love while earning from it at the same time. 

Learn what your target market wants and what they need.

Ask yourself if there is something you can offer them that others haven’t?

How can you reach out to these people and how can you get their attention?

3. Create a business strategy

You need a plan to get your blog off the ground. You can’t just launch your blog and hope that it will gain some momentum. You need a strategy!

Make a list of what you need to do before launching and in the first few months before launching. Then after launching your blog, continue making these plans as you execute your first set of plans. In blogging, you always need to look forward and to always learn new ways to grow your business. 

4. Create your branding and theme

Once you’ve got all the planning down, it’s time for the fun part and deciding the look of your brand. Choose a name that best describes your blog. It doesn’t have to be complicated. It could be straight to the point or you can even use your own name. Then check to see if the domain name is available. 

Decide what colors, styles, themes and the overall feeling of your blog. You have to be consistent with this so that your blog will look whole and professional. Stick to it

5. Build your website

You don’t have to hire someone to build your website. You can teach yourself to use a website host. I’ve personally had or have worked on blogs on Blogger, WordPress.com, WordPress.org, Wix, Shopify and SquareSpace. For the most part, they are all user-friendly and there are tons of resources online that will help you customize your site! 

I personally recommend doing a blog on WordPress.org. It gives you more customization and is very inexpensive to start. I have a full tutorial on how you can set up your blog on WordPress.org over here. 

6. Optimize your social media

As a blogger, social media is a must! Have a plan and idea of what you want to post on these platforms. If your blog relies a lot on images then it would be good to focus on Instagram and Pinterest for example. Find out which kind of social media platform is popular in your country. These could be Facebook, Twitter, and even YouTube. Learn how to properly use each platform for your business. 

In the beginning, I recommend doing two things. 

  1. Saving the names on each social channel that corresponds with your blog. So for example, my blog is Moms Make Cents so I saved the twitter handle @momsmakecents. 
  2. Choose which TWO platforms you want to focus on. If you try to be present on all of the platforms when you are starting out, you will get overwhelmed fast! For all bloggers, I recommend using Pinterest and then depending on your niche choose between Facebook or Instagram. 

7. Collaborate and connect

Even before launching your blog, start making connections with other bloggers in your niche. Follow them on social media, reply to one of their emails or leave a thoughtful comment on your blog. This is a great way to build friendships and connect. Warming up your contacts first will increase their receptiveness of requests for participation in roundups, sharing your content and collaborating in the future.  

Not all bloggers will want to connect and that is 100% okay! We all have a ton going on. Just remember to be genuine. Overall, the blogging community is very friendly and is built on the mentality of collaboration over competition. 

8. Create hype and do promotions

You know your target market, so start creating hype and get their attention. Build your presence on social media so you will have a group of loyal followers before you even launch your blog! 

One to two weeks before your launch make your blog reveal feel like a big event. Share sneak peeks of your content, what you are working on behind the scenes. You can also create an opt-in or freebie so you can start building your email list before your launch! 

9. Write your posts

Think of your blog as a new boutique launching in your city. If you showed up and they only had one outfit you’d be a little disappointed right? Same with your blog.

When a reader comes to your blog they need more than one post to look at. 

I recommend having five posts up on your blog before you launch. This will encourage the reader to stick around longer. Also, make sure that you have written an about me page and have a place where readers can contact you. 

10. Have a friend review your blog

Between all the hard work and busy schedules before your launch, it’s a good idea to take a break and talk to a friend or relative about your progress. Have them take a look at your blog with a pair of fresh eyes. They may spot a typo or a broken link that you might now have caught!  

Don’t be afraid to share those first posts! It can be nerve-wracking but the best way to learn is to do!

Now that you are ready, head over to this post where I show you how to set up your blog in 10 minutes or less!

7 Types of Emails You Can Send to Your Email List

Start your email list and you're asking "Now what in the world am I supposed to send?!” I totally remember having that same feeling when I began to grow my list. Here are seven different types of email you can send to your list. | email marketing | welcome series | list building |

If you’ve been following along with our email marketing series you’ve got your list set up, but you might be thinking, “Now what in the world am I supposed to send?!” I totally remember having that same feeling when I began to grow my list. I had this wonderful bunch of people that had willingly chosen to be on my list and to hear from me, but suddenly I was speechless!

Feel the same way? Then here are seven types of email your can send to your list.

If you missed the first parts of the email marketing series you can catch up on them here.

  1. Why You Need An Email List + How to Start One

  2. MailChimp vs. ConvertKit

  3. The Beginner's Guide to ConvertKit

When you are a blogger or an online entrepreneur, your email list is sacred. Your subscribers will come from opt-ins or sign up forms that you have on your site. Having these emails is the first step to growing your business, but it’s not just enough to have a lot of emails.

You need to nurture these and convert them into loyal followers and customers. This is a direct line to your reader and what you send them can either make them lifelong fans or a lost opportunity.

1. Welcome Email

A welcome email should be immediately sent when a person subscribes to you or signs up to an opt-in. You can include a greeting and thank you note for trusting you with their email. You can also include a short description of who you are and what you set out to do with your website or blog. Keep it light, friendly and fun. Let them know there are only great things to come in your business relationship.

This email will be set up to be sent out automatically when someone subscribes to your list or opts in for a content upgrade.

2. Announcements and What’s New

It’s always good to keep your subscriber up to date with the latest promos, new blog posts, life changing events or launching new products. Update them on what’s new in your blog and website. You don’t always have to sell things on this email. It can be also a way to keep people excited and interested in seeing that there is always something new.

Send this out as a “Broadcast” if you are using ConvertKit or a Campaign if you are on MailChimp.

types-of-emails-to-send-to-list

3. Product

This can be an email about a new product or service you are launching. It can also be a showcase of your previous products that have had great reviews. Here you can give your reader a more in depth look at your product.

Focus on either a single item or a collection so that you can place enough information about it without turning off the reader. Offering too many products at one go can be overwhelming.

This can be sent as a “Broadcast” if you are using ConvertKit or a Campaign if you are on MailChimp or it can be an automated email series that is sent out when the reader completes as specific action (ex. opting in for a certain content upgrade).

4. Survey/Getting to Know You

Get to know your readers by asking them to answer surveys or questions about themselves. It doesn’t have to be something personal. It could be product preferences, their reviews or what they would like to see next on your blog. This will help you in knowing what you can offer them next. This doesn’t just help you in your market research; it forms a personal connection between you and the subscriber.

Offer an incentive for those that fill out the survey, like a coupon code with a discount on your product or a drawing for a free gift card!

5. Newsletter

A newsletter is what most think of when you are planning to write to your list. Make this fun, informative and interesting. Set a schedule for when you email your list. It can be weekly, bi-weekly or monthly, see what your readers are most responsive too. However, I don’t recommend sending a newsletter more than once a week. This will make your unsubscribe rates much higher.

6. Giveaways and Freebies

Everyone likes to get free things! Hold giveaways or offer freebies to keep your clients excited. Giveaways are great because they have the potential to go viral and can really maximize exposure to your blog or products.

This is also a way to get them to try your product or service. If they are satisfied and impressed with you, then they would feel more comfortable with you and trust your capabilities enough to actually pay for it when the time comes.

Sending additional freebies or bonus content will help you retain your subscribers!

types-of-emails-to-send-to-list

7. Thank You

A thank you, email is a must to send out. You can send them a thank you email for purchasing, subscribing, and giving you feedback and other forms of interaction. This shows that they are either interested or invested in your business. Let them know that your relationship is important and that you want it to grow.

A thank you email can be implemented three ways,

  1. Set up through email automation so it is immediately sent out once they complete a certain action (ex. make a purchase, fill out a survey etc.)
  2. You can send a personalized email after someone makes a purchase. This is appreciated for purchases of higher priced or custom items.
  3. You can send out an email broadcast to your subscribers thanking them for participating or sticking through a time with more emails than normal.

For example, after one of my recent launches I sent out twenty-five free stock photos to those on my list as a thank you for supporting me during my launch. I received numerous emails thanking me for sharing these free photos with them and the personalized touch impressed many of my subscribers.

Never underestimate the power of email marketing! Many bloggers account a high percentage of their income begin directly linked to their email list. Take the time to create opt-ins, write a welcome series and start by writing these seven types of emails you can send to your list.

Do you have an email list? What have your subscribers been most responsive to?

The Beginner's Guide to ConvertKit

This post may contain affiliate links

This tutorial was so helpful. I signed up for ConvertKit and I wasn't sure where to start. She covers it all, ConvertKit forms, sequences, automation and tags. Plus, she even shows you how to import your subscribers from MailChimp! 

I’ll admit when I switched to ConvertKit I was confused. Like, “I signed up, now what?” There were all these new features and terms that I wasn’t familiar with, so instead of leaving you in the dark, I thought I would break it down for you! So here is my beginner's guide to ConvertKit.

ConvertKit is an email service provider built specifically for bloggers. It helps you keep track of the activities and statistics on your site, it follows through with all your email marketing and it helps you grow your email list. 

No matter which plan you choose, you get the same amazing features. The amount you pay is based on the number of subscribers you have and unlike many other email service providers, you aren’t charged for the same subscriber twice.

Home Screen

Now, let’s do a walk through on each of the features that ConvertKit offers and how you can take advantage of them. After you have signed up and logged in, you will be taken to your homepage where the first thing you see is sort of like a graph under subscribers.

This tells you how many subscribers you’ve gotten within a specific day, how many total in a week, in a month and since you’ve started using ConvertKit. 

Each bar on the graph has different colors. If you hover over each, you will be able to see how many subscribers opted into that content upgrade or lead magnet that day. Off the bat, this is already so helpful! When I was on MailChimp it was so hard to track who was joining each list. 

Forms

On the upper left corner of the homepage and below the subscribers section, you can make forms and see all the forms you have made. Forms can be embedded anywhere on your website and this is where someone visiting your website can type in their email to either subscribe to your newsletter, receive a content upgrade, get a coupon code, etc.  

You can customize each form’s colors and styles to match your brand. You can also program it to do specific actions once that person hits that button. 

Sequences

The next tab above is Sequences. This is where you can start making the email sequences for these forms and landing pages. You can program these sequences to send out emails all throughout a specific period of time starting from when a person signed up and subscribed.

These emails are automatically sent out and each is highly customizable. You can specify what date, what time and even leave out some subscribers you don’t want that email to be sent to. 

Think of the sequences as every action has a reaction. If a person fills out a form, you can set it up so that will be a trigger for another sequence of emails to be sent that is related to that first form. A subscriber can also be tagged for another sequence of emails if they download a certain link or fill out another form. The options are endless!

Sequences are an amazing way to continually make contact with your reader without having to constantly be writing newsletters. This builds a rapport with your reader and allows them to get to know you and your blog without additional effort on your end. 

Broadcasts

In addition to Sequences, there are Broadcasts. This is an email blast that you can choose to send to all your subscribers or to a specific list of people that you are targeting. Like sequences, you can schedule this to be sent out on a certain time and date as well. You can also specifically design these broadcasts’ colors, styles, and format. 

Subscribers

After broadcasts is the subscriber’s tab. The subscribers tab is a rundown of your entire email list and their specific groups. These groups are defined by tags. Tagging certain subscribers can automatically triggers ConvertKit to send them a certain sequence of emails that they would most likely be interested in or can save them in a tag (group) of people you know are interested in a certain product or type of content.

When you make a sequence, you can specify which tags, meaning which people, will receive that series of emails. One subscriber can have more than one tag that is manually assigned by you or automatically assigned based on their activity. 

Automations

The last tab in ConvertKit is Automations. Automations are certain rules that you apply to your email sequences. When an event or a trigger happens, like if someone subscribes, gets tagged, clicks on a link, etc, an action happens in return. The set up is really easy to understand and you are basically planning the cause and effect. Each automation is also customizable.

These automation features are seriously GOLD! This is what sold me on switching to ConvertKit. I knew that I could supply my email subscribers with much more targeted information if I took advantage of this. 

My favorite automation is adding someone to a tag or sequence when the click on a link. That way in an email you can ask what they are interested in and based on which link they click you can automatically subscribe them to a relevant sequence of emails. 

Another way to use the automation feature is when you are promoting your own products or affiliate products. You can add an automation so when someone clicks on the link to your product (or affiliate product) they are added to an “interested” list.

Because they clicked they expressed at least some level of interest in the product so you can send them through a follow-up sequence about that topic or a funnel for your product. So cool, right?!

Need To Get Your Hands On These Dreamy Features?

I feel you. The automation section had me drooling. Here's how to get started!

  1. Click here to head to the ConvertKit homepage
  2. Click "Get Started"
  3. Choose your list size
  4. Enter your information to finish setting up your account

Adding Subscribers From MailChimp To ConvertKit

If you are on MailChimp and want to switch (like I was) here are the steps you need to follow to switch over. I thought it would be super hard, but it really isn’t too bad. 

1. Import your MailChimp lists to a CSV file
        a. Login to MailChimp and click on the "Lists" tab
        b. Click on the list you want to export
        c. Click "Export List

2. Go to the Subscribers tab in ConvertKit and click “Import Subscribers”
3. Select what tag or
form your want the new subscribers to be added to
4. Upload your CSV file and click “Import Subscribers” again.


Your subscribers are now added to your ConvertKit account! 

Don’t forget to switch out your MailChimp opt-in forms for your new ConvertKit ones! 

Just grab the code from each of your ConvertKit forms and replace that code where your MailChimp code used to be. Easy-peasy!

ConvertKit makes it so easy for you to do email marketing on your own. It an essential tool for bloggers. It is literally a tool that pays for itself because it is so much more effective than the other email marketing services out there. 

Which ConvertKit feature are you going to try first?

MailChimp vs. ConvertKit

This post may contain affiliate links

I wish I had just started with ConvertKit in the beginning! The features are so much better. I am able to send my reader what they actually want to read. Plus, I'm not being double billed like when I was on Mailchimp. So glad I read this comparison of MailChimp vs. ConvertKit. 

Being a blogger or having an online business has limitations when it comes to marketing. Doing business purely online has some advantages and disadvantages compared to having a physical store. It doesn’t mean though that you don’t have a great number of possibilities to do some creative marketing strategies. 

You can take advantage of many forms of online marketing, like social media, websites, promotions, ads and much more. One of the most important forms of online marketing though is through email marketing. Some may not see this as their top priority but once you dive into your business more, the more you see it as a great tool to reach out to more customers and build a loyal relationship. I have tried two different email service providers for my blog so I am giving you the run down of MailChimp vs. ConvertKit. 

MailChimp Pros & Cons

Email marketing can be implemented through tools such as MailChimp. It is a simple to use tool that will get you started in growing your email list. If you are new to the industry and have only about two thousand subscribers, MailChimp offers their services for free if you have less than 2,000 subscribers (however there are some limitations, like no automation). 

MailChimp Versus ConvertKit

If you want automation or have a bigger following then, you be charged a monthly fee. The more subscribers you have the more you will have to pay. One of MailChimp’s glaring flaws is how they count subscribers. Let’s say a subscriber already signed up for one of your opt-ins, and then he or she decides to sign up for an additional opt-in on your site. Even if they are using the same email, MailChimp will treat that person as a new subscriber and charge you again. Seems pretty unfair, doesn’t it? 

Upfront, MailChimp doesn’t seem that pricey compared to other email marketing programs, but because of this, you may find that you are paying as much or more since the are double dipping on your subscribers. 

 MailChimp’s services are limited especially if you are really getting serious with your email marketing. This is where ConvertKit comes in.

Why ConvertKit?

ConvertKit is not as well known as MailChimp, but it is definitely starting to get the popularity vote amongst big name bloggers. It’s a bit more expensive than MailChimp, but the flexibility and the features you can use are well worth it. 

First, ConvertKit does not charge you again for the same email in multiple subscriptions or opt-ins. At least on that note, you are sure you can save. ConvertKit works much more effectively than MailChimp, with more ways to get creative and be more specific to each of your subscribers with how and what to market to them. 

I initially started with MailChimp but a couple of months ago I made the switch to ConvertKit. I honestly could never go back now. 

7 Reasons why you need to switch from MailChimp to ConvertKit:

1. Statistics/Analytics

Unlike MailChimp, ConvertKit gives you detailed analytics of what is going on with your subscribers. It is to know and study these numbers. These statistics show exactly which lead magnets, subscriptions, newsletters and other opt-ins you use on your site are doing well and which ones aren't. It also shows you the number of visitors, subscribers, and conversions for each form on your website. 

ConvertKit is also a subscriber based system, not a list based system so you don't have to worry about subscribers being double (or triple) counted. 


2. Customizable Forms

ConvertKit offers simple designs that are customizable to the basics like color, font, call to action, buttons and more. You can customize the style and how it will appear on your blog. You can choose it to be in-line, modal or slide in. It’s basic and does its job well for those who don’t need something fancy. 

3. Sequences

One of the best things about ConvertKit is their sequences feature. This is when you send a specifically timed and sequenced email to your subscribers based on what they signed up for. These are automated so all you have to do is to program it and watch it do its job. It’s great not to have to think about following up or taking the next step for each group of subscribers all the time! It lets you customize the send dates, send times and even to exclude specific subscribers.

4. Opt-in Forms

ConvertKit's opt-in forms have a much more pleasing aesthetic. They are easy to customize and look more professional on your site. I noticed a significant increase in opt-ins when I made the switch. I think this is because the opt-in boxes within my posts are more eye catching and make it easier for the reader to submit their information. 

For example, here is the opt-in box for my free Pinterest course Pinterest Primer. Doesn't it look nice? 😉

5. Resend Emails

It can happen that some people subscribe but not follow through. Let’s face it; sometimes your email might just go unnoticed or unopened. ConvertKit identifies which emails haven’t been opened and can resend them. Wait at least a few days before resending so you don't appear spammy. This is a great tool especially to follow up for those very important emails. 

6. Tagging

Tagging is one of the best features in ConvertKit that is a HUGE step ahead of MailChimp. MailChimp only lets you segregate your subscribers by list, but ConvertKit lets you tag per subscriber or per list and customizes it to cater to what each of them like or what you think they would be interested in. 

This way you won’t miss an opportunity in offering your subscribers on multiple lists something new and you won’t be offering them something they wouldn’t want to be offered. 

The tagging feature was huge for me when I launched my course. I was able to tag people that clicked on the link to my sales page, those that had opt-ed into Pinterest related freebies on my site and even those that weren’t interested in hearing about the launch. That strategy alone helped me save dozens of subscribers! 

7. Automation

Emailing your subscribers can take up a lot of time, especially when you have thousands of them! That’s why ConvertKit’s automated rules are a lifesaver. If a subscriber does a specific action, then it will trigger another action. Kind of like the Newton’s Third Law of every action gets a reaction. 

My favorite way to use automation is to trigger a sequence when someone clicks on a link. So, if for example, someone clicks the link to my sales page, but does not buy, I can send them through a sequence that talks about the topic and provide more value. Because the clicked I know they have some level of interest in the course so this is a great way to retarget them. 

There are many more ways to take advantage of ConvertKit. There are more features that you can explore and apply to your new or already growing online business. They have an excellent customer service and will help you have a smooth transaction if you decide to move to ConvertKit.